Ahead of his meeting with President George W Bush, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has urged the US to throw its weight behind the Indo-Pak peace process to ensure that it moved forward without interruption.
Washington needs to back the peace process and ensure its continuity, Musharraf, who is scheduled to meet Bush in Washington on September 27, said addressing a select group of journalists and think tanks at the Nixon Centre in New York on Tuesday.
Officials, who briefed the Pakistani media on Musharraf's interaction, attended among others by former US ambassador to India Robert Blackwill, said the president also spoke of the Indo-US nuclear deal which, he said, caused anguish among the people of Pakistan, who felt the US was biased towards Islamabad which also needed energy to sustain its economy.
Musharraf outlined the contours of the long-term broad-based strategic partnership between Pakistan and the US and the need to further cement their ties in the areas of defence, economy, trade and investment.
He said the US cannot leave Pakistan in lurch like in the past, especially after the erstwhile Soviet Union quit Afghanistan, as it has vital interest in the region.
China is also located in the region, therefore Pakistan's importance cannot diminish, Musharraf said. "Even if the war on terror ends, the US will stay in the region," he added.