By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page A01
Even before he walked through the door at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York for his first face-to-face meeting with President Bush in 2001, Pervez Musharraf was something of a hero within the administration for his decisive stand against the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Over the course of a dozen private meetings and numerous phone conversations since then, the savvy and well-spoken Pakistani president has made a point of cementing his personal relationship with Bush. Musharraf has regaled the U.S. president with stories of his youth in Punjab, his empathy for rank-and-file soldiers and his desire to reform the education system in Pakistan, according to individuals familiar with those conversations.
“I think [the president] took an instant liking to Musharraf,” former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage said. “At a key moment for us, we gave Musharraf a very tough series of choices, and he came down on our side. He is blunt, and Bush likes that.”
Pakistan’s One-Man Calamity