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Zardari condemns India's 'brutal' handling of protests in Kashmir

September 16, 2010 02:35 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday condemned what he described as India's 'brutal' handling of protests in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Pakistan condemns the brutal way in which India is handling the democratic struggle of Kashmiris," Zardari said while addressing a joint news conference with his visiting Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai.

Zardari was responding to a question about the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, where nearly 80 people have lost their lives in protests over the past few months.

Responding to the same question, Karzai said if there was anything Afghanistan could do, it would humbly provide help if asked by Pakistan or India.

To a question regarding rumours about the uncertain future of democracy in Pakistan, Zardari said he did not need to comment on such rumours.

"Rumours are rumours," he said. He stressed the need for keeping people aware about democracy. Democracy is working in Pakistan and played its role during the recent floods as members of parliament were instrumental in dealing with the situation.

"We did not beg for it (democracy). We got it by fighting for it and we know how to defend it," he remarked.

Karzai said the Afghan nation felt the pain of the Pakistani people during the disastrous floods. Afghanistan will contribute whatever assistance it can for the flood victims, he added.

Expressing his appreciation for a Memorandum of Understanding on trade and transit signed by Pakistan and Afghanistan, Karzai said he was hopeful it would soon be turned into an agreement.

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