Pakistan leaders vote to help fight terrorism
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- As President Bush prepared to huddle again with his national security advisers, the government of Pakistan signaled Saturday it is willing to fulfill its pledge to "fully cooperate" with the United States in its war against those responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon terror attacks.
During a meeting with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani cabinet and security council voted unanimously to "help the international community fight terrorism." A spokesman said the government would immediately "hold consultations with the Pakistani people" to build a consensus for the decision.
The United States has given the Pakistan government a "wish list" of actions it wants Pakistan to take. Included on that list is allowing, if requested, U.S. warplanes access to Pakistani airspace.
The ruling Taliban government of Afghanistan threatened any neighboring country that allows its soil to be used to help the United States stage an attack on Afghanistan.
"If neighboring or regional countries, particularly Islamic countries, give a positive response to American demand for military bases, it would spark up extraordinary danger," said Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen in Islamabad. "Similarly, if any neighboring country gives territorial way or airspace to U.S.A. against our land, it would draw us into an imposed war."
There is widespread fear in Afghanistan that the United States will attack Afghanistan because suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden is said to be living as a "guest" in that country.
On Friday, Secretary of State Colin Powell told Arab leaders from 15 nations to decide if they will stand with the United States or risk isolation.
Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary general, said Arab nations stand with the United States but need to be consulted on what action the United States plans to take.
"The Arab nations do stand with President Bush, with the U.S. All countries are against international terrorism. We are very clear that we do reject any international crime of terrorism anywhere, and in particular what happened a couple days ago in the United States," said Moussa.
"We do understand and appreciate the stand taken by Bush that United States will not let go after it happened -- that we understand, but what could be done and what should be done, we stand ready to listen, to hear and to be consulted."
On Thursday, Powell went further than any Bush administration official in naming bin Laden a leading suspect in Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Speaking about high-level contacts between the United States and Pakistan since Tuesday's attacks, Powell said: "We're looking at those terrorist organizations who have the kind of capacity to conduct the actions of September 11."
"We haven't yet publicly identified the organization we believe was responsible, but when you look at the list of candidates, one resides in that region."
When asked if bin Laden was that "candidate," Powell replied: "Yes."
The U.S. wants Afghanistan to expel bin Laden and stop allowing terrorist training in the country.
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