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Zardari for regional anti-terror strategy

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has favoured a “regional strategy” to counter terrorism, saying all countries in the region must work together to halt the free flow of weapons, drugs and money.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2009 11:42 IST

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has favoured a “regional strategy” to counter terrorism, saying all countries in the region must work together to halt the free flow of weapons, drugs and money.

“It is time that we all recognise that terrorism has roots across the region. A regional strategy therefore needs to be developed,” Zardari told participants of a upcoming conference of Pakistani and Afghan parliamentarians, experts and editors in Islamabad on Monday night.

His comments came shortly after police ended an eight-hour terrorist siege of a police training centre in Lahore that left nine persons dead and over 90 injured.

The countries of the region must work together to halt the free flow of weapons, drugs and money and “this must be done through verifiable means and based on consensus,” Zardari said.

The strategic review by the US has endorsed the need for a regional approach and a comprehensive strategy that includes development as a key element. “This is a welcome development. Hopefully it will herald a change,” he said.

Noting that Afghanistan and Pakistan face the common challenge of fighting terrorism and extremism, he said, “together we must meet the challenge. We are determined to reverse the tide of terrorism.”