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Pak must do more to combat terrorism: Bush
March 01, 2006 11:22 IST
Asserting that Pakistan must do more to combat terrorism, United States President George W Bush has said that during his upcoming visit to Islamabad he will 'remind' President Pervez Musharraf that both countries faced a 'common enemy' in Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.
Before boarding Air Force One for his visit to India and Pakistan, Bush said, "I'm going to talk to my friend President Musharraf and remind him that we have a common enemy in Al Qaeda, and so long as Al Qaeda is plotting and planning in the neighbourhood, we're going to need to work together to stop those plots."
"This (Musharraf) is a man who's had his life threatened, I think, four times by the Al Qaeda. And so he knows firsthand how dangerous these folks are," Bush, who will be flying to Pakistan on March 4 after a three-day visit to India, said in an interview to American television ABC Monday.
The American president acknowledged that Musharraf faced political problems for siding with the United States in the war on terror but said that the Pakistan leader must make a choice.
"He'll have to make a choice. That's the thing about this world. You know, sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes you have to decide," Bush said, adding that Pakistan must do more to combat terrorism.
Asked if Islamabad was doing enough to find bin Laden, Bush replied: "We're looking and we've had some success against some of his lieutenants and allies.
"The war against terror requires constant pressure, the sharing of intelligence, the capacity to find these people lurking in remote regions of the world. And, you know, Western Pakistan is pretty remote."
"But I'll be talking to President Musharraf about the need to work together to find these killers," Bush emphasised.
The US President was also asked if he will consider it a failure if bin Laden was still around when he was stepping down from the Oval Office. Bush said that it was not about an individual but of an organisation that has to be rooted out and something where the United States has had a fair amount of success.
"What I'm looking at is management structure, operators, and whether or not we're doing everything we can to protect the American people. Of course, we'd like to bring him to justice, and we'll stay up -- you know, the only thing I can tell the American people, so long as I'm the President, we'll stay on the hunt and we'll use resources and power and influence to convince others to join us on the hunt as well. And, you know, I'm an optimistic person. I believe we will bring him to justice," Bush said.
The focus of Bush's daylong visit to Pakistan will be on terrorism along with some economic and business initiatives that are being worked on. On the other hand Bush is trying to seal a deal with New Delhi on the civilian nuclear energy cooperation seen in many quarters as the centrepiece of his visit to India.