Washington should trust Islamabad: Zardari

Islamabad, June 11 (IANS) Washington must trust Islamabad and the two countries must mend ties, former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said.

Zardari’s comments come amid tension between Pakistan and the US following Washington’s backing to India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Zardari said the US appeared to doubt Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism.

In an article published in Chicago Tribune, Zardari said he can challenge those US Congressmen who doubted Pakistan’s intentions.

“I would challenge any faction in Congress that holds this view to come to Pakistan and bear witness to our solidarity and resolve,” he said.

He said Pakistan had lost nearly 5,000 troops and thousands of civilians in the war against terror.

The Pakistan People’s Party leader said: “Pakistan has rooted out extremist safe havens, played a critical role in dismantling Al Qaeda’s deeply entrenched networks and seized more than 160 tonnes of improvised explosive device precursors.

“In addition to the severe human costs, three decades of war has also meant slower economic growth and foreign direct investment than that of other developing countries whose borders are not active war zones.”

He said Pakistan was ready and willing to continue its role in defeating terrorism, but the US has a part to play in assuring the country’s ability to fight and win on the battlefield.

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