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Bush to raise infiltration issue with Musharraf
March 01, 2006 18:09 IST
US President George W Bush said Wednesday he will raise the issue of cross-border infiltration of militants in talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
"These infiltrations are causing harm to friends and allies and cause harm to US troops. It will be a topic of conversation,'' Bush said ahead of his Saturday visit to Pakistan.
Militants frequently sneak across the long, rugged border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, smuggling weapons and staging attacks on both sides.
Taliban fighters have stepped up violence in the past year inside Afghanistan, and the government of Musharraf, a key ally in the US-led war on terrorism, has come under criticism from Kabul.
Some 21,000 US-led forces are hunting for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the south and east of Afghanistan.
"My message to President Musharraf is that it's important that we bring these people to justice. He understands it and after all they tried to kill him four times,'' Bush told a news conference in the Afghan capital.
Musharraf has faced strong criticism at home for his US alliance and has faced several assassination attempts, including two bombings within two weeks in December 2003 that were blamed on Al Qaeda.
The attacks near the Pakistani capital killed 17 people, but did not harm him.