Taliban pose a threat to US, Pak, India, says Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has acknowledged that Taliban, with whom his government reached a truce deal in the restive Swat valley days ago, are "murderous thugs and militants" who "pose a danger to Pakistan, the US and India".
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Published on Feb 20, 2009 05:48 PM IST
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PTI | By, Washington

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has acknowledged that Taliban, with whom his government reached a truce deal in the restive Swat valley days ago, are "murderous thugs and militants" who "pose a danger to Pakistan, the US and India".

US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, who is just back from Pakistan, told CNN in Washington: "He (Zardari) doesn't disagree that the people who are running Swat now are murderous thugs and militants and they pose a danger not only to Pakistan, but to the United States and India".

When specifically asked if Zardari gave him any commitment, Holbrooke, who conveyed Washington's concern to Zardari on telephone, said: "That I don't know. But the issue isn't whether he signs the deal or not, the issue is the negotiations themselves."

The United States has conveyed strong concern to Zardari over the truce deal with a Taliban-linked group for enforcing Shariah law in the restive Swat Valley.

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are worried that this deal should not turn into a surrender to the Taliban militants, Holbrooke told Zardari in a telephonic conversation.

Holbrooke said the US is worried over the peace deal as it gives the Taliban the authority in a critically important part of the country.

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