Qureshi asks US officials not to panic over Taliban advancesApril 28th, 2009 - 3:29 pm ICT by ANI
Kabul, Apr 28 (ANI): Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has asked US officials not to panic over Taliban advances along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
Qureshi said Pakistan had sent terrorists in its tribal areas a ‘clear signal’ that they must lay down arms, as he sought to quell Western fears raised by a recent peace deal between the government and the Taliban in Swat.
“We mean business, and if we have to use force, we will use force. We will not hesitate,” Qureshi said on the sidelines of meetings with his Afghan and Iranian counterparts.
Last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Pakistan was “basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists,” although she later said Pakistan was beginning to realise the threat terrorists posed.
“My response is: ‘Please do not panic’,” said Qureshi in response to Hillary’s comments. “We have now a common enemy, and we’ve devised a common strategy to deal with the enemy. … We will not surrender, we will not capitulate, and we will not abdicate,” he said.
Pakistan wanted to concentrate more of its military forces on its western tribal regions, but the US needed to help lower tensions between Pakistan and India, the Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying.
Qureshi also applauded recent overtures by US President Barack Obama’s Administration to Iran on the issue of Afghanistan. (ANI)
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