Washington, Aug 22 : Attaching importance to yesterday's phone call by US President George Bush to his former Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf, diplomatic and political observers in Washington have said that it demonstrated that Musharraf will be treated differently (by the US) than Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos or the Shah of Iran because he had a "better image" in the United States.
He is not seen here as corrupt as Marcos or as ruthless as the Shah, added the observers in Washington.
They said that Bush's phone call was an attempt to assure that it was not leaving Musharraf in the lurch at this hour of need when he has been rendered powerless after resignation, reported the Dawn.
Earlier this week, both the White House and the US State Department had indicated that should Musharraf seek to live in the US at any point, he would be welcomed.
During their conversation, Bush thanked Musharraf for his role in the war on terror.
According to the paper, immediately after calling Musharraf, Bush also telephoned Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and told him that he had spoken to Musharraf a short while ago. Sources in the White House said that Bush's call to the prime minister aimed primarily at avoiding any misunderstanding that his telephone to Musharraf could have created.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters: "President Bush had wished him (Musharraf) well and thanked him for his efforts in the democratic transition of Pakistan, as well as the fight against Al Qaeda and extremist groups."
In his conversation with prime minister Gilani, Bush also offered sympathies over recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
According to Johndroe, in both the calls, Bush expressed solidarity with Pakistan which, he noted, had been wracked by political turmoil and suicide bombings that killed dozens of people.
Bush told Gilani that the US would continue to cooperate with Pakistan in the war on terror and assistance to deal with the current economic crisis. "The US will continue to remain involved in the battle against extremists and will assist Pakistan in overcoming its economic crisis," an official of the Foreign Office quoted Bush as saying.
Bush also congratulated Gilani on 'transition to democracy'.