London, Jan.29: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told President Pervez Musharraf that a stable Pakistan is in the international community's interests, while the latter has assured the former that next month's general elections will be credible and will see the participation of all political parties.
Addressing a joint press conference in London after a one-to-one meeting with President Pervez Musharraf at 10 Downing Street, Brown said the democratic process in Pakistan was a priority for the international community. “We had a productive meeting. We discussed the ongoing war on terror and I briefed the prime minister on Pakistan's strategy and measures to fight terrorism and extremism," the Daily Times quoted Musharraf, as saying.
Musharraf also said that it was incorrect to say that Pakistan had failed to play its role in the global war on terror. “We have a challenge but we are trying to cope with it. We are fighting terrorists and extremists and we are succeeding. It's a long battle which cannot be won in days," he was quoted, as saying further.
It was also wrong to say that all Pakistani students were being taught in madrassas, he said.
“Only two percent of the students go to these seminaries, and that too in those areas where schools are not available ... this is because of poverty," he added.
Brown said that he would alk to world leaders in the next few weeks to get more economic assistance for Pakistan. “I will work with other leaders to create opportunities for Pakistan," Brown said.
Earlier on Monday, Musharraf told senior British journalists at Hotel Dorchester that his government believed in an independent media and “will continue to encourage its growth."
During the 70-minute meeting, he stressed the need for the West to understand the challenges and problems Pakistan was facing.
Speaking at the Royal College of Defence, he said Pakistan was not exporting terrorism but was its victim. He said Pakistan's predicaments began in 1979 when the US and the West initiated a war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.