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Zardari Assesses War on Taliban, Appeals for Aid

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari describes his country's offensive against the Taliban and other militant threats, and calls for more aid in this new "war of the world."

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  • MARGARET WARNER:

    President Zardari, thanks for being with us.

  • PAKISTANI PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    Thank you for having me.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Now your Army has launched this major offensive in the Swat Valley. What is the state of play right now? How much progress has the Army made?

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    I think the last count we've managed to dislodge most of the folks from the mountains and the miscreants have lost about 145 people, so that's 145 of the nasties dead, and we're still in operation.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Now, it's said that there are four-to-5,000 militants in that area. Does that jibe with your numbers?

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    Close, not exactly four to five. More to about 3,000. This action has been going on in this region for the last three weeks now. We've had some successes earlier and this success is going to be even more effective.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Your prime minister, yesterday, said the objective was to "eliminate the militants and terrorists." Now, what does that mean – eliminate?

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    That means clearing out the area of the miscreants and bringing life to normalcy.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    But I mean, what happens to them? Are you talking about killing them all or driving them somewhere else? If so, where?

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    No, we are talking about – this is an offensive, this is war. They – if they can, they kill our soldiers and we do the same.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    But I'm still trying to figure out what eliminate means.

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    Well, I know what you're trying to figure out. Eliminate means exactly what it means.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Killing them all.

  • PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI:

    That's what it means.

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