September 20, 2008

Zardari to Uphold Pakistan Sovereignty

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari says he won't allow either terrorists or foreign forces fighting them to violate the country's sovereignty.

In his first speech to Pakistan's parliament since his election as president replacing Pervez Musharraf last month, Zardari said Saturday he would fight Islamist extremists "wherever and whenever they may rear their ugly heads" but also warned against intervention by United States in its territory, the BBC reported.

"I ask of the government that it should be firm in its resolve to not allow the use of its soil for carrying out terrorist activities against any foreign country," Zardari said. "We will not tolerate the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity by any power in the name of combating terrorism."

Zardari says Pakistan remains a key U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism, but in recent months has voiced growing concerns over U.S. raids targeting Taliban militants in its territory, launched from neighboring Afghanistan, the BBC said.

Zardari, the husband of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is expected to meet U.S. President George Bush during a visit to the United Nations next week.