I’m Disenchanted with India: Zardari

Washington, June 2 (IANS): Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said he was disappointed with India but insisted he can never be a hawk vis-a-vis New Delhi.

"I'm a little disenchanted with India. I expected the largest democracy in the world to behave much more maturely. We are facing a threat on the eastern and western borders," Zardari told Newsweek in an interview.

The president spoke in response to a question on Islamabad's call to extradite the lone surviving 2008 Mumbai attacker, Pakistan's Ajmal Amir Kasab.

Pakistan has repeatedly said that terrorists who killed 166 people in Mumbai were "non-state actors" even if they were Pakistanis. He reiterared the point to Newsweek.

"This new-age terror has created a phenomenon where a few people can take entire states to war. The fact that these people happen to belong to Pakistan or India or Bangladesh is immaterial. They are non-state actors, and states should behave like states."

But he stressed that he could "never be a hawk (on India). I'm a liberal by nature and democrat by principles. War is never an option as far as I'm concerned".

India and Pakistan have fought three major wars since their independence in 1947.

Zardari also sought to distance his country from Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who tried to bomb the Times Square in New York.

"Shahzad, although of Pakistani origin, is an American national. There is no cure for badness," he said.

He added that cooperation between Pakistan and the US was good on matters related to anti-terrorism.

"We are fighting to save Pakistan. We’re working on it with a map in our hand... We’d like to know who is financing the Afghan Taliban, and who’s financing the Pakistani Taliban."

Asked if his government could collapse, he said: "...I’m an optimist to the core, and I don’t think the government and parliament are in any danger."



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