Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says it is too early for the U-S military to consider leaving Afghanistan.
In a Wednesday interview with the Associated Press, General Musharraf said the U-S war on terrorism in Afghanistan is incomplete because al-Qaida forces are still operating in that country.
General Musharraf also said the Afghan transitional government has not established control nationwide. He called for expanding the international peacekeeping force in Kabul to at least seven regions in the country. He said the peacekeepers together with the U-S military should remove from power regional warlords who rule the countryside.
The general's comments came after Pakistan's recent request for the release of most Pakistani fighters captured by U-S troops in Afghanistan, because he says they have not been linked to al-Qaida.
In his interview with A-P, President Musharraf repeated his position that the U-S military is not needed in Pakistan, even though he said some al-Qaida elements are still hiding there.
Last month, Pakistani Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider asked for the release of 55 of the 58 Pakistani prisoners in detention at a U-S Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States has not commented on the request.
Wednesday, Afghanistan freed 55 Pakistani prisoners accused of fighting with the ousted Taleban regime.
While at the United Nations, President Musharraf is also expected to address the General Assembly, focusing most likely on the divided state of Kashmir.
The Pakistani leader said earlier this week his country will not join the United States in military action against Iraq.