Musharraf sought friendly govt in Kabul after 9/11 | world | Hindustan Times
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Musharraf sought friendly govt in Kabul after 9/11

world Updated: Sep 11, 2011 22:50 IST

Even as President Pervez Musharraf accepted key demands of the US after the 9/11 terror attacks as Washington mulled military action against the Taliban regime, he underlined Islamabad's aim to have a "friendly government" in Afghanistan.

Declassified documents released by the National Security Archive on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of 2001 terrorist attacks show that after extensive meetings with ranking Pakistani military commanders on September 14, Musharraf accepted seven immediate action sought by the US in response to 9/11.

Musharraf says he "accepted the points without conditions and that his military leadership concurred," but there would be "a variety of security and technical issues that need to be addressed."

"Islamabad wants a friendly government in Kabul," Musharraf is quoted as saying in the 90-minute meeting with the then US Ambassador to Pakistan.

Colin Powell, the Secretary of State in the Bush administration, had a telephonic conversation on September 13, 2001 to discuss US-Pakistan relations and the American retaliation for the events of 9/11.

In a memo to Bush on November 5, 2011, Powell says that Pakistan will want to protect its interests and maintain influence in Kabul.

"Musharraf is pressing for a future government supportive of its interests and is concerned that the Northern Alliance will occupy Kabul," Powell says.

Musharraf also sought US clarification if its mission is to "strike UBL (Osama) and his supporters or the Taliban as well," and advises that the US should be prepared for what comes next.

"Following any military action, there should be a prompt economic recovery effort," the Pakistani military ruler says, adding "You are there to kill terrorists, not make enemies".

Powell informs Musharraf that "because Pakistan has a unique relationship with the Taliban, Pakistan has a vital role to play."

Powell told Musharraf, "‘as one general to another, we need someone on our flank fighting with us. And speaking candidly, the American people would not understand if Pakistan was not in the fight with the US'"

Powell's memo, highlights critical changes in US-Pakistan relations since 9/11, including higher levels of cooperation not only on counterterrorism policy, but also on nuclear non-proliferation, the protection of Pakistani nuclear assets, and economic development.

Powell notes that Musharraf's decision to ally with the US comes "at considerable political risk," as he has "abandoned the Taliban, frozen terrorist assets (and) quelled anti-Western protests without unwarranted force."

Pakistan was asked to undertake immediate actions, including stoping al-Qaida operatives at Pak-Afghan border, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan and end all logistical support for Osama bin Ladin and provide the US with blanket overflight and landing rights to conduct all necessary military and intelligence operations.

The US also asks Pakistan to provide territorial access to US and allied military intelligence, and other personnel to conduct all necessary operations against the perpetrators of terrorism or those that harbour them, including use of Pakistan's naval ports, airbases and strategic locations on borders.