Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

'We will not negotiate with terrorists,' says President Zardari

Latest update : 2009-03-04

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (pictured) says his country will not negotiate with "extremist Taliban and terrorists", adding that the attack Tuesday on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore illustrates the challenges posed by extremists.

Reuters - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that his government will not negotiate with Taliban militants, adding that the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team showed the evil the country faced.

The Pakistani leader, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, rejected criticism of an agreement reached last month to enforce Islamic law in the troubled Swat Valley region, saying it was part of a process to wean away people from insurgency.

"We have not and will not negotiate with extremists Taliban and terrorists," he said, adding that authorities had entered into talks only with traditional local clerics to help restore peace in the region.

"The clerics with whom we have engaged are not Taliban. Indeed, in our dialogue we'd made it clear that it is their responsibility to rein in and neutralise Taliban and other insurgents," he said.

Taliban militants announced a ceasefire and Pakistani forces halted military operations in Swat last month after a cleric, Maulana Sufi Mohammad, struck a pact with the government of North West Frontier Province to enforce Islamic law in the valley.

Critics in the West and Pakistan fear that by agreeing to introduce sharia in Swat, where militants have burnt down schools for girls and conducted public executions, the government has risked encouraging the Islamist militants by adopting policies of appeasement.

"Moreover, we have not and will not condone the closing of girls' schools in pockets of Swat Valley. Indeed the government insists that the education of young women is mandatory," Zardari wrote.

Zardari's comments came a day after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore killing eight people, the first major attack on an international sporting team since Palestinian militants attacked Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Six members of the Sri Lankan team and a British coach were wounded and the squad has since returned home.

"..terrorist attack against the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore shows once more the evil we are confronting," Zardari said in the article.

He also touched upon a political crisis triggered by a court ruling against his arch rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, saying this was the decision of an independent judiciary and must be respected.

Zardari dismissed the provincial government in Punjab led by Sharif's party after the Supreme Court disqualified brothers Nawaz and Shahbaz from holding elective office.

The Sharifs say Zardari was behind the court decision and their party has begun street agitation in cities across Punjab.

"In a mature polity when one loses in court, one respects the decision of the court and moves on, seeking other constitutional remedies. It is not in the nature of democracy to appeal court decisions to the streets," Zardari said.  
 

Date created : 2009-03-04

COMMENT(S)