Pak-US ties need to be salvaged immediately, says Musharraf

Published: January 10, 2012
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Former president says Islamabad needs to justify bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad
. PHOTO: FILE/REUTERS

Former president says Islamabad needs to justify bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad . PHOTO: FILE/REUTERS

DUBAI: 

Urgent action is needed to salvage Pakistan’s dire relations with the United States, former president Pervez Musharraf said, after announcing he would return home soon to re-enter politics.

“Today Pakistan-US relations are at their lowest, this is because of a trust and confidence deficit,” Musharraf told Reuters in an interview in Dubai.

“I believe Pakistan needs to justify and clarify the issue of Osama bin Laden having been found in Abbottabad,” Musharraf said. “At the same time the United States needs to identify what environment they are leaving in 2014 when they quit because that is going to affect Pakistan directly.”

Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington is seen as crucial to helping to stabilise the region before foreign combat troops leave Afghanistan in 2014.

“I believe that inter-state relations are more than half interpersonal relations between the leaders … if I think about myself, I could pick up the phone to call President Bush anytime I got agitated about anything.”

Rallying support

On Sunday, Musharraf addressed a rally via video in Karachi and announced his plan to return to the country between January 27 and Jan 30 and participate in the general elections.

Some media reports have said Musharraf, who faces the threat of arrest upon his return on charges that he failed to provide adequate security to former prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007, will seek Saudi help in obtaining guarantees that he will not be detained.

“There are no guarantees that I’m looking for from anyone, I said many times that my intention is to get the support of the people,” Musharraf told Reuters.

He did say, however, that he would hold talks with Saudi officials.

Asked if he had asked any of the military leaders for protection once he returns, Musharraf said it was not the army’s duty to provide security to individuals. “I don’t like to embarrass them, I haven’t asked them,” he said. “I will ensure my own safety, I know how to keep myself safe … there are a large group of officers who are in support and I’m very proud of that.”

Musharraf said he believed that the army would not move to take over power from President Asif Ali Zardari. He said he had made a mistake by granting amnesty to politicians and bureaucrats accused of corruption, embezzlement, money laundering, murder, and terrorism between 1986 and 1999.

“The NRO is something I shouldn’t have done. Although I was advised to, but the ultimate decision was mine,” he said, referring to the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) which he issued in 2007. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Pakistani
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Mr. Musharraf Don’t forget that your agreements with US led us to situation of salalah check post , we have support for you but the way you doing agreements with US and planning to are very concerning ,now tell us what is the process of debate in your party ,will again you take decisions on your own while majority of your companions are against you ?

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  • Pakistani
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:35AM

    The NRO is something I shouldn’t have done. Although I was advised to, but the ultimate decision was mine
    is that the way you intend to develop democracy in PAK ?who is ultimate in democracy ?

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  • Amjad
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Maybe the way to support ties for you is to get the army to illegally take over the nation and establish another dictatorship! Sorry, we saw how 9 years of your dictstorship lead to the nation’s current problems. Maybe you want to give free transit facility to foreigners again instead of letting the nation earn its rightful transit fees like the West pays Russia and Central Asian nations? Think about the tens of billions you lost Pakistan. The nation doesn’t need any aid, it just needs proper leaders.

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  • moderate
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:15PM

    well, there is only one person who is talking common sense….Musharraf all the way!

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  • Jan 10, 2012 - 9:47PM

    Sir ; you can play effectively, while living in US. Do something for country and yourself.

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