Rice lets Qureshi "have it" over lack of progress in war on terror

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Washington, July 12 : No agreement has been reached between Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on wide ranging issues like the security situation in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and economic cooperation, etc.

Qureshi described his hour-long meeting with Rice as "candid, frank, realistic and honest," which is universally understood in diplomatic circles as a lack of agreement on the issues discussed.

A former US Ambassador asked to interpret the Pakistani Foreign Minister's description of his meeting with the Secretary of State, he replied: "That means she let him have it."

Qureshi told reporters that his meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta in New York earlier this week also came up for discussion, as did his recent visit to New Delhi.

But diplomats said that the words Qureshi used to describe his talks with Rice meant a lack of agreement on the issues discussed.

Responding to a question, Qureshi said that Pakistan would not permit its territory to be used by foreign troops, The Nation reported.

He said Pakistan is in the war against terrorism in its own enlightened national interest and it is doing all it can to assist the effort to fight terrorism.

Qureshi made it clear that Pakistan does not subscribe to the Taliban ideology, which he called counter to the teachings of Islam. He said Pakistan is using both force, where necessary, and negotiations where required to deal with the situation in the tribal areas.

To a question about military action by the US against terrorist targets in Pakistan, he replied, "Action in Pakistan will be taken by Pakistani troops."

He pointed out the recent anti-terror actions in Khyber agency clearly gave the message if the commitments are not followed the "use of force cannot be ruled out."

ANI

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