Zardari admits miltiants in Kashmir are terrorists

Former Pakistan leaders have always been accused of not accepting facts, but current Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari in a candid interview admitted that the militants operating in Kashmir were indeed terrorists and a major threat.
In an interview made to Wall Street Journal, Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari frankly said that India is not and has never been a threat to Pakistan. He also went on to say that the militant groups that were operating on the other side of the border in Kashmir were terrorists. The statement is one of the first ones to be made by a top Pakistan leader. Asif Ali Zardari’s predecessor used to have a different take on the crisis in Pakistan. General Pervez Musharraf would have definitely called them freedom fighters or jehadis but definitely not terrorists. This statement is in complete disregard of the policy adopted by the governments of Pakistan in the past few decades of treating the militant groups as freedom fighters. The statement made by Pakistan president Zardari has evoked a great response from the Indian side. While on one hand it has been welcomed by the Indian government, it has created a ripple in Pakistan with several groups slamming the president for making such a remark. In India, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and BJP National Spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy, welcomed the statement made by the Pakistan President.
Meanwhile back home in Pakistan, the statement made by the Pakistan president has drawn flak and criticism from several quarters. Abba Ansari, Hurriyat leader has strongly condemned the statement whereas Siddiq-ul-Farooq, Spokesperson, PML(N) has said that the Pakistan president does not know what the dispute in Kashmir is all about and his maiden trip to America had been a disappointing one.
Zardari also went on to say that he had nothing against the Indo-US Nuke deal and the growing friendship of India and America saying that why would they dislike the largest democracy in the world (India) getting friendly with one of the oldest democracies in the world (America). He also said as long as Pakistan is treated ‘at par’ he had no problem.
On the Americans carrying predator missiles in Pakistan territory, Zardari said that America and Pakistan had an understanding and that they were in sense fighting the same enemy. He also said that they welcomed the help of America in terms of providing the intelligence and technology in terms of helicopters, night goggles and other equipment.
Zardari went on to add that trade between the two subcontinent countries should increase as free trade between the two neighboring countries was the best way of economic survival in these turbulent times.
Zardari’s statements made may have drawn criticism from the Pakistani sources but will definitely go on to strengthen the relationship between India and Pakistan in the near future.

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