Pakistan PM tells Bush political solution necessary

Pakistan's new premier told US President George W. Bush that a broader approach to the "war on terror" is necessary, including political solutions and development programmes, a statement said.

Pakistan PM tells Bush political solution necessary
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, a senior official from the party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, made the call for a rethink in policy when Bush telephoned him on Tuesday to congratulate him on taking office.

His comments came after former premier Nawaz Sharif told two US envoys on Tuesday that the new government would review President Pervez Musharraf's "one-man" strategy and focus on Pakistan's needs.

Gilani told Bush "that Pakistan would continue to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations since it is in Pakistan's own national interest," said a statement issued late Tuesday by his office.

"However, he said that a comprehensive approach is required in this regard, specially combining a political approach with development programmes," it added.

Gilani said that Pakistan was "committed to maintaining long-term close ties with the USA."

The White House said earlier that Bush told Gilani he was ready to work with him and that they both stressed the need to fight "Islamist extremism".

Gilani was due to meet visiting Deputy US Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher later Wednesday, a day after they met Musharraf and Sharif, his office said.

Meanwhile, Bush used his authority to exempt Pakistan from a law that restricts funding countries where the legitimate head of state was deposed by a military coup, as in Pakistan, the White House said Tuesday.

Last Mod: 27 Mart 2008, 08:59
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