Osama could be in Bajaur: Musharraf
(Ground Report) ISLAMABAD: Expressing his ignorance on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, President Pervez Musharraf said, no one knows where Osama is but he could be in Bajaur — this is the tribal agency bordering Kunar province, where there were no coalition forces in the past. On the Afghan side — that’s in Afghanistan.
He stated this in an interview.
Refusing to restore the deposed judges Musharraf categorically stated that they would never be restored and no western interference would be tolerated in the internal affairs of Pakistan.
Musharraf categorically refusing to reinstate judges who opposed him and dismissing western criticism in this regard said, “We took action. The judges had to take oaths, and those that took the oaths are there. Those that did not are gone. This action was validated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Why should they be restored? New judges are there. They will never be restored.
“Let the western world not understand. They should come to Pakistan and understand Pakistan”.
Retreating that there are no curbs on media the president said there are no restrictions on press.
“There is no problem criticizing the government. . . . The problem was that they were distorting realities and creating despondencies in the people of Pakistan by showing pictures of dead bodies and interviewing terrorists — not showing the law enforcement authorities in a good light but showing the terrorists in a better light. Thus they encouraged terrorism and discouraged the law enforcers. They were undermining the good work of the government, were entirely one-sided, and some responsibility had to be brought in.
“We issued a code of conduct and asked them to sign it. It’s as good as you have in your own country. All the channels except one accepted it, and all except one are open. The print media were not closed at all.”
Blaming the western media for his problems said, “The Western media was undermining what [we] are doing. Your media keeps criticizing the army and the ISI — not understanding what their real contribution is to fighting terrorism.
They showed those who took action as villains and brought those madwomen who were there on television and made heroes of them. It should have been converted into a great positive. . . . Instead, it was as if we had done something terrible”.
In response to a question whether the US had abandoned him President Musharraf said, ” No, I don’t. I stuck out my neck for Pakistan. I didn’t stick out my neck for anyone else. It happened to be in the interest of the world and the U.S. Describing President Bush as supportive towards him, “The president has been extremely supportive. I have nothing against President Bush. I think he has been most supportive; he has been a very sincere friend. I must say he understands fully the Pakistan environment. He understands why I had to act and what I’m facing. He totally and completely understands. He understands the emergency. He understands what we were suffering and that an action had to be taken” We are combating terrorism and we are on the winning side.
The issue is in the FATA — that is, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. There are two of them in north and south Waziristan and a third one in Bajaur.
President Musharraf refusing to say whether he would endorse a constitutional amendment to allow former prime minister Benazir Bhutto to serve a third term said that he had no such promise to the US that he would lift The ban in this regard
” No I haven’t given any such promises. We did talk about it, but there were many things that we talked about which have been violated . . . ” But adding that he is willing to work with her if she wins
Stressing on the need of settlement of Palestinian conflict the president said the anti US sentiments are growing in the Muslim world due to lack of progress on these issues
Warning against any unilateral strike in Pakistan against the Al-Qaeda by the US troops or US access to Dr AQ Khan the President said: “That will not be acceptable to Pakistan. The people of Pakistan will not accept any foreign involvement here, and I do not think it is required. We have intelligence cooperation . . . .
No, it would be interference in our country. Would you like Pakistani intelligence to interfere in the U.S.? The problem with the West is that you want the developing world to do everything that you wish and desire. . . . Are we that incapable, are we that small? This is not a banana republic.”
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