President Bush and President General Musharraf met today and discussed many things, including mutual cooperation in the War on Terror. It was significant that NFWP Governor Aurikzai also was there as he was in the delegation to Kabul earlier this month. The group discussed cross-border patrols and incursions, the F-16 deal, peaceful nuclear energy programs, and the import of concluding the Kashmir peace.
From the Pak Tribune:
The consensus emerged in one on one meeting between President Musharraf and President Bush held in Oval house at White House Friday and subsequent one hour meeting alongwith their respective delegations.
US secretary of state Condoleeza Rice, under secretary of state Richard Boucher and US ambassador in Pakistan Ryan C Crocker assisted President Bush while President Musharraf was assisted by foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, NWFP governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ali Jan Aurakzai, Pakistan ambassador in US Mehmood Ali Durrani, minister for religious affairs, Ejaz Ul Haq, minister for women development Sumaira Malik and director general ISPR, Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan.
A wide spectrum of matters including all dimensions of US-Pakistan relations, war on terror, situation of Afghanistan, Waziristan peace deal, civil nuclear technology requirements of Pakistan and purchase of F-16s figured in the meeting.
Diplomatic sources told Online President Musharraf took President Bush into confidence on Waziristan accord reached with tribesmen and briefed him at length on this count.
President Musharraf also discussed with President Bush Afghan government allegations on cross border infiltration at Afghan border and updated the latter about the steps taken by Pakistan on Pak-Afghan borders in this connection. Viewing the country?s growing energy requirements, president Musharraf once again talked to President Bush about civil nuclear technology deal.
Both the leaders also discussed the defence requirements of Pakistan and acquisition of high tech F-16s aircrafts. They also agreed on further strengthening bilateral defence relations and strategic partnership.
Sources told President Bush while eulogizing the vital role played by Pakistan particularly President Musharraf in global campaign against terrorism besides combating menace of extremism and terrorism, assured that US would extend every assistance to Pakistan to meet its defence needs.
President Bush also held out assurance to President Musharraf that US was considering various projects to cater to the energy needs of Pakistan.
During the Press Q&A afterwards the humorous exchange came when reporters asked him about the statement regarding Armitage threatening to “Bomb Pakistan back to the stone age,” whereupon Musharraf quipped back that they would have to read his book to find out.
While Musharraf has enemies within his country, and in the US on both sides of the aisle, he’s done a remarkable job the past few years of walking the razor’s edge, and at the top of his agenda has been the fact that Pakistan and Afghanistan have been invaded more often by India, Russia, and Iran than any other countries. Musharraf knows where the real dangers for his people are.