Musharraf open to reconciliation with Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf, reiterating that he is in no way an obstacle to democracy in the country, on Wednesday said he is playing his constitutional role and is ready to guide the government in any way, and his doors are always open for everyone, including Nawaz Sharif.

The president expressed these views while talking to Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, who called on him at the Presidential Camp Office on Wednesday.

The president said he supports the government’s strategy regarding Fata, as without clamping down on terrorists, extremism and militancy cannot be brought to an end. He urged the US to provide immediate aid for setting up of ROZs in the tribal belt so that poverty and unemployment come to an end, which is the root cause of increasing extremism in the area. The president emphasised that the US should look at ground realities and force alone cannot win the war on terror.

The president added we would not allow terrorists to hold us hostage and all resources would be used to eliminate this menace. Boucher apprised the president of reservations of the PML-N about him to which the president said he has no confrontation with anyone and his doors are open to everyone, including Nawaz Sharif.

The president added under current circumstances he does not want to create problems for anyone as political confrontation had already done much damage. He said he is a staunch supporter of democracy and is not a hurdle in the democratic process and wants to see parliament complete its tenure.

Boucher said the US wants to see Pakistan as a democratically strong country and the role of the president is vital even today for the prosperity and development of the country and the US still supports him.

Lauding the Pakistan Army role in fighting terrorism, Boucher said the US realises the challenges the Pakistan Army has to face each day and Pakistan has been a great ally in the war against terrorism and successes we enjoy today in the war against terrorism could not have been possible without the support of Pakistan. Matters related to the Pak-US strategic relationship and Pak-Afghan relations also came under discussion.

Source: The News, 3/7/2008

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