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Wolfowitz Praises Pakistan, Looks at Larger War

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2002 – Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz addressed the larger war on terrorism at the inauguration of the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council under the auspices of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Wolfowitz said that the military and law enforcement aspects of the war on terrorism might have overshadowed the economic aspect. Economic progress in Afghanistan would help the security picture there, he told Pakistan's Minister of Finance Shaukat Aziz.

The deputy also took the opportunity to thank Pakistan for its help since terrorists attacked the United States last year.

"We have killed and captured extraordinary numbers of terrorists, and we have been able to do it with speed and military effectiveness that has astonished the world," he said. "We would not conceivably been able to accomplish what we've accomplished in Afghanistan without the support of Pakistan."

Wolfowitz thanked Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying his decision to aid the United States in the global war on terrorism was courageous. "We do believe in the long run, that (his decision) is good for him and his country as well as for us and our country," the deputy secretary said.

Pakistan's support is not limited to military matters, he noted. Pakistan has also cooperated with law enforcement and intelligence sharing. "We understand that this war on terrorism is about more than just killing and capturing terrorists," he said.

Economic growth is fostered by stability, he said, and disgruntled and poor populations are breeding grounds for terrorists.

"Clearly Pakistan is one of the major fronts in this battle," he said. "It is no secret that to this day some of the worst schools for religious extremism are in Pakistan."

The efforts that Pakistan's leaders are making to improve the economic and security environment in the country are recognition of that reality. Wolfowitz said the Pakistani government is smart to realize that such development "is going to require more than government assistance or large international aid projects. It will require the efforts of the private sector in Pakistan and the private sector internationally."

Progress in Pakistan is being made, he said. In 2002, indicators show that Pakistan's economy will grow at 4.6 percent. In 2003, the growth rate is estimated at 5 percent.

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