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Musharraf scolds Karzai for intelligence operations

Musharraf also chided Karzai for leaking information to the press, saying it "certainly alerts whatever enemies we are operating against."

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 03:18 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Sunday chastised Afghan's president for being oblivious to intelligence operations in Afghanistan.

Musharraf also said Afghan President Hamid Karzai should address what he called "the conspiracy going on against Pakistan" in Afghanistan's defence ministry and intelligence organization. "I feel there is a very, very deliberate attempt to malign Pakistan by some agents," Musharraf said in an interview with CNN.

"President Karzai is totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country."

Pakistan, a key US ally, has faced pressure from Washington to make stronger efforts to dismantle terrorist training camps. During his trip to Pakistan last week, US President George W Bush said it was imperative to hunt down al-Qaida operatives and suggested Pakistan could do a better job sharing intelligence.

On Sunday, Musharraf criticized information that Karzai passed him last month indicating Mullah Mohammed Omar, supreme leader of the Taliban regime ousted from Afghanistan by US-led forces, and key associates were hiding in Pakistan.

"Two-thirds of it is months' old, and it is outdated, and there is nothing" there, Musharraf said.

He blasted Karzai for waiting for a face-to-face meeting to hand over the list.

"What was stopping them from giving this list or sharing these numbers immediately on occurrence?" he asked. "Is that the way intelligence functions?"

Musharraf also chided Karzai for leaking the information to the press, saying it "certainly alerts whatever enemies we are operating against."

"There is no need of releasing such sensitive information to the press," he said. "And he did that."

During Sunday's interview, Musharraf said he and Bush discussed Pakistan's need for nuclear energy. "There was a very positive response from his side," Musharraf said of Bush's reaction. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to a landmark agreement that would supply India with nuclear fuel in return for stronger Indian safeguards. The deal must be approved by the US Congress.

Musharraf also defended political freedom in Pakistan. Critics say Musharraf, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, has refused to allow true democracy.

"We have restored sustainable democracy in Pakistan," he said. "We have empowered the people of Pakistan through the local government system, which was nonexistent in the past."

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 03:18 IST