Pakistan to review role in US war: Sharif

Pakistan's new government will review the country's role in the U.S.-led war, former PM Sharif said Tuesday after holding talks with a top American envoy.

Pakistan to review role in US war: Sharif
Pakistan's new government will review the country's role in the U.S.-led war, former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif said Tuesday after holding talks with a top American envoy.

"We told them that since 9/11 until now the decisions were made by an individual and therefore these did not reflect the aspiration of the people," Nawaz Sharif told reporters after his meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher in Islamabad.

"The situation has been changed now because an independent parliament has come into being and all the decisions will be made by it," he said.

The United States has mainly been relying on the support from President Pervez Musharraf, a retired general who took over in a bloodless coup in 1999, for the al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters who operate from the country's tribal areas on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

But Musharraf is increasingly becoming isolated as the February 18 general elections packed the new parliament with his rivals, with many of which demanding his resignation, including Sharif.

Hours after his election by the parliament, the top aid of slain Benazir Bhutto and new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani ordered the release of half a dozen senior judges Musharraf had deposed and placed under house arrest since November 3 to prevent them from ruling against his presidential election.

Washington is concerned by reports that members of the coalition government might hold talks with the pro-Taliban fighters.

Sharif said a parliamentary committee would soon reconsider Musharraf's support for US, which has been quite unpopular with the Pakistani public. The president's opponents say by supporting the US he has provoked fighters.

"We want peace in America. We want peace in Europe. We want peace in every part of the world, but we also want peace in Pakistan. To get peace for others we cannot turn our land into a killing field," he said.

He also criticized attacks by NATO forces inside Pakistani territory. Eighteen people were killed in the tribal district of South Waziristan in an alleged missile attack carried out from Afghanistan last week.

"Just as the Americans want to protect themselves against terrorism, we want our villages and towns not to be bombarded," Sharif said.

The two visiting US officials were also due to meet with Musharraf, Gillani and other senior leaders of his Pakistan People's Party.

Gillani, who Musharraf sworn in as prime minister Tuesday, was scheduled to announce his government's policies, including US support, later in the week.

Agencies
Last Mod: 25 Mart 2008, 15:36
Add Comment