Pakistan’s president is insisting his country does not want a war with India, saying that dialogue is the best weapon. Asif Ali Zardari made the comments at a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the assassination of his wife, the former premier Benazir Bhutto. Thousands of people gathered at Bhutto’s tomb, exactly a year to the day she was killed. Zardari used the anniversary to talk about relations with India, which have worsened in the month since the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
The international community is trying to defuse tension between the two nuclear-armed countries, with reports of Islamabad moving troops to the border. Zardari said: “We have lost our people. We have lost our own. In spite of them, and in spite of that, we do not talk (about) war. We do not talk about vengeance. We do talk about the fact that we shall avenge ourselves in history.” Zardari admitted his country is plagued by terrorism, which it needs to tackle. An al Qaeda-linked militant is thought to have been responsible for the murder of Bhutto, though supporters are calling for a UN inquiry to shed more light on the case. Pakistani-based militants are also being blamed for the Mumbai attacks, but Pakistan denies Indian claims that it is doing nothing to target extremism.