US supports Zardari, says Pakistan not a failed state

May 6th, 2009 - 1:12 am ICT by IANS  

Richard Holbrooke By Arun Kumar
Washington, May 5 (IANS) Asking Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to defeating Al Qaeda and other militants on its soil, the US has said that it “unambiguously” supports Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

“We do not think Pakistan is a failed state,” US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday in advance of Wednesday’s meeting between Zardari and President Barack Obama.

However, Pakistan is under an “extreme test” from its enemies, and that the US and Pakistan have “the same common enemy”, he said.

“Pakistan’s of such immense importance to the United States, strategically and politically, that our goal must be to support unambiguously and help stabilise a democratic Pakistan headed by its elected president, Asif Ali Zardari,” Holbrooke said rejecting US media reports Washington is seeking a deal with Zardari’s political rival, Nawaz Sharif.

But “Pakistan must demonstrate its commitment to rooting out Al Qaeda and the violent extremists within its borders”, he said adding, “Security assistance for Pakistan has to show results.”

“The administration intends to implement measures of performance in its economic, social and military assistance to Pakistan,” he said, saying such conditions must not worsen “the ‘trust deficit’ that plagues” US-Pakistani relations.

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