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Pakistan woos China for anti-terror cooperation

By Song Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2011-06-28 21:04
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During an exclusive interview with chinadaily.com.cn on Tuesday, former prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz said terrorism-controlling activities need to be re-examined and Pakistan can learn from China.

Aziz's visit is one of several exchanges between China and Pakistan this year, the 60th in which the two countries have had bilateral ties.

Pakistan woos China for anti-terror cooperation
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
Aziz admits the surge of terrorism is hurting Pakistan and it is costing lots of lives as well as creating a level of uncertainty. He said China could give Pakistan a lot of advice on how to tackle these complicated issues.

The former prime minister said China has been a close partner of Pakistan's security and armed forces because both countries strive for peace, want to live with dignity and respect, and have no evil desires on any country. Aziz believes maintaining a level of defensive military capability is important for all countries to live in peace.

However, Aziz stressed terrorism is "not just a security issue", but "a battle to win the hearts and minds of people".

Talking about the impact withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan will have on Pakistan, Aziz said Pakistani people are very pleased that American troops are reducing. He said the presence of foreign troops can only create discomfort for many people, and if the security of Afghanistan is eventually left upon its government and its people, it will reduce problems which lead to extremism and terrorism.

He added the significance of the regions being connected. "If Afghanistan is in trouble, then we will be in trouble. Therefore a peaceful, strong and vagrant Afghanistan is critically important element in the sense of security of Pakistan,” he said.

Azizi said foreign troops leaving will give the people of Afghanistan a sense of pride by being able to control their own destiny, it will ease tension and people will see a gradual return to peace.

"A situation when nobody gains, then everybody loses. Terrorism is no friend to anybody. By killing innocent people, you won't achieve anything," he concluded.

Aziz is in China for a nine-day visit from June 26 to July 3, during which he will visit Beijing, Tianjin and Urumqi.