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Bush Praises Musharraf's 'Clear Vision,' Anti-Terrorist Commitment - 2004-12-04


President Bush has praised his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf for what he calls his "clear vision" in fighting terrorism -- following talks between the two leaders today (Saturday) at the White House.

In a joint appearance before reporters, Mr. Bush said President Musharraf has been a determined leader against terrorism.

He also said Pakistan can be part of a world effort to help create a democratic Palestinian state built on the rule of law.

General Musharraf said he is very hopeful about resolving all bilateral issues with neighboring India, including the dispute over the Kashmir region.

A senior U.S. official said the Pakistani leader, who seized power in 1999, has made clear he is prepared to go towards bringing what the official characterized as true democracy in Pakistan.

Police in Indian Kashmir say five police and at least one Kashmiri militant have been killed in a 24-hour gunbattle at a police camp.

Officials say the violence ended early Saturday. They say fighting began a full day earlier when militants opposed to Indian rule in Kashmir attacked the camp, located some 50 kilometers north of Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital.

A militant group calling itself al-Mansoorain has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Violence in Kashmir has claimed at least 30,000 lives since the start of the insurgency in 1989. India blames neighboring Pakistan for supporting the militants -- a claim Islamabad has denied.

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