War in Afghanistan is destabilising Pakistan: Zardari

Pakistan Prez expressed concern over the slow pace of efforts to end the Afghan conflict, among citizens of his country.

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2011, 13:42 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said the war in Afghanistan is destabilising his country, and affecting efforts to restore its democratic institutions and economic prosperity.

"Just as the Mexican drug war on US borders makes a difference to Texas and American society, we are talking about a war on our border which is obviously having a huge effect. Only today a suicide bomber has attacked a police compound in Baluchistan. I think it (the Afghan war) has an effect on the entire region, and specially our country," The Guardian quoted Zardari, as saying.

He also said that there is a strong concern over the slow pace of efforts to end the Afghan conflict, among citizens of his country.

On being asked about harsh criticisms of Pakistan`s co-operation in the "war on terror" published in a White House report last week, Zardari said that Pakistan has always given due attention to Washington’s views, but added that members of Congress and the US media speak out of context when it comes to Pakistan.

“The United States has been an ally of Pakistan for the last 60 years. We respect and appreciate their political system. So every time a new parliament comes in, new boys come in, new representatives come in, it takes them time to understand the international situation. Not Obama, but the Congress, interest groups and the media get affected by ``deadline-itis`` [over ending the Afghan war]," Zardari said.

"I think it is maybe 12 years since America has become engaged in Afghanistan and obviously everybody`s patience is on edge, especially the American public, which is looking for answers. There are no short-term answers and it is very difficult to make the American taxpayer understand," he added.

Last week, a congressional panel had urged the Obama administration to abandon Pakistan in favour of India.

"Pakistan is about to go broke or collapse," Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat, had said.

Zardari, however, suggested that if that assertion were true, the interventionist policies of the US and other foreign governments in south Asia would be a significant contributory factor.

"Our emphasis has been on security rather than our commerce and we need commerce for our survival,” Zardari said.

ANI