Pak for a stable Afghanistan: Musharraf
The Pakistan president told US Senator Hillary Clinton that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is in Pakistan's interest.india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 13:30 IST
Pakistan needs peace and stability in Afghanistan, the president told United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who met him here after a visit to Kabul, the government said in a statement on Monday.
President Gen Pervez Musharraf made his comments at a meeting with Clinton, who called on him along with Senator Evan Bayh and Congressman John McHugh in the eastern city of Lahore late on Sunday.
Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror. The visit by Clinton—the wife of the former US president who is considering a run for the job—came weeks after Musharraf's government announced a plan to plant land mines and build a fence along parts of its frontier with Afghanistan to stop Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels from crossing over.
The Afghan government has opposed the plan, saying it would separate families instead of preventing cross-border terrorism.
At the meeting with Clinton, Musharraf said a "peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in Pakistan's vital interest," according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
It said Musharraf asserted that security along the shared border was a joint responsibility and that both sides should make an effort to ensure stability in the region.
Musharraf also "underlined the importance of the strategic relationship between Pakistan and the United States and expressed satisfaction at the deepening of cooperation in diverse fields," it said.
According to the statement, Musharraf also "affirmed Pakistan's firm resolve to fight extremism and terrorism," and in this context, he "highlighted holistic approach being followed by Pakistan."
Clinton, a senator from New York, praised Pakistan's role in the fight against terrorism.
Pakistan was once a main ally of the Taliban. But it switched sides after a US-led coalition force invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States.
Since then, Pakistan has deployed about 80,000 troops in tribal areas near Afghanistan to flush out foreign militants and their local supporters.
First Published: Jan 15, 2007 11:39 IST