Hillary Clinton meets Musharraf
LAHORE: US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met President Pervez Musharraf at the Army House on Sunday, shortly after she arrived for a brief visit, an official said.
The meeting took place after Clinton - a Democrat from New York who is considering running for president - arrived at the Lahore international airport from Afghanistan, said the official on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media. Clinton is leading a bipartisan three-member US Congressional delegation that also includes Senator Evan Bayh and Congressman John McHugh.
The two discussed a range of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, he said, quoting Musharraf as telling Clinton that Pakistan was in favour of a “stable, strong and prosperous Afghanistan” and that Islamabad was extending full support to the world community in the fight against terrorism. Musharraf also informed Clinton about the steps his government had taken to curb militancy and secure the Pakistani border with Afghanistan to check militants’ activities, the official said.
The official said Clinton praised Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism. Musharraf stressed the need for enhancing trade and economic ties between the US and Pakistan, APP reported, and informed the delegation about the significance of better US market access for Pakistan. He discussed the proposal for Reconstruction Opportunity Zones and US assistance for the FATA Sustainable Development Plan.
The president said security along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was the joint responsibility of both sides. He briefed the delegation on the Pakistan-India peace process and efforts for the resolution of all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, APP reported. He asked for US support for Pakistan’s efforts to promote durable peace, political stability and progress in the region.
Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri and US Ambassador to Pakistan Ryan Crocker were also present in the meeting. Earlier Sunday, Clinton was in Afghanistan for talks with President Hamid Karzai. Talks were due to focus on putting more troops into Afghanistan, rising tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, reconstruction, and women’s rights, a top Afghan official said. agencies