| GEO Pakistan|
| 200 missing persons traced so far: President|
| Updated at: 2138 PST, Saturday, March 28, 2009|
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said the government had traced and located about 200 persons who were earlier reported missing in the country.
Addressing the parliament’s joint sitting, the President said the government would not allow the use of its soil for terrorist activities against any other country.
“We will also not allow anyone to violate our sovereignty,” he said, adding sovereignty of Pakistan must be protected at all cost.
He said the nation was proud of the sacrifices of the members of the armed forces, paramilitary forces, police and the citizens in enforcing writ of the government.
“Many of them have laid down their lives, so that you and me live and the nation lives on,” he said.
President Zardari said the country was facing security challenges that needed to be addressed urgently.
He said in consultation with the coalition partners, the government had adopted a three‑pronged strategy based on making peace with those willing to give up violence, but deal firmly with those who challenge the writ of the government.
He mentioned that a national Counter Terrorism Authority had been set up, while with the help of the ‘Friends of Pakistan’, the government would raise 20,000 additional police force in each province with special equipment and special pay package.
He welcomed US President Barack Obama’s call to the Congress to pass a bill for 1.5 billion dollars aid to Pakistan every year.
“The US President’s new approach represents a positive change. It is an endorsement of our call for economic and social uplift as a means to fight extremism,” he said.
He said, “We are fighting militancy and extremism for our own sake. We will continue to do so for the sake of our children.”