Musharraf forgotten, Bush to call new bosses in Pakistan

August 20th, 2008 - 11:31 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) US President George W. Bush is expected to have high-level contacts with the new government of Pakistan soon, but the White House would not say if and when he would call his “personal friend” Pervez Musharraf.”I would expect that the president will have high-level contact with Pakistani authorities in the near future. We’ll certainly keep you updated on that,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters at Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch.

Asked if there were any plans for a phone call between Bush and Musharraf, who resigned as Pakistan president Monday, or the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, he said: “I would expect the president will have phone calls with Pakistani officials in the near future, and we’ll keep you updated.”

Johndroe suggested that he was not aware if the US was involved in any discussion about moving its former key ally out of Pakistan. “As far as President Musharraf’s location, where he will eventually live, that’s a matter for him and the Pakistanis to deal with,” he said.

But the US has “ongoing communications with the government of Pakistan since the new prime minister and the government was formed,” Johndroe said recalling that he had a “good visit” to the White House a couple of weeks ago.

The US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson, too has regular contact with the government of Pakistan and has had a number of meetings with them, he said.

“We have ongoing cooperation with the government of Pakistan, and we will continue to,” he added.

“But as far as what happened yesterday (Monday), as we said, it was a matter for Pakistanis’ internal political process for them,” Johndroe said referring to the resignation of Musharraf, whom US officials not too long ago regarded as indispensable.

“Prior to that and now ongoing, we have had relations and discussions and continued cooperation with the Pakistani government, and we will continue to do so,” he said suggesting there was nothing personal about US relations with Musharraf.

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