Pak won’t sacrifice its national interest for war on terror: Qureshi

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WASHINGTON - Pakistan will preserve its national interests while it partners with the United States in fighting ‘the terrorist cancer that threatens all of civilisation’, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

“We will fight together with you for our common goals and ends, especially in our joint effort to destroy the terrorist cancer that threatens all of civilisation. But we are, first and foremost, like every nation, committed to preserving our national interest.” the Daily Times quoted Qureshi, as saying in a speech at the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in Boston.

On the eve of the US-Pak strategic partnership dialogue, he also renewed Islamabad’s desire to seek a civilian nuclear technology deal from Washington as part of the efforts to meet the country’s fast-expanding energy requirements.

The Pakistani minister reminded the gathering at the Harvard University of the festering Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, and urged Washington to help resolve it in a bid to “remove one more source of Muslim discontent and anger, taking oxygen out of the terrorists’ fire”.

Responding to a question, he said that the issues between India and Pakistan could not be ignored. “In the plethora of problems before us, we have to realistically understand that improved relations between the two nuclear armed powers of South Asia is the missing key to regional peace,” he underscored.

Qureshi will co-chair the latest round of strategic dialogue with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton starting today, and will discuss bilateral cooperation in a vast array of fields, developments in the region and security issues, including efforts to deal with terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border.

“What we are trying to create is a long-term, mature and mutually beneficial partnership,” he said, adding, “That dialogue and the coordination of our policies will define the direction and future of our bilateral relationship, as well as the success of the containment of terrorism and, quite possibly, the very future of the region.” (ANI)

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