Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ex-president says no deal with US on drone strikes

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 25, IRNA -- Former Pakistani president General (retd) Parvez Musharraf has said that he had never allowed US to strike into Pakistan with unmanned drones, a media report said on Tuesday.

Pakistani ‘Express Tribune’ reported that Musharraf made the statement while answering questions on the Express TV Channel.

“There is no such deal in place. There were nine drone attacks in three years [during my time]. The deal was to fight extremism and terrorism, to defeat al-Qaeda and Taliban,” Musharraf clarified.

Musharraf added that the “drones did technically violate the sovereignty of Pakistan,” and created antipathy against the US through collateral damage which had contributed to the souring relations between Pakistan and US making the strikes counterproductive.

Musharraf suggested that a solution needs to be found since the drones did provide the benefits of killing militants.

Asked whether US troops on the ground would multiply terrorism, Musharraf said that it would not be wise (for the US) to come into North Waziristan, a military excursion into the area would create a terrible mess as it would ratchet up the anti-American sentiment.

Musharraf also voiced his opposition to complete fencing of the Pak-Afghan border citing the difficulty in putting up a manned fence over very rough terrain, the un-resolved legal aspect of the border complicates this.

Musharraf defended the ISI over the discovery of Osama bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, after being reminded that in his own book,’ it was mentioned that a senior al-Qaeda leader Al-Libbi had three safe houses in Abbottabad.

Musharraf said that it was “not a case of complicity but of serious negligence and failure of human intelligence”.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30629586

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