Bush expresses support for Musharraf

Musharraf reaffirms his support for Washington in the war on terrorism.

pakistan bush protest (photo credit: AP)
pakistan bush protest
(photo credit: AP)
US President George W. Bush expressed support Saturday with Pakistani President Gen. Perez Musharraf's war-on-terror alliance with the United States, a stance that is at odds with many in the Islamic nation. "Part of my mission today was to determine whether or not the president is as committed as he has been in the past to bringing these terrorists to justice, and he is," Bush said at a joint news conference with Musharraf. "He understands the stakes, he understands the responsibility and he understands the need to make sure our strategy is able to defeat the enemy." Bush said the main concerns are making sure that "actionable" intelligence is shared on a real-time basis between the two countries, and that Pakistan has the equipment and resources to move on terrorists and their hideouts. Two days after an American diplomat was killed in a suicide car-bombing at a US consulate in the southern city of Karachi, a hotbed of Islamic militancy, Bush promised that neither country would "back down in the face of these killers." "We will win this war together," he said. Musharraf reaffirmed his support for Washington in the US-led war on terrorism. "It's very clear that the intentions of Pakistan and my intentions are absolutely clear, that we have a strategic partnership on the issue of fighting terrorism," Musharraf said. "If there are slippages, it is in the implementation part. We are moving forward toward delivering and we will succeed." Bush said he appreciated hearing Musharraf's plans to spread freedom. But he also noted the need for elections next year to be "open and honest." "President Musharraf envisions a moderate state that provides an alternative to radicalism," Bush said. "I believe democracy is Pakistan's future. We share a strong commitment to democracy." Musharraf gave a lengthy defense of his record on the topic, while arguing for his right to retain his military uniform. "We have introduced the essence of democracy now in Pakistan," Musharraf said. He said both women and minorities have been empowered with a say in Pakistan's political life and "we have liberated the media and the press."