New York, Jul 5: US Congressman Gary Ackerman who returned home after a two-day visit to Pakistan and talked with the region's residents, tribal leaders and troops as well as Pakistani government officials, including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, has said that he deliberately did not meet President Pervez Musharraf because "he was a terrible leader".
"I deliberately would not meet with Musharraf. In my opinion he's been a terrible leader," the Dawn quoted Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, as saying. He suggested that the US should let the Pakistan Army combat the resurgent Taliban and al Qaeda, and added that 'pressuring the Pakistani government to accept American ground forces is not the answer".
"US being on the ground only makes the situation worse," he added.
Ackerman also asked the Bush administration to step up equipment supplies and share more intelligence information with Pakistan's Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force that patrols the treacherous, semiautonomous region between the two countries. "What we have to do is empower the military. They need help from us to do the job themselves," said Ackerman.