WASHINGTON – India stamped its support on the U.S.-led war on terror Friday, despite an earlier report that its prime minister said America "was not prepared for this kind of war."
Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee pledged Friday to help America defeat terrorism "wherever it exists and under whatever name."
"We applaud the resilience and resolve of the American people in this area of trial," Vajpayee told Bush during a brief question-and-answer session with reporters.
Bush also reaffirmed that the U.S. is achieving its current military objectives
"I told the prime minister that we're achieving our military objectives," Bush said. "This is a different kind of war. It's a war that matches high-technology weapons with people on horseback."
The president added that the United States will help place a stable government in Afghanistan "after we leave."
Bush bristled at being interrupted by aggressive Indian journalists who asked whether an American life is more precious than an Indian one, a question that referenced "cross-border terrorism" from Pakistani militants in Kashmir.
India and Pakistan have been fighting over the disputed territory of Kashmir for more than 50 years.
"Terrorism is evil. And all of us must work to reject evil. Murder is evil, and we must reject murder," Bush said. "Our coalition is strong because leaders such as the prime minister fully understand that we must reject terrorism in all its forms and murder in all its causes in order for us to be peaceful."
Like his counterpart, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Vajpayee is facing political pressure at home for his support of the coalition. As the leaders met, the chief Muslim cleric in New Delhi said that he supports Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, and called the U.S.-led airstrikes on Afghanistan an attack on Islam.
The two leaders are also in the odd position of being on the same side of a major international issue, while accusing one another of the very thing they have signed on to defeat.
The fight centers on Indian accusations that Pakistan backs terrorist activities against the largely Muslim population in Indian-held Kashmir. Pakistan denies the charge but says India is blocking the territory's right to self-determination.
At a news conference in Paris Thursday, Musharraf said there are no terrorist camps in Pakistan. "In my view, there is state terrorism going on by India," he said.
On Friday, India's home minister, L.K. Advani, shot back: "This statement is totally preposterous and ridiculous." He said Pakistan and the Taliban were responsible for terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere in India for the past 15 years.
"Today or tomorrow, Pakistan has to pay a price for backing terrorism," Advani said, without elaborating.
Both Musharraf and Vajpayee are in the United States for a weekend session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Fox News' James Rosen and the Associated Press contributed to this report.