Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, talks about the Taliban and a new strategic relationship. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION): In New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, spoke Sunday (September 29) about the efforts needed to bring peace and stability to the country and the region. Aziz, an 84-year-old political veteran and former minister, was appointed foreign policy adviser after Sharif decided to hold on to responsibility for international relations following his May election victory. When asked about the twin blasts in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed 33 people and wounded 70 on Sunday, Aziz said Peshawar is vulnerable, but stopping the ongoing attacks is a priority for his government. "Peshawar is very close to the travel area so it's a very easy target for the extremist...it's a very serious menace and that is why we are trying to tackle this issue of terrorism" Aziz said. Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in recent months, undermining Sharif's efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Taliban. although Qatar's hosting of a Taliban office for peace talks with the United States is the latest in a series of foreign policy gambits, Aziz said he was not open to a similar concept. Ultimately, he said Pakistan is hoping to reset their relationship with the United States into one of strategy for economic growth and political stability.