Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. – File Photo

PERTH: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan, United States and Afghanistan need to continue working on a joint strategy in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

In an interview to SBS television here, the Prime Minister said, “We need cooperation and we all together have to make a strategy to fight against them (terrorists).”

He said he discussed with leaders of member states of Commonwealth the need to win hearts and minds of people.

“We have to do something practically for them, because we have to go to the root cause of terrorism, which is because of poverty and illiteracy and we have to fight that.”

He said the United States has already committed to building of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan for the uplift of living standards of people.

“But we are expecting that they do it soon. Only military actions are not the solution and once you have a military action, you should have an exit strategy with a socioeconomic programme, so that there is a permanent solution.”

About Pak-US relations, he said, “there had been a lot of ups and downs but there is a realisation that they can understand our ground realities and I discussed with them that we need a political space, so that we can fight better.”

“And if there is no political space left for us, then individually no one can be able to perform well, till such time when we have the support of the masses.”

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has lost many people in fight against terrorism, which shows its resolve and commitment. “We have lost about 30,000 people and 5,000 brave soldiers including that of law enforcement agencies and how anybody can even doubt our intention”.

He said he discussed with the Australian Prime Minister the recent attacks on Australian and US forces in Afghanistan.

“It is bad news and we really condemn this incident,” he said adding, “We are fighting against terrorism and extremism and we paid such a huge price and therefore we can't afford that ISAF forces and NATO forces lose. We want them to win. Because we are directly affected by such incidents.”

He said forces that are working in Afghanistan, have to leave one day but “we are the neighbours and we have to live permanently”.

To a question about the statements coming from Pentagon, he said Pentagon has its assessment and many statements come from the US and “we don't want to answer each and every statement. We only deal things politically and through the Foreign Office.”

The Prime Minister said he met US Secretary Hillary Clinton during her visit to Pakistan. “We had a lengthy meeting and we almost agreed on all points that they wanted.”

Pakistan and United States have great cooperation in defence and intelligence sharing, he added.

Gilani said the US wanted to win and Pakistan is ready to support any initiative of Afghanistan for any reconciliation.

“We are ready to support them as Pakistan is part of the solution. Therefore we are ready to help them,” he remarked.

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...