Bush praises ‘ally’ Pakistan
George Bush, the US president, has praised Pakistan for making a “very strong commitment” to combating “extremists” after talks with Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister.
The talks came as a missile attack just inside Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan killed at least six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Speaking at a news conference in Washington DC, Bush called Pakistan “strong ally and a vibrant democracy” (what had Bush had before the press conference???) and said that the US “supports the sovereignty of Pakistan“.
Gilani, who will be in the US for three days, said in turn that the country’s battle against Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters was “a war … against Pakistan, and we’ll fight for our own cause”. (oh, yeah, that’s why they want dialogue with the Taliban while the latter install Shariah courts in the Bajaur tribal region because Pakistani institutions have NO strength there).
However he later said in an interview with CNN that Monday’s missile strike was “certainly” a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty “if it is proved”. (of course, the use of Islamist “militants” against India by the Pakistani Intelligence Service ISI is NOT a “violation of sovereignty”...).
The White House later said that Bush had also offered Pakistan $115 million over two years in food aid, of which $42.5 million will be available over the next six to nine months, during the talks.