The improving trade ties between Pakistan and India, terrorism and violent anti-US protests were among a host of issues that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari discussed with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when they met here on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

Mr. Zardari brought up the issue of the anti-Islam movie with Ms. Clinton and the two leaders “spent quite a bit of time talking about the violence throughout the region,” that has resulted in the aftermath of the movie, a State Department official told reporters after the meeting on Monday.

Ms. Clinton reiterated that those who provoke violence cannot be tolerated and it undermines the sovereignty of states.

Over 20 people were killed across Pakistan in violent protests against the film deemed offensive to Islam.

The Pakistani side also stressed that there was “zero tolerance” for both violence and extremism.

Mr. Zardari, who will address the world body today, was accompanied by Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

The two leaders also discussed the “growing trade relationship between Pakistan and India even as noted in the recent visit... (and) discussion of the Commerce Secretaries (of the two countries),” the official added.

The two leaders also talked about continued counter— terrorism cooperation, including efforts by the US to squeeze the Haqqani Network, which was recently designated as a foreign terrorist organisation.

The State Department official also said that the US and Pakistan hope to sign a bilateral investment treaty by the end of the year to boost economic ties.

As the two countries aim to focus on building relations, significant working groups constituted between them will be meeting before the end of the year, among them being one on counter—terrorism and law enforcement, which will address counter IEDs.

“So there’s a lot that we’re re—energising at this point. I don’t think anyone wants to set expectations too high or too broad. But I think the general trajectory is certainly one that we’ve worked very, very hard,” the officials said.

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