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US-Pak relations 'terrible, at lowest ebb': Musharraf


October 27, 2011 - Washington

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has described the relationship between Pakistan and the United States as "terrible".

"Pakistan-United States relations are terrible. They are at the lowest ebb," Musharraf said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

"It's the most unfortunate thing because - I fear it is unfortunate because we have to have commonality of thought and action if we want to defeat terrorism and - if you're going to combat terrorism and extremism," he added.

The former president said he wanted to highlight, with full conviction, the strategic plane in Pakistan, the country's overall strategy and direction as far as terrorism and extremism is concerned.

"Certainly, it cannot be pro-Taliban, pro-Al-Qaida. Why can't it be? Because Pakistan army has suffered over 3,000 dead; because the same ISI, the much-maligned ISI, has suffered about about 350 operatives dead, killed through suicide bombings. By whom? By Taliban, by al-Qaida, the same enemy," he stated.

The former Pakistan president said there is a problem at the tactical, at the modality, at the handling of situation, at the dealing with situations.

"There may be a misunderstanding, there may be a difference of opinion, but anyone who tries to convert this tactical mishandling and difference of opinion to reflect or to cast aspersion that ISI and army, at the top level, by design, are facilitating, abetting, encouraging, arming maybe the Haqqani group to go across and kill United States soldiers and bomb U.S. embassy, I think is - (diverged ?) from reality, ladies andentlemen," he said.

He said he was 'very sad' at Admiral Mike Mullen's remarks against the ISI last month.

"Now, when a person of Admiral Mullen's stature says that Haqqani group is an extension of ISI, he means that the DG-ISI, therefore the army, is against United States, is abetting with the Haqqani group, is with the Taliban. That means Pakistan is the enemy. Pakistan is not the friend. Pakistan is not the coalition member," he said.

"We have to be very, very discreet, very understanding, very accurate in this understanding. I think it is totally against the interest of United States and Pakistan and the region and also the world because it violates this - what I say as the unity of thought and action against Taliban, Al-Qaida and terrorists," he added.

ANI

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