'Pakistan taking unprecedented steps for peace with India'

Islamabad, Nov 22 (IANS) President Asif Ali Zardari has said Pakistan is taking unprecedented steps to maintain peace with India and Islamabad will not let Islam be hijacked despite terrorist groups' attempts to impose their agenda.

Addressing the Developing Eight, or D−8, conference here Thursday after taking over its chairmanship from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for two years, Zardari spoke on a host of issues including terrorism, democracy and Israel−Palestine conflict, Geo News reported.

Calling on the members of D−8 to work as a catalyst for peace and prosperity in the world, Zardari said Pakistan and its people wanted peace. D−8 is an economic development alliance of eight developing countries with large Muslim populations and comprises Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Turkey and Pakistan.

Highlighting the importance of democracy, Zardari said that democracy was at the very heart of Pakistan's identity as it was founded through democratic means.

He said the Pakistani government was making unprecedented moves to make peace with India and also supported the peace process in Afghanistan.

On terrorism, Zardari said that terrorist groups seek to impose their agenda but Pakistan would not let Islam be hijacked, adding that Pakistan would continue to fight against the dark and destructive agenda of terrorists.

Condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza, the Pakistani president said Palestinians had been awaiting promised self determination for decades and the D−8 nations must look into this matter.