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Bush: Musharraf Going After Terrorists is 'a Good Sign' - 2001-12-31

President Bush is praising Pakistan for taking action against Islamic militants. He has been urging Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to take strong, decisive action against militants who threaten both India and regional stability.

Mr. Bush made the appeal personally Saturday in a telephone call to Mr. Musharraf. On Monday, he got his answer when Pakistan announced the detention of a founder of one the Kashmiri groups India claims is responsible for the December 13 attack on its Parliament. "He's cracking down hard and I appreciate his efforts," he said.

During a brief conversation with reporters near his Texas ranch, President Bush noted that he also spoke Saturday with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "I explained to the Indian prime minister that while I understood his anger, I was hoping that they were not headed for war. I said, give us all a chance to work with President Musharraf to bring the terrorists to justice," said Mr. Bush.

He said it is clear President Musharraf is going after terrorists and that, in his words, "is a good sign."