Pakistan promises 'full support' to U.S. to fight terrorism

Thursday, September 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday promised the United States his country's unstinting cooperation in the fight against terrorism following the attacks in New York and Washington.

``I wish to assure President Bush and the U.S. government of our unstinted cooperation in the fight against terrorism,'' Gen. Musharraf said in a statement following a late night meeting Wednesday with his military. ``The world must unite to fight terrorism.''

It wasn't clear exactly what type of cooperation Pakistan was offering, but U.S. and Pakistani representatives were talking in the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan said.

The statement came after Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday asked for support from world leaders _ and focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan in particular, the first for harboring Osama bin Laden and the second for its proximity to the Saudi expatriate's operations and its own record of support for the Taliban, which controls most of Afghanistan.

``As we gather information and as we look at possible sources of the attack, it would be useful to point out to the Pakistani leadership at every level that we are looking for and expecting their fullest cooperation and their help and support,'' Powell said at a news conference in Washington.

Pakistan also sent a military delegation late Wednesday to Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the ruling Taliban's headquarters, a Pakistani military official said.

It wasn't clear what the officials were to discuss with Afghan leaders.

Pakistan is one of the Taliban's few allies. The radical Islamic militia has denied bin Laden was involved in the terror.

Musharraf also met on Thursday in Islamabad with incoming U.S. ambassador Wendy Chamberlin. Following the 40-minute gathering, she said there had been a ``meeting of minds'' in the talks, and that Musharraf had pledged ``full support.'' She did not elaborate.

Since the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, there has been considerable speculation of a retaliatory strike against Afghanistan.