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Punch Lines for Pakistan's President

Sitting president and a stand-up guy: Pervez Musharraf with host on
Sitting president and a stand-up guy: Pervez Musharraf with host on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." (By Adam Rountree -- Associated Press)

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"Is that because you felt like it was such a smart move, and has gone so well that to mention it would be gloating?" Stewart asked.

Musharraf laughed and said of the war, "It has led certainly to more extremism and terrorism around the world."

"So we're safer?" Stewart pressed.

Musharraf laughed again. "No, we're not."

Stewart also asked if Bush pays attention when Musharraf meets with him, or whether he might be, say, watching television or sleeping with his eyes open. The president of Pakistan said the president of the United States paid close attention during their last meeting.

Book tours can benefit greatly from juicy details released in advance of publication, and this has proved no less true for Musharraf's book. Last week, it came to light that Musharraf claimed that former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage threatened to bomb his country "back to the Stone Age" if Pakistan did not cooperate in the war on terror. (Armitage has since denied making such a threat.)

Asked about the "Stone Age" quote at a news conference with Bush on Friday, the Pakistani president said he could not discuss his book before it came out, citing an agreement with his publisher.

"In other words, buy the book is what he's saying," Bush said.

Is there any publicity better than that? Of course -- Oprah.


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