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Danger for Pakistan, India if US quits Afghanistan: Musharraf

September 25, 2009

* Washington must immediately send more troops to Afghanistan, be ready for casualties
* Calls Nawaz ‘closet Taliban’, says PML-N chief never speaks against terrorism, extremism

Daily Times Monitor

President MusharrafLAHORE: Pakistan and India will face great danger from Al Qaeda if the United States pulls out of Afghanistan, former president Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Musharraf said a US pullout would result in an unstable Afghanistan.

“The country [Afghanistan] will become the centre of all Al Qaeda sanctuaries and consequently could extend its influence into Pakistan and possibly even India,” Musharraf said.

Troops: To a question on the US consideration of sending more troops to Afghanistan, he said US President Obama should have complied with Gen Stanley McChyrstal’s recommendation “yesterday”. “I think you should take it immediately. You should have taken it yesterday,” Musharraf said.

Musharraf said he “absolutely” believed there needed to be more troops in Afghanistan. But he said sending more troops could mean an increase in casualties, something the US should be prepared for.

“We must avoid casualties, as much as possible. But when soldiers move and armies act, casualties will be there, and we should accept casualties,” he said.

He said the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan should be mined, a proposition he termed “drastic”.

“As far as I’m concerned, we should mine it so that people can’t go across,” Musharraf said.

He called PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif “abrasive” and confrontational.

“He has never been on good terms with any president of Pakistan,” he said, adding that Nawaz was a “closet Taliban”.

“Even on Pakistan Television these days, talk shows are going on saying that he has met Osama Bin Laden five times – five times before 9/11 – and he has been financed by Osama,” Musharraf said. “Then the other element is that he never speaks against terrorism and extremism.”

Source: Daily Times

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