Musharraf annoyed with people who believe ISI double-crossed US

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Islamabad, Feb 6 (ANI): Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has expressed annoyance with people who believe that the ISI had been double-crossing the Americans.

"How can one assume the ISI is playing a double game? It was, in fact, the ISI that captured hundreds of al Qaeda operatives from Pakistan," he said.

He rejected allegations that he had been showing leniency towards Taliban militants.

Referring to abortive assassination attempts on his life, he wondered how he could have taken those elements lightly who wanted to kill him and destroy Pakistan.

The former president defended all the steps he took and the decisions he made in his final year in power, but refused to indulge in debate, saying he would talk about the issues in detail at an appropriate time in future.

It also appears that Musharraf did not want to enforce the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), but he did so "under pressure" from his political aides, who begged him to sign the NRO instead of allowing Benazir Bhutto to become Prime Minister for a third time.

While he was reluctant to talk about national politics, Musharraf spoke extensively to Dawn on the war against terror and Pakistan's relations with India.

He believed that a half-hearted operation in the tribal areas and Swat would serve no purpose, and claimed that during his tenure, the militants were on the run, but they took undue advantage of the recent peace initiatives of the incumbent government.

The former general proposed a sizeable increase in the strength of the Frontier Corps (FC), and said said the FC should be provided with tanks and the latest weaponry to take on the militants.

His critics blamed him for secretly allowing the United States to carry out drone attacks in the tribal areas, But Musharraf dismissed as untrue such allegations, though he admitted that he was under strong American pressure to allow the drone strikes.

"I made it clear to them that only Pakistani security forces had the authority to operate in the tribal areas."

The former president expressed no desire to enter politics in the near future. In 2009, he said, he would deliver lectures in different parts of the world. (ANI)

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