Musharraf to Discuss Ramadan Halt of Bombing with Rumsfeld
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Saturday he would raise the possibility of halting air strikes in Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when he meets US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sunday.
Musharraf said he had always hoped US reprisals for the September 11 destruction in New York and Washington would be short but the duration would be defined by achieving military objectives.
"One hopes the operational objectives will be achieved before the month of Ramadan so that we can have peace in Ramadan," he said. Ramadan is expected to start around November 17.
But he added that "one should be very clear that it will have huge negative fall-out" if US bombardments continued.
"I would like to discuss this with him," Musharraf said in regard to military operations during Ramadan.
US and British officials have said Muslim sensitivities over Ramadan would be taken into account during the military campaign.
However, US President George W. Bush has ruled out any scaling-back of operations, saying, "The enemy won't rest during Ramadan and neither will we".
Rumsfeld is slated to arrive in Islamabad on Sunday for talks with Musharraf as part of a tour of central Asia -- ISLAMABAD (AFP)
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