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Top U.S. diplomat says to support Pakistan's offensive against militants
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08:40, October 21, 2008

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The United States supports Pakistan's military offensive against the militants in the tribal regions and Swat valley in the northwest, the visiting top American diplomat said on Monday.

Addressing a news conference here after meeting Pakistani leaders, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher said there was a need for both political and military solution of the menace of terrorism.

The News Network International news agency quoted Boucher as saying that the Pakistani people need to abandon violence, accept writ of the government.

He also said people should not allow foreign terrorists and al-Qaida elements to attack people, leadership and institutions.

"The United States has expressed its full support to Pakistan in tackling security and economic challenges," Boucher said.

Boucher said he was very impressed by the determination of the government to deal with these challenges and his country would extend cooperation in this regard.

Boucher mentioned that the U.S. would provide financial assistance to Pakistan to help it face up to the challenges.

Boucher said he held two meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. He said the meeting with the President was in bilateral context and the other was about the proposed meeting of the Friends of Pakistan.

Boucher appreciated Pakistan's recent efforts in the fight against terror and said there was no lack of trust between the leadership of the two countries.

Boucher arrived in Islamabad on Saturday. He called on the governor and chief minister of North West Frontier Province on Sunday and was briefed about the ongoing operation against militants in the tribal area and northwest.


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