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India should not talk of surgical strikes: Musharraf

world Updated: Jan 10, 2009 12:32 IST

IANS
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India should not talk of "surgical strikes" on Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attack, as forces were ready to "retaliate to any aggression", former president Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday.

"India should not talk rubbish like surgical strikes. Our forces are not sitting idle and have full capacity to retaliate to any level of aggression," the former military dictator told reporters before leaving for the US where he is scheduled to deliver lectures at various institutes.

"Why they (Indians) are again and again talking of surgical strikes? Why can't Pakistan say the same," asked Musharraf, considered the architect of the Kargil conflict with India in 1999.

Musharraf said his government had tried its best to develop friendly relations with the eastern neighbour. "I believe relations were going fine with India until the Mumbai attacks," he said.

"The only way to resolve the mystery of the Nov 26 attacks is to hold joint investigations," he added.

He avoided questions on the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government's handling of the crisis after the Mumbai attacks that India has blamed on Pakistani elements.

He said he would not comment on the performance of the government and neither would he compare it with his government.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nine and a half years after dismissing the elected government of Nawaz Sharif in October 1999, when Musharraf was the chief of army staff.

The former president said his government had never authorised any drone strikes inside Pakistan by the US-led forces. "It was agreed that the US or the NATO forces can strike upto the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and would not enter the Pakistan territory," he said.

Musharraf said the West asking Pakistan to "do more" on the terrorism front was "beyond understanding".

"Pakistan has done its best against terrorism and we are the worst victim of terrorism and still we are being targeted," said the former ruler who was forced to resign in August last year under national and international pressure.

This is his second foreign visit since his resignation. "I'll continue to visit foreign countries as I have invitations from friends, family and some international institutions," he said.