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Jones, Panetta brief Zardari on botched Times Square plot

Top US security officials on Wednesday briefed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the probe into the botched car bombing in New York by a Pakistani- American and discussed measures to prevent "potential attacks".



Islamabad: Top US security officials
on Wednesday briefed Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the probe
into the botched car bombing in New York by a Pakistani-
American and discussed measures to prevent "potential
attacks".

US National Security Advisor James L Jones and
Central Intelligence Agency chief Leon Panetta, who arrived in
Pakistan yesterday, called on Zardari at the presidency this
afternoon.

"Jones and Panetta provided an update on the ongoing
investigation into the Times Square terrorist incident," said
a joint statement issued after the meeting.
Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, the son of a
retired Pakistan Air Force officer, was arrested for the
attempted car bomb attack in New York`s Times Square.

Jones expressed appreciation for the "excellent
cooperation" the US is receiving from Pakistan and for the
sacrifices of the Pakistani military, law enforcement and
people in efforts to combat extremists, the statement said.

The talks between Zardari and the US security
officials also "covered measures that both countries are, and
will be, taking to confront the common threat we face from
extremists and prevent such potential attacks from occurring
again," the statement said.

Both sides "acknowledged the extreme challenge of
thwarting each and every plot and terrorist action" and
"pledged to intensify efforts, increase cooperation and do
everything possible to protect" their citizens, the statement
added.

The statement described the discussions between
Zardari and the US officials as "productive" and said the two
sides covered "US-Pakistan relations, the security situation
in the region, the shared terrorist threat and fight against
extremists, and the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue."

Zardari said Pakistan desires a long-term,
multifaceted and durable relationship with the US "which no
incident should be able to adversely impact."
Militancy and terrorism were a common enemy and the
existing "robust cooperation" between the two countries must
continue to fight the menace, he said.

Jones reiterated the US`s long-term commitment to
the strategic partnership with Pakistan, including support for
creating economic opportunity for the Pakistani people.

The talks also provided an opportunity to review
progress on many areas addressed in the recent strategic
dialogue held in Washington, the statement said.

Both sides expressed their commitment to strengthen
ties "across the broad spectrum of issues between our
countries, including trade, economic growth, and development."

They also agreed to continue frequent
government-to-government contacts and further senior level
engagement to advance common interests and provide a better,
more secure future for the people of Pakistan and the US, the
statement said.

Panetta and Jones were accompanied by US Ambassador
Anne Patterson and other senior officials.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir also attended the meeting.

PTI

From Zee News

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