Pakistani PM Advocates Political Approach to US War on Terror
By VOA News
26 March 2008
Pakistan's new prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, has told President Bush he wants a broader approach to fighting terrorism in Pakistan.
Mr. Gilani's comments signal a change in tone from that of President Pervez Musharraf, who cooperated with the United States in taking a hard line against militants. Mr. Bush called Prime Minister Gilani on Tuesday after he took the oath of office.
Prime Minister Gilani told Mr. Bush that Pakistan will continue to fight terrorism because it is in the country's best interest to do so. But he said he plans a more comprehensive approach that would involve a political element as well as development programs for impoverished regions that often breed terrorism.
The White House said it anticipates continued cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.
Two top U.S. diplomats are in Pakistan. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher met with President Musharraf on Tuesday. They also spoke with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a senior partner in the country's new coalition government.
Mr. Sharif said he told the U.S. officials that President Musharraf will no longer have the sole power to make decisions about how to deal with extremists.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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