`Essential to defeat terrorism in Pakistan`
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Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010, 10:21
  
Washington: US National Security Adviser General (rtd) James Jones has said his recent trip to Pakistan was to impress upon Islamabad that it is essential to defeat terrorism in the country.

Jones along with the CIA Director Leon Panetta had visited Islamabad early this month and met the country's top leadership including the President Asif Ali Zardari in the wake of the arrest if the failed Times Square bomb suspect Fazal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American and investigation which revealed that the Pakistani Taliban was behind that bombing attempt.

News reports in both Pakistan and the United States said that the Jones-Panetta trip was to primarily put pressure on Pakistan to do more against terrorists in the country.

"My trip was simply to underscore, at the request of the (US) President, that we take this particular relationship extremely seriously, that we're very serious when we say we have long-term -- we will make long-term commitments to Pakistan, to help the economy, to help the revitalisation of the infrastructure, to bring investment from not only our business community but international investment, to help the instruments of governance wherever possible," Jones told reporters at the Washington Foreign Press Centre.

"But we wanted to also impress upon our friends that it is essential that terrorism be defeated and that wherever there are the presence of terrorists of the perception of presence of terrorists that it's in the interest of Pakistan to not only repudiate the existence of those kinds of organisations but also at the appropriate time to rid Pakistan of that presence," said the National Security Advisor.

"We offer friendship and assistance, cooperation in every way possible, in order to do that and in order to help bring a better future to Pakistan. So I want to state very clearly that this was a meeting among friends, one that we have regularly," he said in response to a question.

The National Security Adviser said the US has committed itself to a long- term strategy with regard to that part of the world, including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, to try to bring a better life to the people of the region, to try to end terrorism in all shapes and forms directed against all different peoples.

"We have applauded the Pakistani efforts to date with regard to their renewed efforts that began last year, their success in the Swat valley, their success in South Waziristan. We have rejoiced in the trust and confidence that's been built between our two militarises, the increased sharing of information and intelligence, the cooperation that we've received on law-enforcement issues, the very prompt response we got as a result of the Times Square incident," he said.

"We are now to the point where we can exchange very direct information and very direct messages which have the -- I think the -- hopefully the benefit of adding vitality to the relationship. So we are pleased with the progress and we hope Pakistan is pleased with the progress," he said.

"We hope that we will continue down a successful road so that we can get on with the idea and the concept and the commitment that we've made to help Pakistan economically and in many other ways," Jones said.

PTI


First Published: Friday, May 28, 2010, 10:21


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