President Asif Zardari pays a six day visit to China; Both nations vow to jointly fight the menace of terrorism; Zardari: Pakistan and China are the “cornerstones of stability in South Asia;
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  • President Asif Zardari was on a six day visit to China during which he met Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. During his meeting with Hu Jintao, the two leaders resolved to jointly fight the threat of terrorism. Both countries signed six agreements in various fields. China pledged to provide 50 million Yuan for the purpose implementing agreed projects.1 In a related development, in his meeting with the Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, Zardari stated that Pakistan and China are the “cornerstones of stability in South Asia”. Keeping in view that this was President Zardari’s fifth visit to China, PM Jiabao appreciated the degree of significance Pakistan’s President attaches to China Pak ties.2

    Meanwhile, Zardari made it clear in Beijing that Pakistan was not going “hand over” the perpetrators of 26/11 to India. Instead, he said, these “non state actors” would be put to trial in Pakistan itself.3 However, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik reportedly pledged to impose strict laws against terrorism in Pakistan. Malik was speaking during a meeting with the Ulemas in Islamabad on July 4 in which the Ulemas promised their support in eliminating militancy.4

    In other developments, US has alleged that Najibullah Zazi was guided by the Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan in the executing of plan to bomb the New York subway. This was stated by David Kris, the Prosecutor in this case and the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Justice Department.5 Prime Minister Gilani admitted that that the war on terror has adversely impacted the economy of Pakistan. He was speaking during a meeting with a delegation of the International Crisis Group (ICG) in Islamabad on July 6.6