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Musharraf grilled by Australian PM on terrorism

Prior to the meeting, Rudd attacked Pakistan for not strengthening its efforts in the battle against the Taliban, saying he understood difficulties in the fight against terrorism.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2008 22:29 IST

Accusing Pakistan of not doing enough in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Australia has asked President Pervez Musharraf to step up efforts to check the flow of militants and arms to Afghanistan from his country.

During a meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Sanya on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd grilled the Pakistani leader on the alleged support extended by some elements of his military to insurgents in Afghanistan

"Our advice is still that there is significant leakage across the border that doesn't help those responsible for security within Afghanistan," Rudd was quoted as saying by Australia's ABC radio.

He also raised western media reports that elements of the Pakistani military are supporting the Taliban, but Musharaf denied that, the Australian Prime Minister said.

Prior to the meeting, Rudd attacked Pakistan for not strengthening its efforts in the battle against the Taliban, saying he understood Pakistan's difficulties in the fight against terrorism, but concerns had been rising recently over its efforts.

Their "cooperation, particularly on the question of the cross-border flow of Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives, could be significantly enhanced. I'm concerned at the extent to which.. in recent months that cooperation has become less than it could otherwise be."

Addressing the BFA annual conference, Chinese President Hu Jintao told Asian countries to strengthen cooperation in countering terrorism.

Hu pledged to continue Beijing's path of 'peaceful development', reforms and opening up, emphasising the right of others to independently choose their development path.

Musharraf, in his address, said global cooperation was needed for Asia to tackle poverty, environmental degradation and other problems confronting the region.

Musharraf proposed a mechanism for Asian countries to exchange their experiences in environmental protection and development under the framework of the Forum.

Growing global demand for energy also needed international cooperation for energy security, he said, pointing out that 70 per cent of the new energy demand was from developing nations.

He said the world could not rely merely on fossil-fuel energy for the arduous task of sustainable social and economic development.