Suspending military aid: Musharraf laments strained Pak-US ties

Musharraf believes suspending military aid is not in the best interest of either country.


Express July 12, 2011

Former president Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that the White House's suspension of $800 million in aid to the Pakistan military is not in the best interest of either country and could hamper anti-terrorism efforts.

“We are weakening the country and the army,” Musharraf said during an address at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy. “It will have a negative effect certainly on the Pakistan army, on its capability to fight terrorism.”

He said he was saddened by the confrontation between Pakistan and the US, as well as their armies and intelligence services.

"It saddens me because I remember when there was trust," he said, pointing to what he said were his strong relationships with President George W Bush and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.

"I could pick up the phone," he said. "The line was always open. I wonder now if that degree of communication exists."

The former president said restoration of better relations depended on leadership and straightforward talks.

He said this could begin with Islamabad’s "top level" assurances to Washington that Pakistan was not providing a safe haven to Osama bin Laden.

The former military ruler's tenure as president included the years bin Laden apparently moved to the compound in Abbottabad, home of Pakistan's military academy, where he was killed May 2 by US commandos during a covert raid.

As he has in the past, Musharraf denied he or Pakistan's domestic spy services knew of bin Laden's location, at least during his time in power.

"For two years, I can for sure, with 100 per cent guarantee, whether you believe it or not, I didn't know," he said.

COMMENTS (29)

ehsanali | 10 years ago | Reply

@Mohan Ram: We did not get rid of him rather there were few people like lawyers and media funded from outside did not like Pakistan to progress and started fake rallies and protests against him.Finally he stepped down voluntarily.

Omer | 10 years ago | Reply

@Jon. I think there is something wrong with your hearing.

For the record, Musharraf doubled Pakistan's GDP in 9 years (World Bank), made Pakistan go from the second most corrupt country to the 48th by 2008 (Transparency International) and made Pakistan's exports and tax grow by 200 per cent and 400 per cent respectively (World Bank). I think these are major achievements and we would be lucky to have him back.

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