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Pakistan condemns Kabul embassy attack

August 02, 2008 16:36 IST

Identifying extremism and terrorism as major challenges confronting South Asia, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday asked South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries to fight the menace 'individually and collectively'.

"Extremism and terrorism are major challenges in our region," Gilani said while condemning the July 7 suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

India as well as Afghanistan have blamed the Inter Services Intelligence for the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul which killed over 60 people, including four Indians. The involvement of the ISI in the attack has been confirmed by the US as well as British intelligence agencies.

Addressing the 15th summit of the eight-nation SAARC grouping in Colombo, Gilani said Pakistan had also been a victim of terrorism and lost former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in a terror attack in December last year.

"We have to fight terrorism individually and collectively," Gilani said while welcoming the agreement of SAARC Foreign Ministers on the draft Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement in criminal matters.

The Pakistan Premier expressed hope that more steps would be taken when the home ministers of SAARC countries meet in Islamabad [Images] later this year.

Earlier Gilani, at a dinner hosted by the Pakistan High Commissioner in Colombo on Friday night, outlined his vision for South Asia as a region of sustainable peace and prosperity.

He noted that Pakistan and India were engaged in a dialogue process to resolve all issues, including that of Kashmir.

The SAARC region, the Pakistan Prime Minister said, was facing a number of challenges presently which included energy, food and environment issues.

He emphasised the need for intra-regional trade among the SAARC nations to compete in the globalised world and meet its challenges.

Gilani also spoke of the challenges that Pakistan was facing in its tribal areas and said the government has adopted a three-pronged strategy to address the issue, the report said.

He said his government did not wish to go for military action to resolve the problem in the tribal belt and its priority was to engage in political dialogue.




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