‘I will suck oxygen out of their system so there will be no Talibs’:
Zardari ready for US training of army anti-terror units
* Vows to rid country of terror threat, calls Taliban ‘cancer for society’
* Says anyone not conforming with govt policies will be thrown out
Daily Times Monitor
NEW YORK: We want to co-operate with the United States in training specialised counter-insurgency army units for use in the Tribal Areas, President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview on Sunday.
Talking to International Herald Tribune, the president said, “I mean business. We will train ourselves with the US present as trainers to raise the quality of certain forces.”
But he warned against US military incursions inside Pakistan. “It is counter-productive and a political price is paid,” he said. President Zardari did not mince words in his determination to defeat a growing Taliban insurgency, the Herald said.
“It is my decision that we will go after them, we will free this country,” he said, “Yes, this is my first priority because I will have no country otherwise. I will be the president of what?”
After the massive bomb attack on the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, that’s a fair question. Pakistan’s finances in a free fall, its security crumbling, the nuclear-armed state stands at the brink just as a civilian takes charge after the futile zigzagging of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s US-supported rule, the Herald said.
President Zardari was asked if the assassination of his wife last year motivated him to confront insurgency. “Of course,” he said, “It’s my revenge. I take it every day.”
Cancer: He continued, “I will fight them because they are a cancer to my society, not because of my wife only, but because they are a cancer, yes, and they did kill the mother of my children, so their way of life is what I want to kill. I will suck the oxygen out of their system so there will be no Talibs.”
He said he was concerned but not fearful for his life. “Because I don’t want to die so soon, I have a job to do,” he said.
Billions of dollars in US aid to Pakistan’s former military government have not stopped the Tribal Areas from becoming the new Al Qaeda-Taliban central, the report said.
It said money was worthless unless some basic things changed in democratic Pakistan. It alleged that one was the double game played by the nation’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), in an effort to ensure Afghanistan remained weak.
Conformation: “The ISI will be handled, that is our problem,” Zardari told the Herald. “We don’t hunt with the hound and run with the hare, which is what Musharraf was doing.”
He said, “We’ve changed a lot of things and a lot more will happen, and anyone not conforming with my government’s policy will be thrown out,” Zardari said, specifically mentioning the ISI.
Zardari said his ‘new medicine’ for the Tribal Areas would include industrial investment, incentives for alternative crops to poppy and a firm message that ‘we are hitting the Taliban’ so make sure ‘your space is not being used by them’.
Zadari added, “I am not a warmonger. I am not interested in physical might, which is not the expression of my strength. I have many strengths, and one of them is that I can take pain, not give pain.” (Daily Times)