Pakistan's new president says his country will not allow foreign powers to
violate its territory in the name of fighting terrorism.
But Asif Ali
Zardari, addressing Parliament on Saturday for the first time since
his election, stressed that rooting out terrorism and extremism is one of the
most important tasks facing his government.
Mr. Zardari said he wants to
liberate Pakistan from what he called "the shackles of poverty, hunger,
terrorism, and disunity". He called on lawmakers to work to bring the tribal
areas into the political mainstream by granting the people on the northern
frontier representative rule.
He also stressed the need for an
independent judiciary and for presidential term limits.
Mr. Zardari was
sworn in as Pakistan's president last week, formally returning the country to
civilian rule nine years after Pervez Musharraf seized power in a military
Pakistan's military and political
leaders have sharply criticized a series of recent U.S. strikes on suspected
terrorist targets based in Pakistani tribal regions.
Mr. Zardari said
earlier this week, following talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown,
that he does not believe there will be any more cross-border operations.
Mr. Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto,
signed the presidential oath in Islamabad and immediately pledged to work with
Afghanistan to fight terrorism.