President Zardari: Pakistan Suffered Heaviest Losses From Terrorism

Posted September 25th, 2012 at 7:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari says few countries have lost so many people to terrorism or invested so much into fighting terrorists as his has.

Listing the number of civilians, soldiers and police, as well as his own wife, who were killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Mr. Zardari told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that establishing safety and security has been his administration's primary concern.

Pakistan's president condemned violence in the name of Islam, but urged international leaders to discourage abuse of freedom of speech that incites hatred of one nation or religious group against another.

President Zardari said Pakistan supports mutual respect among members of the international community, including respect for one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Islamabad has reacted angrily after a covert U.S. operation on Pakistani territory resulted in the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani government and its secret service have been accused of allowing terrorist groups to operate from Pakistan.

Mr. Zardari said his government is working with the government of neighboring Afghanistan toward peace and stability in the region and against cross-border crime, especially drug trafficking.

He also called for reform of the United Nations, aimed at making it a more equitable and democratic institution, and for recognition of a Palestinian state that would be embraced as a member of the United Nations.