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Musharraf blames US' pro-India nuclear policy for anti-Americanism in Pakistan

June 9, 2011 - Washington

The United States' "nuclear policy of appeasement and strategic co-operation with India" is partly responsible for an acute trust deficit between the US and Pakistan, former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said.

Commenting on why there is so much antipathy in Pakistan's public mind against the US, he said that the bilateral relationship, and even public perceptions of each other, were pretty normal and friendly until 1989.

"The abandonment of Pakistan after 1989, with a strategic shift of U.S. policy towards India and military sanctions against Pakistan, cost U.S.-Pakistan relations very dearly," Musharraf wrote in a piece for CNN.

He explained that in Pakistan's public mind, the US "used" Pakistan and then abandoned it, which was taken as a betrayal.

"The US nuclear policy of appeasement and strategic co-operation with India against Pakistan is taken by the man in the street in Pakistan as very partisan and an act of animosity against our national interest," the former president said.

"The continuing US military presence and operations in Afghanistan, the indiscriminate drone attacks with increasing collateral damage in the tribal agencies of Pakistan and, finally, the violation of Pakistani sovereignty in the cross-border strike against Osama bin Laden are all now seen most negatively by the people of Pakistan," he added.

To further complicate and indeed weaken our joint war against terror, there is an acute deficit of trust and confidence between the US and Pakistan at all levels of government, the military and intelligence, said Musharraf, adding that this has increased manifold over the last year.

Noting that the present environment does not bode well for the global war on terror, he said: "The earlier we mend fences, the better for Pakistan, the United States, the south Asia region and indeed the whole world."

The first and most urgent need of the hour is to restore trust, said Musharraf, adding that both allies in the war on terror "must speak the truth with each other very openly and frankly."


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