Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that he is “disenchanted” with the way India handled the bilateral relations in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks as he expected New Delhi to “behave much more maturely“.
“I’m a little disenchanted with India. I expected the largest democracy in the world to behave much more maturely.
We are facing a threat on the eastern and western borders,” Mr. Zardari said in an interview with Newsweek magazine.
“This new—age terror has created a phenomenon where a few people can take entire states to war. The fact that these people happen to belong to Pakistan or India or Bangladesh is immaterial. They are non—state actors, and states should behave like states,” he said.
Mr. Zardari was responding to a question on what would happen next between the two countries following Pakistan’s reported demand for the extradition of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani attacker sentenced to death by an Indian court for his role in the Mumbai attacks.
However, diplomatic sources told PTI that Pakistan has not formally demanded the extradition of Kasab.
A request has been made for access to Kasab or to the Indian magistrates and police official who recorded his confession to facilitate the trial of seven suspects in Pakistan, the sources said.
Asked if he had become a hawk on India, Mr. Zardari replied: “I can never be a hawk. I’m a liberal by nature and democrat by principles. War is never an option, as far as I’m concerned.”
Replying to a question about the intense US reaction to the botched car bomb attack in New York by Pakistani— American Faisal Shahzad, the President said: “I don’t think you should pay much heed to the rumour mills in Washington or Islamabad. Shahzad, although of Pakistani origin, is an American national. There is no cure for badness. But the cooperation with the US is good.”
Mr. Zardari also indicated that Pakistan would act on its own in deciding about launching a military operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan tribal agency.
Pakistan has been under pressure from the US to move troops into the region since the arrest of Shahzad as American investigators believe he received bomb—making training there.
“One works with one’s own game plan. We are fighting to save Pakistan. So we’re working on it with a map in our hand. I was in America when the Taliban took Buner (in northwest Pakistan in April 2009), and the press took me to town. I told them we’ll handle it, and we did,” he said.
Mr. Zardari said Pakistani authorities would like to know who is financing the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban.
“We haven’t got any closer to knowing that,” he said.