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Zardari again blames 'non-state actors' for terrorism

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has again blamed terrorist attacks on "non-state actors and supporters of dictatorship" in Pakistan.

world Updated: Sep 19, 2009 14:49 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has again blamed terrorist attacks on "non-state actors and supporters of dictatorship" in Pakistan.

In remarks made ahead of what he described as coming "leadership level" talks in New York, Zardari also called for "meaningful progress" toward resolving the dispute with India over Kashmir.

"Terrorist attacks are always directed at democracies. They are also directed against the peace process with India that we have initiated," he told an audience at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London on Friday.

"Non state actors and supporters of dictatorship have vested interest in fanning conflict. They do not want change in Pakistan to take root," he said.

"The international community should keep this in mind as well. It needs to beef up support for the democratic government to fight the militants."

Zardari expressed appreciation of British aid of nearly $1.1 billion to Pakistan spread over the next four years, but said his country needed a massive $100 billion to fight terrorism, set up alternatives to radical Islamic schools and repair its economy.

"The world does not have the money," he admitted, but said he will nevertheless press US Barrack Obama for urgent funds in a meeting in New York next week.

He said Pakistan was pursuing a policy of building "cooperative relationships with Afghanistan and India. We believe that regional dialogue and cooperation is the way forward."

"With India, after the Mumbai attacks, we have had bilateral engagements at leadership level. The next round of talks will take place in New York."

He called for the revival of the composite dialogue process and added: "We also believe that meaningful progress towards resolution of the Kashmir dispute is necessary for durable peace and stability in South Asia."