Pakistan not to bow to foreign pressure for NW operation: FM

10:21, October 31, 2010      

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Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi said Saturday that his country would not accept any foreign pressure to launch military operation against the militants in the country's northwest tribal region of North Waziristan.

Pakistan is under tremendous pressure from the United States and NATO member nations to launch operation in North Waziristan against several Pakistani and Afghan groups who are blamed for planning cross-border attacks in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan would itself decide on any operation keeping in view its requirements, resources and priorities," Qureshi told journalists in Multan, a city in central Pakistan.

The foreign minister denied the saying that there was external pressure on Pakistan for launching an operation in North Waziristan.

To a question on "do more" demand from the U.S. and other Western nations, he said Pakistan is making sincere efforts in the war and it had made sacrifices.

"Our people and even shrines are being targeted by terrorists," he said, adding that Pakistan and the U.S. should move forward in the context.

On the recently concluded three-day strategic dialogue with the U.S., the foreign minister said the Obama administration, in the dialogue, decided to provide 2-billion-dollar five-year security assistance to Pakistan to fulfill its defense requirements.

On possibility of civil nuclear assistance from the U.S., Qureshi said "Energy is our requirement and we have conveyed our desire of a civil nuclear agreement. There should be no discrimination on the civil nuclear program. We also want to move forward in the direction."

He said Pakistan, being a neighboring country of Afghanistan, was ready to help the Afghan government for peace in the country if it sought Pakistan's help. He said groups which were fighting against each other in Afghanistan were locals with different ethnic backgrounds and ideologies.

"If the groups are willing to hold talks for peace, Pakistan is ready to help the process leading to peace and prosperity in Afghanistan," he added.

He said the UK had also wanted strategic dialogue with Pakistan and Pakistan also gave importance to its relations with Russia. " We have initiated a process to expand our relations with Russia," he added.



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