US urges new regime in Islamabad to focus on terror, rein-in rogue elements in ISI

August 21st, 2008 - 1:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Washington , Aug 21 (ANI): The US administration believes that with former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf out of their way, the two most powerful Pakistani leaders in the present day political set up should turn its attention to terrorism, rein in the so-called rogue elements within the ISI, and drive out terrorists from FATA.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly advised Pakistan s democratic government to focus on fighting militants hiding in the countrys tribal belt.

The government does need to focus on what it is going to do to stop these militants. And weve had that conversation very recently when the Pakistani Prime Minister was in Washington to meet with President Bush, the Dawn quoted Rice as saying in an interview with the BBC.

Condoleeza indicated that the US did not want Pakistan s internal politics to have a negative impact on the war on terror. We all have an interest in fighting terrorism and the militants, because the militants are not just after the United States or Afghanistan. These are the people who, after all, assassinated Benazir Bhutto. These are the people who have launched attacks throughout Pakistan , she said.

She added that the US supported the democratically elected government and was a strong advocate for free and fair elections which brought politicians to power. The US , she noted, also encouraged President Musharraf to take off his uniform and return Pakistan to civilian rule.

We didnt always agree (with Mr Musharraf). For instance, we didnt agree with the state of emergency several months ago. But President Musharraf served well as an ally in the war on terror, she said and added that the US wanted to help the elected government and was supporting a package within the G-7 finance ministers to help the Pakistani economy.

We want to help them in terms of social development, educational reform, all of the things that they want to do, Rice said in the interview.

Her deputy in the US administration for South Asia affairs, Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher, gave a similar advice to the Pakistani government reminding Islamabad that it is in your interest to fight the militants.

Asked if Musharrafs ouster was also a lesson for Washington to stop supporting individuals, Mr Boucher said the United States was working with institutions in Pakistan and not with individuals. (ANI)

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