Meet the Press   |  January 01, 1910

Zardari on stability of Pakistani state

May 10: Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari reacts to comments about the extent to which the Taliban insurgency has destabilized his country.

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MR. GREGORY: You have the fighting that's going on in Swat . You have the Taliban insurgency there. That insurgency has also spread into Punjab , to the state of Punjab . I don't have to tell you, that's where half of Pakistan 's population is. And it has lead to some dire assessments by analysts who look at your country with a critical eye, including a former adviser to General David Petraeus who helped him with the insurgency in Iraq , and he said this:"We're now reaching the point where within one to six months we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state ," because the Taliban insurgency has so destabilized Pakistan . Does he have that right?

MR. ZARDARI: I think you -- he's had other positions wrong before, so -- and having said that, we have a threat, yes. Is the state of Pakistan going to collapse? No. We are 180 million people. The population is much, much more than the, the insurgents are. But we do have a problem. We have a problem because it's been there. It was like I said, it was a monster created by all, all of us. We got together and we didn't -- we forgot to make a cure for it.

MR. GREGORY: Can you survive politically?

MR. ZARDARI: Of course.

MR. GREGORY: Is it possible to defeat this insurgency without U.S. soldiers fighting by your side or at least training your soldiers in Pakistan ?

MR. ZARDARI: I think we need to find a strategy where the world gets together against this threat, because it's not Pakistan specific, it's not Afghanistan specific. Like I said, it's all the way from the Horn of Africa . You've had attacks in Spain , you've had attacks in Britain , you've had attacks in America , you've had attacks in Africa , Saudi Arabia . So I think the world needs to understand that this is the new challenge of the 21st century and this is the new war, and we've all got together.