Pakistani PM urges US to enhance Pakistan’s counterterrorism capacity


Washington : Asserting that all anti-terrorism partners have to do more to wipe out terrorism along the Afghan border region, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has urged Washington to enhance Pakistan’s counterterrorism capacity as well as improve intelligence sharing for more effective results.

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In a CNN appearance during his official visit to Washington, he emphasized that “his government is certainly doing its best” as Pakistan is “fighting the war for ourselves.”

“There are two things. One is the will, the other is ability.We have the will. But at the same time, the militants are equipped with the most sophisticated weapons in the world—-therefore, when the U.S. cooperation is more on the defense side, we’ll be able to have more capabilities of fighting.

“He strongly opposed the notion of unilateral anti-terror action into Pakistani territory and said the country itself would take action when it has actionable intelligence.”

“I have already talked to President Bush that there should be more cooperation on the intelligence side so that when there is credible and actionable information given to us, we will hit ourselves.”

Gilani urged patience and the need for greater intelligence cooperation. “Americans are a little impatient. Therefore, in future, I think we’ll have more cooperation on the intelligence side and we’ll do the job ourselves” and any unilateral action is violation of Pakistan trade’s sovereignty.”

Pakistan, he stated, is looking into reported incident of missile strike in South Waziristan on Monday and collecting details.

At the same time, he noted, the two countries have bilateral relations in most of the areas, in defense, in science and technology, in education, in health, in food and agriculture.

He also pointed out the fact that Pakistan has inherited about three million refugees from Afghanistan.

“We have a difficult terrain. We have a huge, long border. And we have set up about 900 to 1,000 posts, checkposts. And on the other side, the NATO has fixed about 100 posts.”

Pakistan, he said, has also introduced biometric system, which can help get hold of militants. “But on the other side, they’re not cooperating.”

“At the same time, it is a challenge and it is a challenge for both of us. Even you can understand, for the last five years, they’re fighting war. The war is not like an ordinary war. It’s a guerrilla war. And so we are fighting the war, too, but for our own interests because I’ve lost my own leader, Benazir Bhutto, because of this terrorism and extremism.”

Gilani said he has come to the United States with a message of prosperity, peace and partnership for the world.

“And my democratic government is taking every step to combat terrorism because we are fighting not for the United States, it’s a war for Pakistan.”