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Poll results won't change US policy towards Pak
November 08, 2006 01:10 IST
Washington's policy towards Islamabad would not change even if the Democrats win the mid-term polls in the United States as the long-term goals in the war on terror have strong bipartisan support, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said on Tuesday.
Asked whether Pakistan is doing enough to contain terrorism, Boucher, who held talks in Islamabad with President Pervez Musharraf, said, "None of us has done enough. We have to keep battling. This is a strategic struggle for the future of this region, the future of this nation."
Boucher ruled out any change in American policy after the polls. "The US support for the war on terror, Afghanistan, and the partnership with Pakistan have widespread support of both parties. I do not think there will be any change. We want a long-term partnership with Pakistan."
He said the criticism of Pakistan's handling of the war against terror did not reflect facts. "Pakistan is a key ally in the war on terror. The extremism and the violence we are fighting against is the same violence threatening the people and the government of Pakistan as well as people in the neighbourhood. So we have common interests along with others in this region."
He said President Musharraf and other Pakistani leaders have made it clear they want a moderate, educated and prosperous nation that is "free from the ravages of extremism which is threatening people here. We are working with him [Musharraf] towards that goal."
Boucher said the US commitment towards Pakistan and Afghanistan is long-term. "We would be here as long as it takes. We are here for a long time. This is a key part of the world for us. We will continue to put in time and resources both for Pakistan and Afghanistan."