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Pak won't allow its soil to be used against India: Zardari

September 16, 2009 20:15 IST

President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against India for any acts of terror and is ready to cooperate with it to punish the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

"Pakistan is ready to cooperate with India to punish the perpetrators of the terror attacks in Mumbai. Pakistan has assured that it would not allow its territory to be used against India for any acts of terror," Zardari told the Financial Times in an interview published on Wednesday.

Zardari's comments came ahead of the meetings of foreign ministers and foreign secretaries of the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

India has accused Pakistan of not taking action to prosecute the perpetrators of the terror attack on Mumbai, despite 10 months having passed by.

Zardari added, "India must also reciprocate and address our concerns which are very genuine. Dialogue is the only way forward. The absence of dialogue leads to tension."

Asked how peace could be achieved with India during Manmohan Singh's premiership, Zardari said, "The meeting between me and Prime Minister of India (Manmohan Singh) in New York in September 2008 led to the resumption of the fifth round of the Composite Dialogue. In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, India once again placed a pause on the dialogue process".

Zardari said he met Singh in Dr Yekaterinburg in June 2009. Later, Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani met Dr Singh at Sharm El-Sheikh on July 16. Both leaders have reaffirmed the desire to improve bilateral relations.

Asked whether he was worried about the proliferation network operated by disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan and whether he shared United States' concerns about the safety of the nuclear arsenal, Zardari said, "A Q Khan now lives a private life and has nothing to do with the country's nuclear programme. We have strengthened our export controls and command and control systems. So, concerns, if any, regarding the safety of our nuclear arsenals are unfounded."

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