Drone attacks not helping war on terror, says Zardari

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday told a US congressional delegation that drone attacks by the US were undermining the national consensus on the war against terror.

Talking to a four member US congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain which called on him, President Zardari urged the American lawmakers to persuade the US policy makers to give the drone technology to Pakistan, so that Pakistani security forces could carry out such attacks.

The president said that the economic cost of the war against terror amounting to $35 billion for the last eight years had almost paralyzed Pakistan’s economy.

President Zardari asked the delegation for the timely reimbursement of over $1 billion on account of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

Referring to President Obama’s new Afghan strategy, the president said that Pakistan had legitimate interests in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, adding that US actions should remain on the Afghan side of the border.

The congressional delegation appreciated Pakistan’s role in the war against extremism and militancy and assured full US support in taking this war to its logical end.—DawnNews


Pakistan denies it altered US-made missiles

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan rejected accusations its army illegally modified American-made missiles to increase its land-strike capability, denying that it reconfigured anti-ship weapons in a way that could target India.

The denial was in response to a news report that the Obama administration made a diplomatic protest to Pakistan’s prime minister over the alleged alterations to the anti-ship missiles Islamabad bought in the 1980s.

A statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it ‘categorically rejected’ the article in The New York Times saying that Harpoon anti-ship missiles had been modified and that they could pose a potential threat to India.

The newspaper cited senior Obama administration and congressional officials as saying the allegation first surfaced in June in an unpublicised diplomatic protest to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The Harpoon missiles were sold to Pakistan by the Reagan administration decades ago as defensive weapons.

US military and intelligence officials say they suspect that Pakistan has modified the missiles in a manner that would be a violation of the Arms Control Export Act, the paper said.

According to the report, US intelligence agencies detected on April 23 a suspicious missile test that appeared to indicate that Pakistan had a new offensive weapon.

The missile would be a significant new entry into Pakistan’s arsenal against India, the NYT said. It would enable Pakistan’s navy to strike targets on land, complementing the sizable land-based missile arsenal that Pakistan has developed.

The United States has also accused Pakistan of modifying US-made P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions, another violation of US law that the administration of President Barack Obama has protested, the report said.—Agencies

Our Correspondent in Washington adds: Pakistan’s Ambassador Hussain Haqqani termed the NYT report baseless and incorrect.

Talking to Dawn, he said such reports were designed to target and scuttle the US Congress’ lawmaking process under way for sanctioning aid to Pakistan and were based on ‘erroneous intelligence’.

The missiles that the NYT report refers to “cannot be modified” and Pakistan had not tampered with them, he added.

Ambassador Haqqani urged the US media to halt hurling blames on Pakistan as this did not help the fight against the extremists that the United States and Pakistan were jointly fighting.

Such unfortunate allegations, however, would not deter Pakistan from continuing to align with the US in this war.

The accusation comes at a particularly delicate time, when the administration is asking Congress to approve $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next five years.

‘We will make sure that the US understands the correct picture and we will fight back periodic efforts to falsely blame Pakistan, which remains a critical US ally in fighting terrorism,’ Mr Haqqani said.

‘Instead of false accusations, US media should help Pakistan secure the help it needs to fight our common enemy, viz terrorism.’

India raises defence budget outlay by 34%

NEW DELHI: India has increased defence budget by 34 % to Rs.1,41,703 crore.

The stand-in Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has presented the interim budget in the Lok Sabha for the next fiscal.

Mukherjee said the increased plan expenditure for defence this year would be Rs 86,879 crore. Last year’s plan expenditure was only Rs 73,600 crore, thereby providing an increase of Rs 13,279 crore this year.

“Mumbai attacks have given a new dimension to cross-border terrorism. In this context, I propose to raise defence allocation to Rs.1,41,703 crore,” said Mukherjee.

source : jang.com.pk

Film world has capitalism and crisis in its sights

BERLIN: Communism and terrorism have long vied for the title of cinema’s favourite bad guy, but now it seems capitalism looks set to challenge them, with globalisation as its evil sidekick.

At least 11 dramas and documentaries at this year’s Berlin film festival cast a mostly critical eye on the world of banking, big business, shocking gap between rich and poor and the harsh reality of economic migration. By questioning the West’s long-held belief that free markets are the way forward and globalisation is a force for good, the films resonated with increasingly skeptical audiences aware of the gathering economic storm in the real world.

source : jang.com.pk

Pakistan terror a direct threat: Indian FM

NEW DELHI: Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that terrorism in Pakistan poses a direct threat to India and global peace.

Responding to Pakistan’s admission about part of the Mumbai terror attacks conspiracy hatched on its soil, Mukherjee said that we will not rest until the terrorists behind Mumbai terror attacks are brought to justice.

Addressing the parliament, Mukherjee said that the Mumbai attacks were a crime committed against India.

We made it clear to Pakistan that terror from its soil is a direct threat to India, he said. He blamed that primary onus of 26/11 responsibility lies with Pakistan.

source : jang.com.pk

Pak needs no lectures on war against terror: Zardari

ISLAMABAD: Advocating the need for recasting Pakistan-U.S. relationship into a long-term partnership for peace, stability and development, President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday asked President Barack Obama to help resolve the lingering Kashmir dispute that remains at the heart of South Asian unrest and challenges like extremism.

“President Obama understands that for Pakistan to defeat the extremists, it must be stable. For democracy to succeed, Pakistan must be economically viable,” Zardari wrote in a US newspaper article in which he congratulated the new U.S. leader on assumption of office and extended Pakistan’s “hand in friendship”.

As part of economic empowerment efforts, President Zardari called for swift progress towards realization of economic assistance expansion initiative (Biden-Lugar legislation) in Congress as well as the preferential trade program of reconstruction opportunity zones and said, “assistance to Pakistan is not charity.”

“The water crisis in Pakistan is directly linked to relations with India. Resolution could prevent an environmental catastrophe in South Asia, but failure to do so could fuel the fires of discontent that lead to extremism and terrorism. We applaud the president’s desire to engage our nation and India to defuse the tensions between us”, he said.

“Unlike in the 1980s, we are surrogates for no one. With all due respect, we need no lectures on our commitment. This is our war. It is our children and wives who are dying”, the president added.

Zardari renewed Pakistan’s determination to curb the menace of terrorism in its own interest and called for equipping Pakistan with modern security tools and technology to proactively fight the terrorists “on our terms”.

source : jang.com.pk

Results to be shared with India after investigation: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan will share information with India after the necessary investigation.

In a policy statement issued here on Tuesday, Prime Minister said India has shared information with Pakistan on 5th January, which cannot be termed as evidence.

The information provided by India regarding Mumbai attacks is being examined by the interior ministry, he said, adding that the results will be shared with New Delhi after the necessary inquiry.

Prime Minister further said Pakistan was the first country to condemn the Mumbai terror attacks. Serious and realistic cooperation would help us move forward in the investigation, he said.

Gilani said Pakistan strongly condemns every form of terrorism. He added that New Delhi had not responded positively to the offer of joint investigations of Mumbai attacks.
source : jang.com.pk

US Advisor urges Obama to help Pakistan against terrorism

WASHINGTON: US National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley has said that Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism was appreciable.

In a statement he said that Al Qaeda and Taliban were danger to Pakistan. He further said that Pakistan was itself a victim of terrorism and urged upon President-elect Barack Obama to help Islamabad.

source : jang.com.pk


Pakistan using terrorism as state policy: Indian PM

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday once again blamed Pakistan for whipping up war hysteria and using terrorism as state policy.

“ Pakistan was whipping up war hysteria, and that the Mumbai attacks must have had support from some official agencies within Pakistan”, Singh told a security conference in New Delhi

“The terrorist attack in Mumbai in November last year was carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba.”

Manmohan Singh said foreigners had been targeted in the Mumbai attacks to convey instability in India.

Dr Singh said that most of the terrorists act in connivance with intelligence agencies in neighbouring countries.

While commenting on the challenges faced by India, the Indian Prime Minister said that problems faced by our country are compounded by vulnerable security environment and fragile governments in the neighbouring countries.

He further stressed on the need for a holistic approach to deal with the menace of terrorism.

Underlining the need to review the current security set-up, the Indian Prime Minister called for better co-ordination among various wings of intelligence. A review of the training and equipment for the security forces was also called for, he added.

The PM said infiltration was also taking place from Bangladesh and Nepal though it had not ceased from the Line of Control (LoC).

Manmohan Singh said that India must “implement a policy of zero tolerance” towards terrorism and few countries had suffered from terror attacks in the way that India had.

Stressing that terror should not be conceptualised solely in military terms, the PM stated, “We must ensure the concept of terrorism is delegitimised.”

source : jang.com.pk

Indian PM to chair chief ministers meeting

NEW DELHI: A meeting of Indian Chief Ministers will be held in New Delhi today (Tuesday) for a ‘focused discussion’ on the issue of terrorism and evolve a strategy to improve intelligence sharing in a well coordinated manner.

The meeting, to be addressed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram, assumes significance as it is going to be held in the wake of Mumbai terror attack.

source : jang.com.pk