Sunday, Jul 03, 2022

'Musharraf Must Live Up To His Word'

Bush announces one more visit to the region by Defence Secretary Rumsfeld after that by Armitage.

(relevant excerpts from USA President Bush's brief interaction with the media)

Q: Mr. President, are you preparing to activate plans for evacuating American civilians and troops from Pakistan and India? And how much concern do you have that the stand-off over Kashmir is allowing al Qaeda to regroup and operate in Pakistan?

President Bush: Well, first of all, the Secretary is -- both Secretaries are analyzing what it would take to protect American lives, if need be. Secondly, we are making it very clear to both Pakistan and India that war will not serve their interests. And we're a part of a international coalition applying pressure to both parties, particularly to President Musharraf. He must stop the incursions across the line of control. He must do so. He said he would do so. We and others are making it clear to him that he must live up to his word.

Al Qaeda is a -- they'll find weakness and we are doing everything we can to continue to shore up our efforts and -- on the Pakistani-Afghan border. And they shouldn't think they're going to gain any advantage as a result of any conflict that may be -- or talk of conflict between India and Pakistan, because we're still going to hunt them down.

This is a long war. You know, I was just reflecting the other day, we've only been at this for -- we've haven't even been fighting this war for a year yet. And we've got a lot of work to do. And there will be moments where the al Qaeda thinks that, you know, maybe America is not after them, and they'll feel safe and secure. And, you know, they think they'll kind of settle into some cave somewhere. But they don't understand the intention of this administration, which is to patiently hunt these people down. And that's exactly what we're going to do.

Q: Are you sending Secretary Rumsfeld next week to the region?

President Bush: Yes, he's going there; Deputy Secretary of State Armitage is going this week. And then Secretary Rumsfeld is going, as well.

Q This week or next, sir?

President Bush: Next week.

Secretary Rumsfeld: Next week.

President Bush: Yes, early next week.