April 21st, 2012
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No unilateral withdrawal of troops: Zardari

zardari Islamabad: Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari has stated that Pakistan was willing to withdraw troops as long as India agrees to do the same. Zardari however ruled out any unilateral withdrawal of Pakistani soldiers from Siachen.  Zardari while addressing a convention of workers of his Pakistan People Party in Okara district said he was concerned about the dangerous situations faced by the soldiers in Siachen.

He was speaking almost a fortnight after an avalanche slammed into a high-altitude Pakistan army camp in Siachen sector, burying 138 people. Zardari said he was worried by the problems of Pakistani soldiers and he believes that India too would be concerned for its troops on Siachen. “There is no doubt that Siachen is the most difficult battlefield in the world … We are aware of the extreme climate and other difficulties at one of the world’s most difficult terrains but the withdrawal can only take place if the two governments decide to pull out from the area jointly,” he said.

“Pakistan wants to solve its issues with India through talks,” Zardari said. Islamabad is willing to hold a dialogue with New Delhi on all subjects, he added. Mr Zardari said the federal government would consider proposals for opening a crossing along the border at Head Sulemanki and constructing a road between Multan in Pakistan’s Punjab province and New Delhi to boost trade and economic activities. He said that when he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a daylong private visit to India on April 8, the first point which was discussed was bilateral trade.”I believe trade will bring prosperity for the people of the two countries,” he said.


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