WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush has said United States’ co-operation with Pakistan is in the interest of his country. He was speaking at the US Institute of Peace. Bush said, “United States’ co-operation with Pakistan and other countries facing terrorism challenges is in America’s vital interest and he stressed the need for strengthening democratic institutions that serve as antidote to extremism.”
According to a private TV channel the US president said curbing extremism requires using the power of liberty. “And the best way to do so is to use our national resources to strengthen the institutions of freedom,” he stated while listing Washington’s efforts to help developing countries in overcoming challenges like poverty, lack of health infrastructure and extremism. On Afghanistan and Iraq, he said the U.S. has a special obligation to help them build free societies that become allies in the fight against these extremists.
According to other news Top-ranking U.S. military officer Adm. Mike Mullen has lauded Pakistan army role against terrorism. Pakistan’s army is “fighting bravely” against terrorism, the top-ranking U.S. military officer said after a visit to the country to discuss joint efforts against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The statement from Adm. Mike Mullen came despite concern voiced by U.S. government officials that Pakistan’s cease-fire and peace talks with militants in its tribal regions will give hard-liners time and space to plan more attacks. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pakistan army remained committed to combating terrorism.
Mullen said Pakistani paramilitary forces – supposed to take the lead in securing the lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border – were making “strides.” The U.S. government has offered to train and equip the force to improve its counterinsurgency skills, though the program has yet to get under way. “There is much work yet to do, of course, and the United States military stands ready to assist in any way the Pakistani government finds appropriate,” said Mullen, who left Pakistan on Wednesday.