- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told his people on national television yesterday that Pakistan stood with the United States, providing a key link in U.S. plans for an anti-terrorist coalition.
"America is asking for our intelligence and information exchange to use our airspace and logistic support," he said.
"Our whole country could be put into danger if we made the wrong move," said Gen. Musharraf, the military ruler who named himself president of Pakistan's 140 million people in June.
Gen. Musharraf's address, in which he stood up to his nation's noisy anti-American lobby, was welcomed immediately by the United States.
"We found Musharraf to be resolute, very supportive and very explicit he made it clear he made his choice that they are in this anti-terrorist fight with the United States," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
The address came as a slew of foreign dignitaries trooped through Washington, offering condolences for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and some form of support.
France, Germany, Russia, Britain, Italy, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other countries sent leaders and senior officials to pledge help.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday, after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, that some countries have pledged military support in an expected attack to wrest suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan, where he remains under protection of the Taliban government. He declined to name those countries.
In addition, 58 nations have offered to assist the rescue efforts in New York and Washington, with "everything from dogs to thermal equipment to search for victims to psychiatrists," said a State Department official.
In his speech, Gen. Musharraf emphasized that the anti-terrorism campaign was not against Islam, as some of his anti-American critics claimed.
"Some elements want to take advantage of this [crisis] to pursue personal or party agendas. They want to create anarchy and damage the country," he said.
"I appeal to the people of Pakistan to show unity and solidarity against these elements and not let them succeed. Pakistan is a fort of Islam, and God forbid this fort is damaged."
He also said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal:
"Our nuclear facilities would have been in jeopardy and the economy would be completely down the drain" if Pakistan had not cooperated with the United States in the fight against terrorism.
Gen. Musharraf's appeal for national unity faces a test with Pakistan's fundamentalist religious leaders calling for a nationwide strike tomorrow.
"There is no legal or moral justification for the U.S. attack, which we call terrorism," said Sami Haq, the turbaned cleric who heads Pakistan's Jamiyat Ulemai Islam party.
Gen. Musharraf said: "Whatever America wants, they've got the support of the United Nations and the General Assembly and quite a few Islamic countries have given their support as well."
He said "the vast majority of our population is in favor of what we are deciding."
French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday started a parade of foreign leaders to Washington to offer support.
In Europe, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was due to meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder yesterday evening before flying to Washington for talks with President Bush.
Mr. Bush met yesterday with Mr. Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister, and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.
He also met Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Mr. Powell met with Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
Mr. Michel voiced a cautious note, saying the fight against those who sent the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was not a "war" the term used by the Bush administration.
European allies and Canada have voted to invoke for the first time Article 5 in the NATO charter authorizing mutual defense against an attack on a member state.
But some NATO nations subsequently expressed reservations about joining the United States in a military mission.
Mr. Schroeder, for example, told the German parliament yesterday that last week's attacks were not a "clash of civilizations" and urged Washington to consider political as well as military responses.

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