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U.S., Pakistan Relations

President George W. Bush met with Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf for what Mr. Bush called “yet another good meeting between people who are able to speak frankly with each other.” Mr. Bush thanked President Musharraf “for working on common strategies to protect our respective peoples":

"I want to remind the people of Pakistan and the people of America that because of the good work of our intelligence forces and Pakistani intelligence forces, as we helped people in the United Kingdom, we prevented the loss of innocent life."

Mr. Musharraf said that contrary to some media reports, the recent agreement reached between his government and tribal elders in North Waziristan “is not to deal with the Taleban. It is actually to fight the Taleban”:

“Number one, there will be no al-Qaida activity in our tribal agency or across the border in Afghanistan. There will be no Taleban activity in our tribal agency or across [the border] in Afghanistan. There will be no Talebanization, which is an obscurantist thoughts or way of life.”

President Bush said he welcomed recent talks between President Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. Mr. Bush called the talks “an indication that there is desire at the leadership level” to solve the long standing problem of Kashmir. Mr. Musharraf renewed his commitment to holding free and fair elections in Pakistan in 2007. Mr. Bush says Mr. Musharraf “understands that the best way to defeat radicalism and extremism is to give people a chance to participate in the political process of a nation.”

President Bush expressed support for President Musharraf’s call for interfaith harmony:

“All of us need to step up and talk about a world in which we respect each other’s religions. . .It’s very important for Muslims around the world to know there’s a lot of Muslims living at peace here in the United States.”

"America respects Islam,” said Mr. Bush, “we don’t respect people who kill in the name of Islam to achieve political objectives.”

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.