Bush doubts Sharifs commitment to war on terror

November 29th, 2007 - 4:01 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 29 (ANI): US President George W. Bush has said that Sharifs relations with religious parties raised doubts about his commitment to the war on terror.
“I dont know him well enough,” Bush said in an interview to a foreign news agency when asked to comment on Sharifs return.
Bush noted that Sharif had good relations with Pakistans religious parties, which raised doubts about his commitment to battling the Taliban and al Qaeda.
“I would be very concerned if there is any leader in Pakistan that didnt understand the nature of the world in which we live today,” Bush said.
The comments prompted the US media, which had already been expressing similar doubts about Sharif since his return to Pakistan.
Several mainstream US newspapers Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Herald Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle quoted senior US officials as saying that they worry Sharifs potential role in any new Pakistan Government.
The officials further said that Sharifs role in the new government could undermine efforts to hunt down al Qaeda and Taliban militants, as well as hinder broader initiatives to modernise Pakistans economy and society.
They cite Sharifs political alliance with Islamist parties and his past weaknesses in coordinating counter terrorism actions with the US when he served as prime Minister in the late 1990s.
“Sharifs agenda is different. His agenda is to walk away from advances” made in Pakistan targeting the promotion of women and civil society, a senior US official told the Wall Street Journal.
Sharif and his supporters have repeatedly denied US charges that he was soft on terrorism.
Some officials blamed Sharif for condoning the nuclear proliferation efforts of Dr A.Q. Khan, which aided the nuclear weapons programmes of North Korea, Libya and Iran,” the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out.
It was also Sharif who strongly supported the Taliban, sponsors of Osama bin Laden in securing power in Afghanistan, the Chronicle added.
Other newspapers noted that Sharifs return complicates the Bush administrations support for Benazir Bhutto whom Washington has favoured as a more secular politician. (ANI)

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