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Pakistan Promises Full Cooperation with US - 2001-10-02

Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations, Shamshad Ahmad, has promised his nation's full cooperation in the battle against terrorism. Mr. Ahmad also called on the international body to take greater steps to eradicate the roots of terrorism.

Mr. Ahmad says Pakistan's response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington was swift, including a pledge of full support and unstinting cooperation in the battle against terrorism. "We were struck by a new face of universal evil that we call terrorism," he said. "This scourge knows no geographic boundaries and haunts all religions, all regions, countries, and societies. The terrorists did not strike at the World Trade Center. They struck at the world."

Mr. Ahmad says Pakistan is determined to support the United Nations, which has passed a particularly strong resolution condemning terrorism and nations which harbor terrorist groups, and freezing the assets of groups associated with terrorists.

The Pakistani ambassador acknowledged that this will be difficult for Pakistan where a segment of the population sympathizes with Afghanistan's ruling Taleban. The Taleban has refused international calls to turn over Osama bin Laden. Millions of Afghan refugees live in Pakistan and more are expected.

At the same time, Ambassador Ahmad says the international community should not confine its efforts to retaliation. Instead, he says the United Nations must take concrete steps to eliminate the poverty and injustice that breed despair and hatred, often leaving people open to the appeal of terrorist groups.