Amid the diplomatic row between the US and Pakistan over the secret raid against Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday that Washington has assured Islamabad of not resorting to unilateral action inside its territory. Henceforth, the two countries will conduct joint operations against militants. “If there is any information about a high-value target, that information needs to be shared and there will be a joint operation,” Gilani said at an interactive meeting at Peking University in Beijing.
As of Thursday, talks were in progress with senior US administration officials over the issue, Pakistan’s state run APP news agency reported.
Only Chinese and Pakistani journalists were permitted to cover the university function, as part of a four day official visit of Gilani, who arrived in China on Tuesday. Responding to “concerns of the students” over the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, Gilani said his government had condemned the US military operation in Abbottabad, close to the federal capital Islamabad on May 2. “We take it as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he said, highlighting the unanimous resolution passed by the Parliament in this regard. Gilani said Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state and condemned all types of violation of its sovereignty.
Appreciating China’s support amid mounting global pressure on Pakistan to do more to combat terrorism, Gilani said Beijing was the first country to have extended full support to Islamabad in a difficult hour. “For its part, Pakistan has always strongly supported China. We have also contributed effectively to the fight against the ‘Three Evils’, particularly efforts to defeat the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) terrorists,” based in China’s Muslim Uygur majority Xinjiang, he said.
The Pakistani leader said the acts of extremism and terrorism were not confined to Pakistan alone and it was not possible for any single country to act against these incidents on its own. Gilani said bin Laden was a foreign terrorist and has damaged Pakistan a lot. He said the world must recognise the sacrifices of Pakistan, like China has done. “No country can fight extremism or terrorism and stabilise Afghanistan without the help of Pakistan,” he underlined.
Gilani said Pakistan was part of the solution and without its assistance there can be no peace and stability in the region. He said Pakistan was in a unique position and has a border that passes through a difficult terrain with Afghanistan.