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Will not let Islam be hijacked: Zardari

23 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that terrorist groups seek to impose their agenda but Pakistan will not let Islam be hijacked, adding that the country will continue to fight against the dark and destructive agenda of terrorists.

President Zardari was addressing the D8 conference after taking over chairmanship of the group from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for two years.

Calling for D8 countries to work as a catalyst for peace and prosperity in the world, President Zardari said Pakistan and its people want peace, adding that the Pakistani government is making unprecedented moves to make peace with India and also supports the peace process in Afghanistan. He condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza and said Palestinians have been awaiting promised self-determination for decades and the D8 nations must look into this matter.

Recognising Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's efforts to negotiate peace between Hamas and Israel, President Zardari congratulated the Egyptian premier, adding that Pakistan was proud of his leadership. President Zardari appreciated Indonesia's support for Pakistan and said that the nation has a glowing record of standing by Pakistan in its hour of need.

Speaking about the D8 nations collectively, President Zardari said that the D8 was a group of very important nations and their relations were beyond ordinary partnership. Endorsing the core values of D8, namely peace, dialogue, cooperation, justice and democracy, President Zardari said that the D8 nations have the potential to advance the long-term objectives of their agenda, adding that Islamabad will build upon the roadmap.

Reiterating the importance of democracy, President Zardari reminded that democracy was at the very heart of Pakistan's identity as it was founded through democratic means. The president said one of the most serious threats facing Pakistan is international terrorism. He said we will fight for the spirit of our great religion that our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) gave to us.

He said we are facing daunting challenges today, and noted that the people of Kashmir continue to suffer unjust occupation and for decades they have been awaiting the promised self-determination. The president emphasised that we must address these issues.

End.

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