Bush tactfully supports Karzai's Pak strike remark

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London, June 17: US President George Bush has tacitly supported Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's Sunday statement that he wished to attack terrorist sanctuaries along the Pak-Afghan border, by saying that he understood "Karzai's concerns" (of being attacked by terrorists from across the Pakistan border).

Bush said that Washington cold help calm the situation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The US President also called for a new 'jirga' in the region to tackle the issue, saying: "That'd be a good idea to restart the jirga process."

Bush, who was in London while on his farewell trip to Europe, said that terrorists having a safe haven could be in no one's interests, and added both Pakistan and Afghanistan should hold talks and share intelligence to handle the situation along their international border. Bush's term ends in November.

"There's a lot of common ground. It's in no one's interest that extremists have a safe haven from which to operate. Obviously, it's a testy situation there," the Daily Times quoted him as telling an international news agency.

According to the report, Bush declined to answer when asked whether he supported Karzai's threat to send troops into Pakistan. He, however, said that he understood Karzai's concerns.

"We can help calm the situation down and develop a strategy that will prevent these extremists from developing safe haven and having freedom of movement. There can be more dialogue between the Pak government and the Afghan government. There needs to be better co-operation," he added.

On Sunday, Karzai had said that Afghanistan had a right to send troops into Pakistan, because Taliban militants crossover from Pakistan to attack Afghan and foreign forces.

ANI

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