ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari has reiterated that Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism and extremism in its own interest. He said this while talking to US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Richard Boucher, at the Aiwan-e-Sadr here on Monday. Various issues including bilateral relations, situation in the region and cooperation in the fight against terrorism were discussed in the meeting. President Zardari told Boucher that Pakistan had offered every possible cooperation to India for investigation into the Mumbai incident and appreciated positive role played by the US in advising restraint and de-escalation. The President stressed that for eradicating the menace of terrorism Pakistan was pursuing cooperative partnership with regional countries. According to sources, President Asif Ali Zardari again made it clear to the US that India is using Mumbai terrorist attacks for political goals against Pakistan. He expressed the hope that his forthcoming visit to Afghanistan would contribute to enhanced cooperation in the areas of security, counter-terrorism and economic development of our people. The President said that Pakistan valued a stable, broad-based and long-term relationship with the US for our shared goal of promoting regional peace, security and development. He expressed the hope that bilateral relations would continue to strengthen and grow in the coming years. Assistant Secretary Boucher said US valued its relationship with Pakistan and would continue efforts for strengthening it. Earlier, at an investiture ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President conferred the award of Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam on Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher for his valuable services for strengthening Pakistan-US relations. Commenting on the occasion, Boucher vowed to continue his services for the cause of Pakistan-US relations in his current or any other capacity in future. The citation read out on the occasion said, "As Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Ambassador Boucher has been instrumental in promoting a stable, broad-based and long-term Pakistan-U.S. relationship." "Mr. Boucher has been visiting Pakistan frequently for deepening bilateral cooperation in diverse areas as well as promoting shared objectives for regional peace, stability and prosperity." Meanwhile, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Monday demanded immediate repatriation of Dr Afia Siddiqi and release of five of its nationals from Guantanamo Bay. Talking to US Assistant Secretary of State at the PM House, the Prime Minister said Dr Afia needed to be repatriated on humanitarian grounds. Boucher assured to take up the cases of Dr Afia and five Pakistani nationals in Guantanamo Bay prison with the authorities concerned for their expeditious repatriation. Prime Minister Gilani informed Boucher on Pakistan's persistent efforts to defuse the current tension with India and his government's commitment to take action against any Pakistani national in case credible evidence was provided. He hoped the new US government would pursue President elect's initiative to appoint a special envoy to help resolve the outstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir for lasting peace in the region. Richard Boucher agreed with the Prime Minister on the need for an early resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said once the present crisis was defused and situation normalized, the US Government would move ahead with its initiative to help the two countries find solution of the Kashmir dispute. Gilani condemned Israeli attack on Gaza that has led to hundreds of innocent civilian casualties and urged the US and the world to play its role for bringing an end to Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Boucher apprised the Prime Minister that US Secretary of State was in contact with the important countries as well as with the Middle Eastern leaders to find an early solution to the Gaza crisis. The Prime Minister also discussed holding of Friends of Pakistan meetings and Donors Conference in the immediate future to help Pakistan overcome its economic difficulties to strengthen government in countering the menace of extremism and terrorism. He noted that despite the lapse of about three years, the promised legislation by the US Congress on Reconstruction Opportunities Zones (ROZs) was yet to materialize and hence needs to be expedited. Similarly, the pledged assistance for building the capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies and Foreign Military Funding for Pakistan's defence forces need to be fast tracked. He hoped that Biden-Lugar Bill would be taken up by the new Congress for its swift passage without any conditionalities. Boucher highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan and said the US fully appreciated Pakistan's difficulties in fight against terror. He assured the Prime Minister that the US Government remained committed to assisting Pakistan economically and efforts would also be undertaken to help Pakistan militarily through the new US Congress. Advisor to PM on National Security, Secretaries Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior also attended the meeting. US Ambassador Ms Anne W. Patterson was also present in the meeting. Agencies add: Well-placed sources informed Online that Zardari told Boucher that Pakistan wants peaceful relations with all neighbours including India but Delhi is not showing a positive attitude. "Our offer for investigations into Mumbai attacks is still intact," President said. The President informed the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State for South Asia that India has not given Pakistan any substantial evidence regarding Pakistan's involvement in Mumbai mayhem. He told Boucher that Pakistan wants strong and stable relations with US. The President said that Pakistan strongly condemns US drone attacks inside Pakistan and urged the US to stop these. Boucher also called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Foreign Office on Monday. They exchanged views on bilateral relations, counter-terrorism cooperation and regional situation. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed that Pakistan's struggle against terrorism was in its own interest and for promoting regional peace, security and development. He told Assistant Secretary Boucher that Pakistan would be hosting Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) in April this year for promoting regional efforts for economic development in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan's request for early repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan. Qureshi said Pakistan has serious reservations on US drone attacks in its tribal areas while Richard Boucher has said drone attacks have become a compulsion now as attacks on US and allied forces in Afghanistan are very alarming, therefore, action in Pakistani tribal areas is very essential to counter these offensives.