Pakistan's anti terror efforts get US cautious endorsement

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Washington, Apr 24 (UNI) The United States has cautiously endorsed Pakistan's approach to engage tribesmen and local people in fight against terrorism in the remote areas along the Afghan border.

Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher, told reporters here that tribal leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan had assured their willingness to work with the United States to stop violence caused by terrorist groups along the border.

''We can talk these things out, we can bring people over and we can work with you as necessary where there are violent elements that have to be dealt with,'' the Voice of America quoted him as saying.

However, it was the outcome that mattered, he said, adding any particular agreement could only be judged by whether it stopped militant activity and produced the safest situation for all, he said.

The government opened talks with the Islamist rebels soon after winning elections in February, amid concerns that the military-oriented tactics of President Pervez Musharraf were generating more violence.

Acknowledging Pakistan's avowed commitment to fight terrorism, he said, the new government was engaged in a number of discussions and negotiations. ''The release of Sufi Muhammad came as a result of one of those agreements.'' ''Getting people who have been involved in violence, in the past, to abandon violence and take on a peaceful path is important,'' he added.

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