Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, visited the United States where he met with President George W. Bush. Mr. Bush said that the U.S. and Pakistan are partners in the hunt against al-Qaida terrorists and that the Pakistani president "understands that we are in a struggle against extremists who will use terror as a weapon":
"He understands it just as good as anybody in the world – after all, they've tried to take his life. These extremists who can't stand the thought of a moderate leader leading an important country like Pakistan want to kill the president. That should say things to the people of Pakistan and the people of America, that because he has been a strong, forceful leader, he has become a target of those who can't stand the thought of moderation prevailing."
Mr. Musharraf says that in bringing to justice al-Qaida terrorists and remnants of the ousted Taleban regime in Afghanistan, the U.S. and Pakistan "are on the hunt together":
"There's total coordination at the intelligence level. . . .There 's coordination at the operational level, at the strategic level, even at the tactical level. So therefore, we are working together."
President Bush says that he appreciates President Musharraf's leadership in promoting harmony:
"There is unbelievable propaganda in the Middle East these days that try to inflame passion. The propagandists are attempting to create conditions where terror is justified. . . .America respects Islam. . . .We don't respect people who kill in the name of Islam to achieve political objectives, like the terrorists do."
Extremists "love to say this is a war against Islam. I can't think of anything more false," says President Bush. He says Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf "is reaching out to help. . . .the world understand the Muslim religion is a peaceful religion."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.