Pakistan looks for new help fighting terrorism

Updated: 2011-08-16 07:07

By Ma Liyao (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The security situation remains tough in Pakistan, and the country needs continuing international support to fight against terrorism, said Masood Khan, Pakistani ambassador to China.

At least six people were injured on Monday morning in the latest blast in Charsadda, a city in northwestern Pakistan, local TV channel Samaa reported.

The country also suffered at least two bomb blasts on Sunday, killing 17, when the people were celebrating Pakistan's 64th Independence Day. Dozens were hurt in the attacks.

Pakistan has recently been ranked as one of most dangerous countries from terrorist attack in the world by global analyst firm Maplecroft.

"Pakistan has been hit the hardest by terrorists in the recent past, and there's been no change after the killing of Osama bin Laden. We are trying to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," Khan said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

Terrorists have started to use teenagers for attacks, which has made anti-terrorism more complicated for Pakistan.

A suicide attack by a teenage girl killed seven policemen on Thursday in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The girl blew up a bomb strapped to her body near a police checkpoint shortly after a bomb attached to a pushcart exploded, Xinhua reported.

"We are appealing to young people that they should come back and play their role as responsible citizens - and not be induced by these terrorists, misguided, to take them down this path of destruction," Khan said.

Most attacks occur in the western part of the country, near the Afghanistan border. The unstable situation in Afghanistan is one of the reasons why the security situation in Pakistan is grim, experts say.

The country has pursued a "three Ds" strategy regarding anti-terrorism: dialogue, development and deterrence.

"The policy is succeeding, but we need support from the international community, particularly our neighbors," Khan said.

Pakistan and China have been fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism for quite some time, and the cooperation at various levels has been successful, Khan said.

Last July, the two countries jointly conducted weeklong anti-terror exercises involving both ground troops and air forces. It was the third round of joint anti-terrorism exercises in the past seven years.

"Pakistan is very clear with its solidarity with China. China's security is Pakistan's security. If somebody disrupts China's security, it hurts the security of Pakistan," Khan said.

"Whenever our leaders meet, they discuss the issue of terrorism, and they consider the most effective strategies to frustrate the designs of terrorists," he added.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will be in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region for the upcoming China-Eurasia Expo 2011.


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