Musharraf plays down Indian threat to Pakistan

Musharraf plays down Indian threat to Pakistan
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First Published: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 09 16 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 09 16 PM IST
Islamabad: The greatest threats to Pakistan come from the Taliban, al Qaeda and homegrown extremists and not from India, former Pakistani president and Army chief Pervez Musharraf told a television news channel.
The United States would like the Pakistan Army to be less preoccupied by any potential threat from India and concentrate on destroying the Taliban and al Qaeda forces ranging across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
“Obviously at this moment there is no war scenario and there are no threats at this moment,” Musharraf said of India during an interview with CNN-IBN that was recorded on Wednesday in London and will be aired on Saturday.
Kashmir is at the core of a decades-old dispute between Pakistan and India and the cause of two of their three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947.
Both became nuclear armed states in 1998, and having gone to the brink of a fourth war in 2002, they embarked on a peace process two years later.
“I don’t think India is posing any offensive move or offensive attitude,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview given to Reuters.
Musharraf said threat perceptions shifted according to circumstances, citing the tensions that ballooned after last November’s attack on the Indian city of Mumbai by Islamist militants from Pakistan.
Musharraf resigned last August in the face of an impending impeachment motion. He left Pakistan over a month ago.
He told CNN-IBN that his government had been close to settling several territorial disputes with India in 2007, but his own domestic political difficulties stopped the two sides from sealing any agreement.
India called for a pause in a five-year-old peace process following the Mumbai attacks.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani agreed in Egypt this week that there should be a resumption of dialogue, but Singh said the peace process would not be resumed until Pakistan brings the Mumbai culprits to account.
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First Published: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 09 16 PM IST