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Boucher On Pakistan

Pakistan continues to be a key ally in the war on terror, says Richard Boucher, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs:

"Pakistan is enormously cooperative, enormously engaged in this fight. No country has captured more al-Qaida, or lost more men doing it than Pakistan."

Mr. Boucher says Pakistan has also increased the effectiveness of its anti-terrorist efforts along its border with Afghanistan:

"We all have a long way to go, and there's a lot more that we're doing and they're doing that we're going to try to do with them. But overall if you look at Taleban and al-Qaida, particularly on the al-Qaida side, there's been an enormous effort from Pakistan and they've lost a lot of people in that fight."

Mr. Boucher says, like other countries, including the United States, there is still more that Pakistan can do:

"They have arrested some leaders, there are more to be tracked down and arrested. They've stopped some of the training camps; there are more to be tracked down and. . . .eliminated. But they're in this fight. And they are in this fight because Taleban is a threat to Pakistan, as well as to us and the neighbors."

The United States wants to help and encourage Pakistan's government to do more, says Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher. He noted that President Pervez Musharraf has said "frankly and point blank" that members of the Taleban are operating from inside Pakistan and "that he is determined to go after them."

The United States, says Mr. Boucher, is working with Pakistan to help it become more effective in the fight against terrorism, just as it is working with Afghanistan "to become more effective on the other side of the border."