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Pak, US should not indulge in blame game: Gilani

Source: PTI
July 10, 2010 02:51 IST
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Pakistan and the United States should make concerted efforts to bridge the trust gap between them which has the potential of diluting the common objective of combating terror and not indulge in "blame game", Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday.

The Pakistani prime minister made the remarks during a meeting with Senator Carl Levin, head of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, and US Senator Jack Read. Pakistan and the US should boost intelligence-sharing and defence cooperation to fight terror, he said.

"The government of Pakistan is doing its utmost to strengthen cooperation with the US in intelligence-sharing and in the fields of defence to root out the menace of terrorism and militancy from its territory and expected friendly countries like the US to share with it credible and actionable information rather than indulging in blame game," the premier was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Gilani emphasised the importance of rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in areas cleared of militants and regretted that pledges of assistance to Pakistan still remained unfulfilled.

The situation has exacerbated as Pakistan is "constrained to divert its development budget towards the war efforts," he said.

He cautioned that the people's support for Pakistan's military operations "can dissipate unless there was a socio-economic development and rehabilitation of the infrastructure in the affected areas."

The US and other economic partners must realise that time is "fast running out" for addressing the root causes of terrorism, including poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and unemployment, Gilani said.

If the real reasons behind militancy are not tackled in a timely and effective manner, the sympathies for militants in the affected regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan will grow and terrorists will "undermine our common aim of succeeding against this menace," Gilani contended.

Gilani also spoke of the need for a "fair and non-discriminatory approach" by the US in relations with regional countries, particularly when the people and armed forces of Pakistan are making "unparalleled sacrifices in this war."

He said his government expects the US to address misperceptions and "attach the importance (to) its relations with Pakistan that it deserved." Peace and stability in Afghanistan is of foremost importance to the Pakistan government as it is inextricably linked to peace and stability in the country, he said.

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