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'Indo-Pakistan peace process will go ahead'

In an interview with Vinod Sharma, Zardari says their policy was not time-oriented or individual specific.

world Updated: Feb 25, 2008 01:58 IST

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said his party would take forward the ongoing dialogue with India as the Indo-Pak peace process was initiated way back in 1972 by the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and reaffirmed by his slain wife Benazir in her 1988 talks with Rajiv Gandhi.



In an exclusive interview at the heavily-guarded Zardari House, the

Hindustan Times

probed Benazir's widower on the likelihood of the new PPP-led regime abandoning the composite dialogue initiated in 2004 by President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister AB Vajpayee. "Let me correct you. It wasn't initiated by Musharraf. It was initiated by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972 and was reiterated in 1988 by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto," he said. "The PPP is bound by its legacy and its policy that is infinite. It's not time-oriented or individual specific." <b1>



Zardari was forthright in voicing his party's commitment to fighting terror: "We are directly at threat. The world is behind us. Pakistan cannot help but be serious about it." He said there was room for building public opinion against terrorism that has started hurting Pakistan. "Opinion against terror is there already. It just has to be gathered along with the strength to fight it."



He said the Bhuttos always had good relations with the Gandhi family. "Rahul Gandhi called up to condole. There was a talk of a meeting in Dubai (after Benazir's assassination) but the dates didn't work out," he said.



On government formation, he claimed having reached a broad understanding with Nawaz Sharif's PML-N, the ANP's Asfandyar Wali, Fazlur Rahman's Jamiat-ul-ulema-e-Islam and Altaf Hussain's MQM. The last two were close to Musharraf in the previous PML-Q dispensation.