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President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf interview.

Posted by QB on September 27, 2006

Wolf Blitzer talked to President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. This interview where Pervez Musharraf looks calm and confident with compare to all the high ranking Muslim World leaders who are so ashamed of their identity and try to justify all the Bush administration oppressive policies. Musharraf was very open replying Wolf’s questions with some diplomacy where he did not clearly said what was on his mind and I am sure this is due to Bush administration warning or threat not to refute any of US government policies or statements related to “war on terror”.

President Bush today brushed off suggestions that tensions between two of his critical allies in the war on terror are hampering the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bush is preparing to host an extraordinary dinner involving the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the Afghan President Hamid Karzai. That would be at the White House tomorrow night.

Wolf asked President Musharraf about the Bush statement that US government will take action if they have credible information of Osama Bin Laden.

Musharraf reply. Well, my comments are — I have been giving my comments that this is a sensitive area. And our decision is that we operate on our side of the border and U.S. forces and allies operate on the other side.

Now, having said that, we are hunting Osama and Zawahiri together. We are on the hunt, we are on the lookout for him. When we locate him, we have to take action, we have to take effective action to do away with him.

Wolf asked the second question which reelects his ignorance about Pakistan culture tradition and society. What would be wrong if the United States tried to capture or kill bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri, his number two, in Pakistan?

Musharraf reply was diplomatic. He must have received fresh threats from Bush administration.

“Well, it is a very sensitive issue. We should not be discussing how and who is to deliver the blow, but whenever we locate him, we have to deal with him. And let’s leave it at that and let’s not get into the sensitivities of who and how it will be done.” Musharraf.

Wolf other question again show is complete ignorance. But you’ve discussed — you’re a very candid, blunt president. You discuss many sensitive issues in your new book, which we’ll talk about. I’m trying to get an understanding, if the United States has certain technical means, military means, special operations forces, Hellfire missiles from Predator drones or whatever to get the job done, perhaps talents that the Pakistani military or the intelligence community doesn’t have, you’re close allies with the United States. Why not let the U.S. do that?

“I can assure you that all of the weapons that you’re talking of are available and we use them. And we use them effectively whenever we locate al Qaeda on our side of the border. And let it remain at that. We will use anything that is required to deal with the situation. ” Musharraf reply.

Wolf other question was stupid compete ignorance. Should the anchors and reporters have the responsibility to atlest have the basic know of that country so they can understand the response.

Why is it okay, Mr. President, for the U.S. to operate in neighboring Afghanistan and try to hunt for al Qaeda or Taliban leaders, but it wouldn’t be okay to operate in Pakistan? Wolf asked.

Please don’t compare Pakistan with Afghanistan. Pakistan is a very, very stable country. We have a strong government. We have a strong military. We have a strong intelligence system. And everything in Afghanistan had broken down. So how can you compare the two?

“We don’t want our sovereignty to be violated. Whereas, in Afghanistan, there was an issue of terrorism within Afghanistan after 9/11. And that law and order was totally broken down. It was warlordism going on. It was — the situation in Afghanistan was various warlords were controlling different parts of Afghanistan. How can you compare that with Pakistan?” Musharraf reply was with no diplomacy.

Wolf you ask Bush if he would allow the Russian troops to take action against the Chechen rebels which they claim are under US and UK government protection.

Because some U.S. officials — and you know this very well — they fully support you. They have total confidence in you as the president of Pakistan. But there’s a lot of concern about others in Pakistan, especially in the intelligence service, even within the military, that there could be moles that would tip off al Qaeda or Taliban if the U.S. shared certain very sensitive information it could pick up. You’re familiar with this? Wolf another question.

“Yes, I am familiar, but I don’t agree with that at all. Anyone who knows our intelligence services, anyone who knows our military, they will not say that. And in any case, we exchange the most sensitive issues, more sensitive information already. There is total coordination in the intelligence and the operational level also.” Musharraf.

But even there have even been some threats against you from within your own military or your intelligence service. You’re arrested certain people. Wolf question.

Musharraf reply. “Yes. That happened so many years back, and that happened at the very low level. And in a force which is about 600,000, if you combine Army, Navy, Air Force, if there are about five, six individuals who have done that, there is not such an alarming issue.

And that were lower ranks. No officer was involved. The armed forces of Pakistan are commanded by officers. Actions are taken by officers, decisions are taken by officers. So these were some people who got affected by what was happening around, and these were individual acts of terrorism. ”

Wolf next question was related to Peter Burgen CNN terrorism and Al Qaeda Expert and I called him stupid who has no knowledge about Osama Bin Laden neither understand the real motives of his movement. This is written in another seperate blog post. Wolf quoted Peter Burgen article words “The key to the resurgent Taliban can be summarized in one word: Pakistan. The Pakistani government has proved unwilling or incapable (or both) of clamping down on the religious militia, even though the headquarters of the Taliban and its key allies are in Pakistan.”

Musharraf reply was just what I said in my blog entry regarding Peter Burgen. “” MUSHARRAF: Now this is absolute, sheer ignorance of realities on the ground. This is not the reality. Taliban were created in ’95 in Afghanistan. They took over the whole of Afghanistan, 90 percent. ” Musharraf also pointed out these Taliban were all Afghan not from Pakistan North West Frontier Province.

Wolf next question was again another allegation that Mullah Omar is hiding in Quetta.

Musharraf called it ridiculous. “This is most ridiculous. In Quetta, in Pakistan, it’s the provincial headquarters. There corps headquarters, there are two divisions. There is a provincial government functioning. And there is an intelligence set up of CIA and ISI. I must say this. Both of them are inefficient if they don’t even know that Mullah Omar is there.”

Musharraf further added. ” We — whenever we track down terrorists, wherever they are, we get technical — technical support from your people.

But I would like to — this is a report of the United Nations. Very briefly, I will just take one minute. Twenty-four September, day before yesterday, report of secretary-general on the situation in Afghanistan, I just want to read out one — a few.

Insurgency is being conducted mostly by Afghans operating inside Afghanistan’s borders. Leadership appears to rely on support and sanctuary from outside the country.

Now, this is where Pakistan gets involved.

But, more than that, let But, more than that, let me just state the report identifies five district leadership centers of the insurgency, appearing to act in loose coordination with each other, and benefiting from financial and operational links with the drug trafficking network, which I have been saying.”

Wolf asked. So, you’re talking about what is happening in Afghanistan right now? Wolf that that Kabul President Hamid Karzai is complaining that Pakistan is responsible of Talibans uprising.

Musharraf reply is new information for me. This information is not on Internet this must be Pakistan own intelligence report.

“Now, they include the wing of — now, this is what is happening there. Hezb-i Islami Party of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is in Kunar. And Taliban Northern Command is in Nangarhar and Laghman provinces. Networks led by Jalaluddin Haqqani is in Khost and Paktia, Juana Shura (ph) for Paktika, Taliban Southern Command in Zabul, Kandahar. The foot soldiers of the insurgency are Afghans recruited within Afghanistan. That is what I want to read.

Now, I have been crying hoarse to the whole world, sir, this Taliban movement, let us not get it converted into a people’s movement. And this is what is happening in Afghanistan.

If you keep going wrong, and thinking every one thing is in Pakistan, this is what will happen. Now, if everything is in Afghanistan, I must say Mullah Omar is damn crazy to be sitting in Quetta, when his people who are fighting, his army, is sitting in Afghanistan. This is a Pashtun uprising by the people going on. If he doesn’t understand this, he will keep going there, and we are going to lose in Afghanistan. ”

Wolf. But, before we do, I just want to press you on this point. The last time you and I spoke was in March. And you said this. You said about President Hamid Karzai, the man you’re going to have dinner with tomorrow night at the White House, with President Bush, you said then that President Karzai — and I’m quoting now — “is totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country.”

And you just referred to a lot that is happening in Afghanistan right now. Question: Is he still oblivious to what is happening in Afghanistan, or do you owe him an apology?
“He is not oblivious. He knows everything. But he’s purposely denying — turning a blind eye, like an ostrich. He doesn’t want to tell the world what is the fact, for his own personal reasons. This is what I think.” Musharraf.

Wolf question Musharraf what are the personal reasons that President of Kabul Karzai is not telling the truth.

Musharraf reply. “There are — in the governance in Afghanistan, there is a certain community which is feeling alienated. And this country has 50 to 60 percent representation of Afghanistan. And that is his problem. He has to balance out. And he is not being able to do that.

And, therefore, he is trying to hide that everything is happening from Pakistan. If he keep going wrong, I have been telling the world since three months, we are delaying. We are getting late. All this that I have read is what is happening in Afghanistan in all the provinces. This is a movement going on. ”

We’re speaking with the president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. He’s here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Mr. President, this deal that you worked out with these tribal elders along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, some describe it as, effectively, amnesty for al Qaeda and the Taliban. You reject that. You say this is part of the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

“The London Daily Telegraph,” though, this past Sunday, wrote this: “The fugitive Taliban commander, Omar has emerged as the key player behind the movement’s controversial peace deal with Pakistan. The Taliban’s one-eyed spiritual leader, who has a $10 million price on his head for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks, signed a letter explicitly endorsing the truce announced this month.”

Your reaction.
Musharraf “No. I don’t really know anything about what they are saying. I don’t know whether they have proof of this. I would like to have the proof of Mullah Omar having supported the process.

But, however, I’m interested in the effects. They approached the governor themselves to reach this peace deal. And the peace deal is between, as you said, with the tribal elders. And the basic strategy, which we must understand, when I’m saying we want to avoid the greatest danger, the disastrous danger of this being converted, the Taliban getting converted into a people’s movement.

We can only do that if we understand that all Pashtun are — the Taliban are all Pashtuns, but all Pashtuns are not Taliban. We need to take away the Pashtun, the majority — it is in majority — I know that — from the Taliban.”

Musharraf further deafened their peace deal with Tribal elders. “And this deal is intended to take the majority away from the Pashtun, wean them away, and then utilize them with the force backup to counter the Taliban. his is the political strategy which is the right direction. Maybe it should be repeated, replicated in — on the — across the border, if we succeed.”

Wolf next question was related to his recent publised book “In the Line of Fire: A Memoir” about Richard Armitage threat to bombing Pakistan to stone-age.

Musharraf. “Well, I have written whatever I heard. And my intelligence director did say that. Now, I would leave it at that.

He didn’t contact me. He didn’t say that to me. ”

This is what Musharraf said regarding CIA money payments which is denied by US government and CIA.

“Yes. I think that, if it is written “government of Pakistan,” yes.

It has to — these people, there are so many of them that had money of $5 million there, declared, had money. So, that has to be given.

Now, to whom it is given and how it is given, I don’t even know the details. But, however, there is only — there is not one person who is involved in these operations. There is a whole organization and a whole operation that goes on of intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

How the money gets distributed, it is distributed to people, certainly. So, I’m very clear that this money does get distributed. I’m not even involved in who distributes and who exactly gets. Certainly not the government, and not the government. And I would like — if I have written the government of Pakistan, no, government of Pakistan has not received anything. ”

This was Mussharraf reply to Wolf long statement about Karzai and him meeting tomorrow with Bush to sort out their differences at dinner in White House.

” We need to have the proper atmosphere and proper attitudes. Then only should we sit together, instead of showing the whole world what is happening.

I think this is a situation where we need to coordinate effort. We need to be harmony — there needs to be harmony between Afghanistan, Pakistan, allied forces, especially United States.

And if there is disharmony, if there is disagreement, even on the environment, it is the most terrible — and I think, at the moment, there is total misunderstanding of the environment by Afghanistan and Karzai. And I know Karzai knows the environment. But he is denying the realities, and putting all the — he’s finding it more convenient to throw the blame on Pakistan, that Mullah Omar is there. Headquarter of (INAUDIBLE) is there.

I read out the U.N. report. I have been saying exactly this since three months. Every one is telling Pakistan is supporting them financially. If Pakistan is supporting, then I am supporting, because I — we are controlling finances. The prime minister, who was my ex- finance minister, he’s — must be giving the money to them.

All — there is no philanthropist in Pakistan who is doing all this. The money is from drugs. And this is very clear.”

Musharraf also had the same view that Iraq invasion has made this world more dangerous place with rising terrorism.

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