Entries in Asif Ali Zardari (6)


UK, Afghanistan and Pakistan Have Constructive UN Pow-Wow

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Something positive has come out of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City this week -- even if it happened in the sidelines.

The leaders of the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan pledged that their governments would continue seeking regional peace, stability and development in the region as the war in Afghanistan nears its 11th anniversary.

British Prime Minister David Cameron met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to also discuss eliminating terrorism that still plagues Afghanistan and its often contentious neighbor.

In perhaps the most important sign of cooperation, Zardari said he supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to end the long war.

Zadari and Karzai also expressed their appreciation to Cameron for the United Kingdom's constant support in the region and for backing the socio-economic development of their people.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Meets With Pakistani President Zardari

Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- President Obama and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met briefly Monday on the sidelines of the NATO summit, but made no progress toward resolving their diplomatic standoff over supply routes in Afghanistan.

Their meeting, which was also attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, comes amid mounting tension over Pakistan’s refusal to re-open its Afghanistan border to NATO, forcing the U.S. and others to supply their forces through slower, alternative routes.

The channels would also be crucial to NATO’s exit plan to withdraw forces and military equipment from Afghanistan, posing a potential logistical nightmare for the alliance.  

“President Zardari shared with me his belief that these issues can get worked through,” President Obama later told reporters at a press conference. “We didn't anticipate that the supply line issue was going to be resolved by this summit. We knew that before we arrived in Chicago. But we're actually making diligent progress on it.”

“I think ultimately, everybody in the alliance, all of ISAF and, most importantly, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan understand that neither country is going to have the kind of security, stability and prosperity that it needs unless they can resolve some of these outstanding issues and join in common purpose with the international community in making sure that these regions are not harboring extremists,” Obama added.

Pakistan closed the routes after two dozen Pakistani soldiers were killed in a U.S. airstrike last November.

Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been deteriorating since President Obama ordered the secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani compound last year.

“I don't want to paper over real challenges there,” Obama said. “There's no doubt that there have been tensions between ISAF and Pakistan, the United States and Pakistan over the last several months… But ultimately, it is in our interest to see a successful, stable Pakistan, and it is in Pakistan's interests to work with us and the world community to ensure that they themselves are not consumed by extremism that is in their midst. And so we're going to keep on going at this.”

The three presidents met after a larger meeting with NATO leaders on the transition in Afghanistan. Obama also had a brief one-on-one conversation with Zardari as they made their way into the meeting earlier in the morning, according to the White House.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistan-India Talks Could Lead to Renewal of Relations

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- While their meeting in New Delhi Sunday lasted only 30 minutes, the conversation between Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was nonetheless significant.

It marked the first time a Pakistani head of state had visited India in seven years, and signaled the possible reboot of normalized relations between the longtime enemies.

Singh said their brief discussion touched on all bilateral issues affecting India and Pakistan, and he was "very satisfied with the outcome of talks."

In fact, the Indian prime minister was so encouraged that he promised to visit Pakistan in the near future, a prospect Zardari said would help foster better relations after 65 years of bitterness caused by the 1947 partition of the subcontinent into Islamic Pakistan and secular India.

The two countries have fought three wars during that time, while the threat of nuclear destruction has existed for decades.

For now, Pakistan and India seem more concerned with forgetting what has happened in the past and moving beyond earlier disputes to forge a lasting peace.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Karzai in Pakistan for Peace Talks; Admits Secret Talks with Taliban

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Islamabad Thursday to hold talks, believed to be aimed at making peace with the Taliban, with Pakistani officials.

The day before, Karzai admitted to the Wall Street Journal that his government has engaged in secret talks with the militant group in an effort to end the 10-year war.  This comes after it was confirmed last month that the U.S. has been holding secret talks with the Taliban and was trying to get Afghanistan on board.

"There have been contacts between the U.S. government and the Taliban, there have been contacts between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and there have been some contacts that we have made, all of us together, including the Taliban," Karzai told the newspaper Wednesday.

The Afghan leader didn't disclose any more details, fearing it could damage the process, and Taliban spokesmen couldn't be reached for confirmation.

Later on Thursday, Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari were met in Islamabad by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss trade issues.

The three leaders are expected to hold a press conference on Friday.´╗┐

Recently, Vice President Joe Biden made headlines when he said of the al Qaeda-linked group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in Afghanistan, "The Taliban, per se, is not our enemy." The Obama administration supported his statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pakistani President Warns of Military Takeover

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is hoping to head off a potential military coup by imploring Pakistanis to reject attempts at usurping democracy.

Zardari made his remarks Tuesday in southern Sindh province on the fourth anniversary of the assassination of his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Bhutto had just returned from exile two months earlier and was rumored to be seeking a return to power when she was slain on Dec. 27, 2007.

Zardari, who was later elected president, told his supporters that his wife's enemies "may have succeeded in eliminating her physically but [her] ideas and ideals … shall never be killed."

He also told the thousands who gathered at the family shrine to pay tribute to his wife that it was up to them "to defend and protect democracy and democratic institutions in the country and foil all conspiracies against it."

Zardari has always had uneasy relations with Pakistan's powerful military and his camp believes they will either try to remove him by force or through the judiciary.  His ouster would be a blow to Washington, which considers Zardari one of its strongest allies in Pakistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Reaches Out to Pakistani President to Secure Relationship Doyle/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Barack Obama reached out to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Sunday morning in an effort to convey his condolences after two dozen Pakistani soldiers were killed this past week along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

White House officials report that Obama set the record straight that the attack was not deliberate. He also highlighted that the United States was poised to launch a full investigation on the incident.

In an effort to secure the relationship between the U. S. and Pakistan, both parties confirmed they would stay in contact.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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