Asif Zardari in the US: World is safer under President Bush; Fighting continues in Bajaur and Darra; Kayani: Army committed to fight the war against terror; Afghan Consul General abducted in Peshawar
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  • Newly-elected Pakistan President Asif Zardari on a visit to the US met with President Bush on September 23 in New York. The two leaders discussed the situation in FATA and reports noted that President Bush promised to respect Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty1. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates had however earlier noted that the US had a right to strike at terrorist outfits within Pakistan and that Islamabad was expected to cooperate with it as a “willing partner2.”

    Meanwhile, in an interview to the Washington Post, President Zardari noted that the world was a “safer place” due to the able leadership of President Bush. Zardari further asserted that the “axis of evil is growing.” He however did not specify who constituted this particular axis3.

    Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) revealed that at least 50 militants were killed in Darra in security operations on September 234. 14 people were also reportedly killed and several injured when militant targets in the Bajaur Agency were attacked by helicopter gun ships and artillery5. Amidst these developments, Army Chief General Kayani on September 21 asserted that the army was committed to fight the war against terror6.

    In other developments, Afghan Consul General Abdul Khaliq Farahi was kidnapped on September 22 in Peshawar by unidentified persons7.