Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari had opposed inking a peace agreement with Taliban in the Swat Valley but was “forced to agree to it”, US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has said.
Testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Pakistan, Holbrooke informed US lawmakers that Zardari had told him about this during their meeting on Monday night.
Zardari arrived in Washington Monday to attend the tri-lateral summit, to be held ön Wednesday, with his counterparts from the US and Afghanistan.
Holbrooke said he has already met Zardari after his arrival in Washington.
Referring to his meeting with Pakistan’s President, Holbrooke said Zardari had told him that “he had opposed the Swat Deal” from the very beginning and that he was “forced to sign it.”
“Remember, Zardari had opposed it and he was forced to agree to it,” he said.
Holbrooke said following the failure of the peace deal the Pakistani Army had moved inside the valley to confront extremists.
Zardari last month signed into law the peace agreement, which laid down imposing of Shariah law in Pakistan’s Swat valley, after the Parliament endorsed it strongly.