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'Aid suspension to have "disastrous" consequences'

world Updated: Jul 12, 2011 18:03 IST

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has predicted dire consequences from the recent US decision to suspend 800 million dollars of military aid to Pakistan.

"Certainly it will be disastrous," The Wall Street Journal quoted Musharraf, as saying during a speech at Rice University.

"It is not in the best interest of Pakistan, but also not in the best interest of the United States. If Pakistan is weakened how do we fight terrorism?" he questioned.

Musharraf, who seized power in 1999 during a bloodless coup, ceded his position in 2008 and since then has lived in London. Last year, he formed a new political party, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), and said he plans seek re-election.

"Frankly, I'm trying" to become president, he said. "I've created a party of my own for the sake of Pakistan. I'm not doing it for myself because I'm very happy on my lecture circuit.

"If we succeed I know what to do, We don''t have to reinvent the wheel."

Musharraf touted the "strong interpersonal relationships" he held with former US President George Bush and secretary of state Colin Powell, and blamed the disintegrating US-Pakistan relationship on current leaders'' lack of familiarity, the report asid.

"The killing of Osama bin Laden, the issue is dead. The issue of why our sovereignty was violated is very much alive," the former military ruler told the audience.

To repair relations, the US "must consider our sensitivities and our sovereignty," he said, adding that meanwhile, Pakistan must convince the US that there was "no complicity" in sheltering the former al Qaeda leader.