BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhuanet) — The world should recognize the sacrifice and contribution Pakistan has made in anti-terrorism war, visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here Friday.
He also urged the world to help Pakistan build up its capacity for fighting terrorism.
Pakistan has been a frontline state in fighting the war against terrorism and extremists, and the war has been very difficult, said Gilani during an exclusive interview with Xinhuanet.com.
The country has made great sacrifices since a huge number of its soldiers and policemen, as well as innocent civilians, were killed in the fight against terrorism, said Gilani, who pays an official visit to China from Tuesday to Friday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
“Thirty thousand innocent children, women and others have been martyred; 5,000 brave solders have been martyred,” Gilani said, adding that personnel with the law enforcement agents like police and frontier corp. have been killed, with an equal number being disabled.
“Therefore, I think there is a huge price,” he noted, “The world should recognize that this is the price we have paid.”
In addition to its huge sacrifice, Pakistan also contributed to the anti-terrorism war by arresting terrorists by itself or exchanging information with other countries, he said.
“We have assisted the United States, and we have assisted the CIA in exchange of information,” he said.
“Many high value targets have been under arrest or identified by Pakistan,” he noted. “There are also 248 other terrorists and al-Qaeda activists arrested with the help of Pakistan.”
“Now everybody has started realizing that this is the contribution of Pakistan,” he noted.
“So the world should, instead of criticizing Pakistan, understand there is a price we have paid,” he pointed out. “They should help Pakistan to build the capacity to fight terrorism and extremists.”
On May 2, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that a U.S. operation had killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in his compound in northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad.
In the wake of the U.S. raid, Gilani has lashed out at allegations Pakistan knew where bin Laden was hiding, saying Pakistan was not solely to blame for the failure to detect bin Laden’s presence.