A crucial trilateral summit among the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan to chalk out a common strategy to combat Taliban and al-Qaeda got underway in Washington on Wednesday with President Asif Ali Zardari vowing to work with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to fight terrorism.
"We stand with our brother Karzai and the people of Afghanistan against this common threat, this menace, which I have called a cancer," Zardari said as the summit commenced with a meeting of the two Presidents with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
The high-level Pakistani delegation also included PPP chairman and Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
Against the backdrop of the growing threat of a Taliban takeover of Pakistan, Zardari said the seven-month-old democracy in his country should be "nurtured".
Clinton described terrorism as a "common threat" and said all parties should come together to fight the scourge.
The Afghan President, whose country is also witnessing the resurgence of Taliban, said terrorism is a "cancer for both Afghanistan and Pakistan" and the two countries should join hands in the fight against terror.
Clinton regretted the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan in airstrikes targeting militants, saying "I want to convey to the people of both Afghanistan and Pakistan that ... We will work very hard with your governments and with your leaders to avoid the loss of innocent civilian life."