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Pakistan Army capable of defending its territory: Aziz

By Xinhua

Islamabad : Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has vowed not to allow foreign troops to enter Pakistan in a bid to capture terrorists in the country.

The prime minister said Pakistan Army is capable of defending its territory and can take action against extremist and terrorist elements, according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

“We will never allow any country to violate our sovereignty and integrity,” said Aziz in an interview with Al-Arabia TV channel.

Aziz said Pakistan was cooperating with the world in fighting terrorism and believed in strong coordination among the countries.

“We believe in intelligence-sharing, cooperation and coordination with friendly countries that are committed to fighting this scourge (terrorism),” he said.

Aziz said Pakistan wants peace, security and economic growth that will lead to its stability and extending cooperation to all the countries in the region and in the world.

Referring to the statements of US Presidential candidates about attacking Pakistan, Aziz said Pakistan is a sovereign country, and Pakistan’s Army is capable of defending itself.

“If we share credible, quantifiable and identifiable intelligence then Pakistan will act; we have the capacity and capability to act,” he said.

“We will do whatever it takes to prevent terrorism. But we cannot and will not accept the presence of any foreign troops in Pakistan,” Aziz said.

On the meeting between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and main opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister said there were “no specific deals, but only discussions”.

Aziz said discussions on the political set-up are healthy for free, fair and transparent elections and to further strengthen the democratic process in the country.

The prime minister said ruling party Pakistan Muslim League and its allied parties would contest the next general election from a single platform, adding that PPP, a major opposition party, was not a member of this coalition.

Aziz said Pakistan has been extending cooperation to Afghanistan for its stability adding if Afghanistan destabilises, Pakistan pays the price for that because there are interactions on both sides of the border, including trade linkages.

He said being in close proximity with Afghanistan, where foreign troops and locals are fighting, Pakistan not only supported three million Afghan refugees, but also fought the elements who found safe haven inside Pakistan in these refugee camps.