Zardari to pitch for military equipment during his US visit

     Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari intends to link the start of a full-scale military operation in Waziristan with the provision of military equipment from the US. According to sources, he would press on President Barack Obama to expedite the delivery of these weapons, when he meets him in New York on September 24 to help Islamabad in meeting its urgent needs for adequate military equipments to continue with counter-terrorism campaign. The Nation quoted sources as saying that Zardari is likely to proceed on a hectic visit to the US next week to attend UN General Assembly as well as Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) summit. Sources said that Pakistan has been in talks with the USA for more than five years now, seeking requisite military hardware to bolster its effective role in war against terror and as part of counter-terrorism efforts, but failed to secure sustained supply. "Pakistan has been in talks not only with the US but other developed countries for military aid to meets its requirements," said Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit. He said Pakistan has been pursuing a list of ten to twelve items including gunship helicopters and night vision goggles firmed up by the Ministry of Defence. He did not comment when asked whether Zardari would take up the matter with President Obama with special reference to military operation in Waziristan. However, other sources privy to these developments were of the view that Zardari would make it clear to the US that war against terror would adversely be impacted if US and other developed countries failed to support Pakistan's counter terrorism efforts.

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