Zardari wants greater market access for Pak goods



New York: President Asif Ali Zardari Monday demanded greater market access for Pakistani products in the US markets and hoped that progress would be witnessed in the coming days in the investment treaty between the two nations.

Zardari made the demand at a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York, where the president is scheduled to attend the UN General Assembly session.

Both the leaders had an in-depth conversation on the situation in Afghanistan and how Pakistan and the US could cooperate in helping bring peace and stability in the war- ravaged country, Pakistan's mission to the UN said in a statement.

Zardari assured Clinton that Pakistan was prepared to do everything in its power to help an Afghan owned and Afghan led reconciliation process in Afghanistan, the statement said, adding he also conveyed that peace and stability in Pakistan were tied to peace and stability in Afghanistan.

"No country has paid a higher price for the conflict in Afghanistan than Pakistan," the president said.

They also reviewed recent developments like the opening of the Ground Lines of Communications and the signing of MoU on the up-gradation of the Peshawar Torkham road.

"We should build on the positive momentum," the president told Clinton.

He thanked Clinton for US assistance to Pakistan and stressed the need that rather spreading itself too thin, the US should focus on large signature projects.

The President, according to the statement, "expressed the hope that substantial progress would be witnessed in the coming days in the bilateral investment treaty between the two countries."

He also "called for greater market access for Pakistani products in the US markets", it said.

Zardari also conveyed to Clinton his country's deep dismay over the controversial anti-Islam movie, saying a handful of people should not be allowed to endanger world peace under the pretext of freedom of expression.

The statement said Clinton reiterated the desire of the US to continue working with Pakistan for further strengthening bilateral relations and for the peace, stability and socio-economic development of the region.

Zardari was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistan's Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman.

PTI