Oxford: Claiming that Pakistan has rendered more sacrifices in the war on terror than NATO forces in Afghanistan, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has urged the international community to assist Islamabad to revitalise the country’s economy.
“Pakistan continues to fight for its own reasons, but the international community must assist the country in enhancing its capacity to counter terrorism and provide financial assistance to stabilise its economy because there is a linkage between deprivation, poverty and extremism,” the Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying while delivering a talk at Oxford University.
Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is also an Oxford University student, had come to listen to Qureshi’s speech.
Qureshi said Islamabad has supported the war against terrorism from day one, but earlier the fight had lacked political ownership.
“Today, the democratically-elected government has given this fight ownership and that has been the difference between success and defeat,” he said.
Qureshi also spoke of the successful operations in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan, saying that an area equal to one-third of the size of England was cleansed of terrorists and over two million internally displaced persons had returned to their homes within 10 weeks.