Bush frustrated by Musharraf

November 12, 2010

Former US president George W. Bush has acknowledged that Pakistan “paid a high price for taking on extremists” and said its forces were successful for several years in targeting Al-Qaeda militants crossing the porous border with Afghanistan.

In his book “Decision Points” published Tuesday, Bush said he had “complex” relations with Pakistan and its former military leader Pervez Musharraf, who pledged to support the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Bush said: “Over time, it became clear that Musharraf either would not or could not fulfill all of his promises.”

“Some in the Pakistani intelligenceservice, the ISI, retained close ties to Taliban officials.

Others wanted an insurance policy in case America abandoned Afghanistan andIndia tried to gain influence there,” Bush wrote.

Bush said he grew frustrated by late in his presidency. He recalled a meeting withUS special forces returning from Afghanistan in which one troop pleaded with him, “We need permission to go kick some ass inside Pakistan.
“Bush said he could not reveal details of his decision but noted that the Predator, an unmanned predator drone, “was capable of conducting video surveillance and firing laser-guided bombs.”

“I authorized the intelligence community to turn up the pressure on the extremists.

Many of the details of our actions remain classified. But soon after I gave the order, the press started reporting more Predator strikes,” he wrote.
Musharraf raised controversy in 2006 when the United States threatened to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if it did not lend support after the September 11 attacks.

In the memoir, Bush said Colin Powell, then secretary of state, called Musharraf on September 13, 2001 and told him he “had to decide whose side he was on” and gave him “non-negotiable demands” including breaking relations with the Taliban and denying Al-Qaeda havens inside Pakistan.

Bush said that Pakistan’s cooperation was impeded by its obsession with historic rival India. Both Bush and Obama have sought warmer relations with India.

“In almost every conversation we had, Musharraf accused India of wrongdoing,” Bush wrote.

Source: Today’s views


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