Musharraf says Pakistan not complicit on bin Laden
Washington, July 22: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday that “absolute negligence and not complicity” was behind his country’s Osama bin Laden fiasco and Washington and Islamabad must put that episode behind them and rebuild trust.
“We must convince the world and the United States that the issue of Osama bin Laden was not complicity; it was negligence of a very monumental order,” he said in a speech in Washington.
“Two years of that five years was during my time. I confidently and surely say that there was not complicity because I am very sure of one thing: that I didn’t know, whether one believes it or not,” said Musharraf.
The 67-year-old former general ruled the nuclear-armed country from 1999-2008 and allied Pakistan with the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks, forging close ties with then-President George W. Bush.
Dispelling suspicions over bin Laden would be “the starting point of reestablishing some kind of trust and confidence in each other,” he said.
Musharraf, who lives in London but plans return to Pakistan next year and participate in 2013 elections, outlined steps Islamabad and Washington needed to take to restore trust in relations he said were “at their lowest in a decade”.
In addition to dispelling the bin Laden suspicions, Pakistan had to address U.S. anxiety that it is not actively pursuing the Haqqani group and other extremists living along its border with Afghanistan, he said.
“The United States must show consideration to our sensitivities” about sovereignty, nuclear weapons and India, including the divided and disputed territory of Kashmir, said Musharraf.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 22 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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