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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan hopes Obama to play role for regional peace

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 28, IRNA -- Pakistan on Thursday expressed the hope that President Barack Obama would take up issues that are central to ensuring peace and stability in the region during his upcoming visit to India.

President Obama will pay his first official visit to India next month and will first visit Taj Hotel, one of the targets of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, to remember the victims of the terror strike.

The US President will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and President Pratibha Patil. He will also address the Indian Parliament.

“The U.S being major power, Pakistan hopes it to play its role for regional peace,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said.

On Tuesday days before his visit to India, US President Barack Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari to reassure him that America’s relations with New Delhi did not affect its partnership with Pakistan.

President Obama will also visit Pakistan next year and has invited President Asif Ali Zardari to visit the U.S. earlier next year.

Replying to a question he reiterated Pakistan's stand that U.S. drone attacks in the tribal regions constitute breach of its sovereignty and the United States must revisit this policy that is also counter productive.

He told a questioner that there was no linkage between American assistance for Pakistan and operation in the tribal regions. The two countries are finalizing projects that would be funded through American assistance under a law known as Kerry-Lugar-Berman act.

The spokesman did not agree to a questioner that it was failure on the part of Pakistani authorities that the United States is not agreeable to civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan despite its growing energy needs.

“The United States is appreciative of Pakistan's energy requirements and hoped that the dialogue would continue.”

The spokesman hoped that the situation in Afghanistan would improve allowing project for import of gas from Turkmenistan to complete.

To another question he said our missions are in touch with those countries where majority of Pakistanis are in jails to seek consular access to them. He said several hundred Pakistanis have since been repatriated to the homeland including those from Oman during the last one month.

The spokesman said about 70 to 80% Pakistanis who are in jails abroad have been arrested on charges of drug trafficking. He said priority is being given to cases of those who are detained over minor crimes, have completed or are about to complete their sentences.

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