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'Pak diverted US funds against India'

Former President Pervez Musharraf has said that military aid provided by the US to Pakistan for the war against terror during his tenure had been used to strengthen defences against India, the first such admission by any top Pakistani leader.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2009 07:34 IST

Former President Pervez Musharraf has said that military aid provided by the US to Pakistan for the war against terror during his tenure had been used to strengthen defences against India, the first such admission by any top Pakistani leader.

Musharraf admitted that he had violated rules governing the use of the military aid, and justified his actions by saying he had "acted in the best interest of Pakistan."

In an interview with a news channel, he said he "did not care" whether the US would be angered by his disclosure.

The former military ruler, who resigned as President in August last year to avoid impeachment, said he was not ready to compromise on Pakistan's interests.

India and several influential lawmakers in the US have been saying that Pakistan had used funds given to it by the US to take on militants to strengthen its defences against India.

However, Pakistan had been denying the charges.

Musharraf said that if he had not supported the US in the war against terror after the 9/11 attacks, American forces could have entered Pakistan to capture its nuclear assets. He said it was also possible that the US and India could have
jointly attacked the country.

Pakistan's Supreme Court recently declared the emergency imposed by Musharraf in 2007 as illegal unconstitutional, raising the possibility of his trial for treason.

Musharraf also said President Asif Ali Zardari's policy on relations with the US was similar to his policy. He justified joining the US-led war on terror, saying he feared America would use force against Pakistan if he had refused to become an ally in the campaign.

The former President quit in August last year to avoid impeachment. He has been living outside Pakistan since mid-April.