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Musharraf Admits Allowing US Drone Surveillance

Posted by on Friday, December 3, 2010, 11:26
This news item was posted in Pakistani News category and has 0 Comments so far .

Former president General Pervez Musharraf has admitted that he allowed the US to carry out drone surveillance inside Pakistan’s territory.

Musharraf Admits Allowing US Drone
Musharraf Admits Allowing US Drone

“Yes indeed, we wanted intelligence, we wanted them (the US) to locate targets,” the former general said in an exclusive interview to Express 24/7’s programme Face-off.

He added that there was only a ‘general kind of carpet agreement’ with the US and surveillance was allowed on a ‘case to case basis.’

However, according to the understanding between the US and Pakistan, the method of striking militant hideouts was left to Islamabad.

“Once we located the targets, we would decide on the method of striking either by helicopter gunship, or commando heliborne force or some other way. But that was a decision which was left to us,” said Musharraf. He insisted that his government never gave permission for drone strikes.

Earlier in October when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was asked why the government was not seeking an apology from the US over the drone strikes, he for the very first time revealed that the previous government had given permission for reconnaissance and surveillance flights by spy planes, but never for attacks.

Musharraf was faced with  taking tough decisions after 9/11. He won a lot of sympathy from all those who criticised his decision of siding with the Americans in the war against militancy when he revealed that former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had threatened his then ISI chief (retd) General Mehmood Ahmed of ‘bombing Pakistan back to the stone age’ if Islamabad did not comply with the US in the war on terror.

However Armitage denied threatening Mehmood or ever using harsh words to warn the Musharraf government.Appearing in the Face-off programme, Musharraf said he was not sure who was telling the truth – his then DG ISI or Armitage.

“Do you think that your DG ISI General Mehmood twisted Richard Armitage’s words?” he was asked. “No comments. I don’t know because this is one man’s word against the other and I don’t know,” was his response.

There is now ample evidence to suggest that the former president not only fulfilled most of the demands put by the Americans post 9/11, but he also did their bidding in the region.

In the interview, Musharraf admits that he asked JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to approach Mullah Omar in Kandahar to convince him to give up Osama bin Laden and not to blow up the Bamiyan statues.

“Give up Osama bin Laden to which country?” he was asked. “We did not discuss that, he should either be sent back to his country Saudia Arabia, but he should get out of that place. So we did not discuss the modalities of handing him over. I mean first of all he (Mullah Omar) should not be supporting Bin Laden.”

Mullah Omar, of course, refused to comply with any of the demands put by the Americans through the Pakistanis. Maulana Fazlur Rehman admits that Musharraf approached the MMA with demands identical to those of former President Bush to put before Mullah Omar.

However, he denies that he or any leader of the MMA travelled to Kandahar to speak to Mullah Omar on Musharraf’s behalf.

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