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Musharraf under fire

india Updated: Oct 26, 2006 18:31 IST
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President Pervez Musharraf's sharp attack on India asking it not to dominate Pakistan did not find any merit in a leading newspaper here, which felt that he should stop his rhetoric.

Critical of a possible hint of malice in Musharraf's "message" to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistan's Daily Times said, "the world will not miss the contrast of the two personalities".

In an editorial, it said "no one likes braggarts, especially when they are using rhetoric to grab at whatever is left of the support they enjoy at home.

"If the President implies that India is interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs, the world is more likely to disbelieve him and instead point to the internal dangers faced by Pakistan".

In an interview to a private television channel on Tuesday, Musharraf had said, "I respect the Indian Prime Minister but it is regrettable that India wants to keep its domination in the region and wants Pakistan to be a weaker force".

The Pakistan President had also said that India should come out of its obsession of being a "greater nation" and should talk to Islamabad on an equal level.

Commenting on Pakistan President's remarks, the newspaper said as for Musharraf's ability to disallow anyone to interfere in Pakistan's internal matters, the last time he tried in Waziristan (in northern Pakistan) to do exactly that he ended up making "a deal that looked like capitulation".

The newspaper was referring to the recent deal between Pakistan authorities and reportedly pro-Taliban tribals in Waziristan under which military operations were stopped in that area.

Observing that not long ago, Musharraf was "original," the daily said he talked about Pakistan as a trade corridor and thought about it, not in terms of strategic depth, but as a commercial hub.

The daily described as "even more interesting" Musharraf's remark that there was "no separatist movement in Pakistan...But in India 21 separatist movements are taking place, thus India should not consider us a weaker nation".

In the editorial, it said, "Why should he (Musharraf) revert to the defeated rhetoric of the (army) generals of the yore? This equal of India spiel is fine if it is meant to refuse dictation but dangerous if it is avowed as a strategic doctrine".

The daily said "the last time we took it seriously, we were separated from East Pakistan...Meanwhile, India's 21 separatist movements have not stopped it from making progress. Such rhetoric is passé. Let us get concrete about ourselves". 

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