Internal Pakistani terrorism has been accepted by the administration of the United States led by President George W. Bush. Though this fact has been accepted by all and sundry that terrorism is a big problem of Pakistan, no one knows how this problem be tackled. Indications suggest that rulers have been breeding terrorism and this is the reason that they are reluctant to take effective steps to control this menace.
President Bush, who sees his survival in terrorism, will never take effective steps for controlling it. According to a majority of tribesmen, he can still play a role, a positive role. But evidences show that he will never play a positive role. According to media reports, US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher on Wednesday said Pakistani politicians should stop squabbling about President Pervez Musharraf and focus on extremism, food and power crises, along with other issues of vital importance.
Boucher said President Pervez Musharraf was not an issue or problem for Pakistan and its people. Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, he said Musharraf is President of Pakistan and America deals with him in that capacity, saying he is not the issue right now.
“Pakistan has more crucial issues like extremism and terrorism, food crisis and energy deficiency to address instead of the president’s fate,” he said. He called upon the coalition partners to focus on what he termed the basic issues being faced by the people of Pakistan instead of discussing the fate of Pervez Musharraf.
“They need to focus on issues like terrorism, food and energy crisis and need to move forward on these problems.”
About his meeting with PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Boucher said he did not come to Pakistan to meet a particular politician.
“I desire to keep working with him as we desire to work with other parties and try to move forward on these issues.”
About the future of democracy and the coalition government in Pakistan, he said stability of democracy is not based on one government or coalition; rather it is based on institutions that can guarantee democracy in the country.
“We are not focusing on one party or one government but we are helping Pakistan as a society,” he said. Responding to a question that the United States had not accepted results of the February 18 elections and was backing a dictator, he said it was a wrong impression, saying before and after the elections, it supported the transition to democracy.
He said President Bush had met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and would meet him again this month, which he said indicated full support of the US to the democratic process. About the impression regarding US interference in the issue of reinstatement of the deposed judges, Boucher said the United States was not involved in the issue of restoration of the judges but it was for the independence of the judiciary.
“Now it depends on the coalition partners as to how they deal with this issue,” he said. To another question, he welcomed operation in the Khyber Agency and around Peshawar, saying it would improve the security situation. “The operation around Peshawar is very welcome as people there have had enough of the harassment by these groups and the threats to Peshawar,” he said.
To a question about peace initiative taken by the Pakistan government, he said the United States did not support making concessions to violent people like Baitullah Mahsud. “However, we support the government’s initiatives of reaching out to tribes to get those on its side and restore peace in the area,” Boucher said.
He said the United States also did not support releasing terrorists in the wild so that they might strike again. Commenting on the statements of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan officials in which they threatened to attack Pakistan, Boucher said there should be coordination among the Afghan government, Nato forces and Pakistan to fight militancy.
Boucher believes it is the responsibility of Afghan forces and Nato to take action against the militants inside Afghanistan while it is the responsibility of Pakistani forces to take action on their side.
Responding to a question about Nato strike inside Pakistan, he said it was a regrettable incident that took place recently and the United States was aware of sensitivity of Pakistan and a joint investigation had been launched into the incident.
To a question about threats of al-Qaeda, he said it continued to be a great danger not only for America, but also for Pakistan. “We strongly desire to eliminate al-Qaeda,” Boucher said. He said the United States wanted to help Pakistan modernise its health and education system, improve security and enhance economy.
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