Friday, September 21, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

USA to work closely with India, Pak: Bush

Washington, September 20
US President George W. Bush has said terrorist strikes in New York and Pentagon have provided Washington with an “opportunity to refashion thinking between India and Pakistan” and to “shake terrorism loose from sponsor states.”

“Let me say that in terms of foreign policy and in terms of the world, this horrible strategy (of the terrorists) has provided us with an interesting opportunity to shake terrorism loose from sponsor states... I think we have an opportunity to refashion the thinking between Pakistan and India,” Mr Bush said at a “photo opportunity” with the House of Representatives and Senate leadership yesterday.

“We will work and consult closely with Pakistan and India to make sure that that part of the world is as stable as can possibly be stable,” he said.

Appreciating Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s televised address to the nation yesterday, Mr Bush said, he was very “pleased” with it as the speech was “indicative of a strong relationship” between Washington and Islamabad to counter terrorism.

“And we appreciate so very much his statement of support. I said we will give the President (Musharraf) a chance to perform, and I believe he has done so.

“Well, there is no question that President Musharraf has taken a bold position, which is to say he will work to the extent he can with the USA and our allies as we deal with the prime suspect in the case (Osama bin Laden),” he said when questioned whether he had got the full support of President Musharraf.

Meanwhile, answering a query on whether President Bush was making specific requests to various countries in the area for cooperating in the war against terrorism, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters yesterday that the plan varied from country to country.

“It varies from country to country. I think it is a safe assumption that in some cases the answer is yes, in other cases, it is developing and will continue to develop as plans are made.” PTI

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