Zardari asks US to plan for Pakistan's economic development

Islamabad, August 2 (IANS) Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has urged the international community, particularly the US, to prepare a plan for his country's economic development and stability that has been badly hit by terrorism.

Zardari said this during a meeting Thursday with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Islamabad, Xinhua quoted a presidential spokesman as saying.

"The people of Pakistan have immensely suffered during the ongoing war on militancy and terrorism. Therefore, the international community is under obligation to give our people peace dividend through massive economic assistance, energy development and greater market access," the president said.

Pakistan-US bilateral relations, reconciliation in Afghanistan, drone attacks and other global and regional issues were discussed during the meeting.

Zardari reiterated that the drone attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and also cast negative impact on the mutual desire of both countries to forge a cordial and cooperative relationship and to ensure peace and stability in the region.

He called for an end to the drone attacks and said these strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and also fuel anti-American feelings in Pakistan.

He reiterated Pakistan's commitment to continue to play its helpful role in restoring peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

Kerry also met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and discussed bilateral matters.

Kerry delivered an invitation to the prime minister from US President Barrack Obama to visit America.

Sharif also raised the issue of drone strikes and demanded an immediate end to them.

Both countries also agreed to revive the strategic dialogue, suspended following the NATO attack on a Pakistani post in November 2011 that left 24 soldiers dead.

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