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Musharraf urges US to hand over drones to Pak.

Byline: ANI

London, Sep.10 (ANI) : Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has urged the United States to hand over the unmanned drone aircrafts to Pakistan so that it could carry out the offensive against the extremists on its own rather than relying on foreign countries.

In an interview with a private television channel, Musharraf said the war against terrorism was not only in Washington's interest but in the interest of Islamabad also.

"I personally believe that drones should be given to Pakistan because the sensitivity is American troops or any foreign troops coming into Pakistan. It was not for United States alone ... it was for Pakistan," Musharraf said.

Musharraf also questioned the authenticity of audio and video tapes of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden which have surfaced in the recent past, saying he believed that bin Laden is dead.

"There is even a doubt whether he is alive. Because right in the beginning he was a dialysis patient, he was a kidney patient; therefore I wonder if he is alive," The News quoted Musharraf, as saying.

Commenting on the alliance with the US, the former general said Pakistan would continue its support to Washington's struggle against extremism in the region, but highlighted that there is a growing discontent among the Pakistanis regarding US' actions.

"Pakistan is united and remains an American ally, but a growing divide is emerging because Pakistanis generally don't like the U.S," said Musharraf.

He said Pakistan helped the US to defeat the erstwhile USSR in Afghanistan, but was left 'high and dry' after the war which lasted almost ten tears.

"The U.S. also turned away from Pakistan in the intervening years. There was a strategic shift in the United States where they shifted towards India, which was always with the East, and never with the West," Musharraf added. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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