Posted by: Administrator | 6 January, 2008

President in CNN Situation Room

25 Sept 2006, USA

Thank you Mr President for coming in.

 Q: President Bush said we will take strong action against Osama-Bin-Laden. A very blunt comment irrespective of your sobriety, what are your comments, “Is Osama in Pakistan?”

A: Well, I have been giving my comments that this is sensitive area and our decision is that we operate on our side of the area and border and US forces will operate on the  other side. Now having said that we are hunting Osama and Zawahiri together, we are on the hunt. We are looking for them. When we locate them, we have to take effective action to do away with them.

 Q: What would be wrong if America trying to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and Aimen Al Zawahiri the Al Qaeda‘s number two in Pakistan?

A: It is a very sensitive issue. We should not be discussing how and who is to deliver the blow. But whenever we locate, him we have to deal with him. And lets not getting into sensivities and who and how it will be done.

 Q: But you discussed so many sensitive issues in your book, I am trying to understand if United States use certain tactical means, military means, special operation forces to get the job done. So, why not US do that?

A: I can assure you that all the weapons that you are talking of are available and we use them and we use them effectively whenever we locate Al Qaeda on our side of border and let it remain at that we will use anything that will be required to deal with the situation.

 Q: Why is it ok Mr President for US is operating in neighbouring Afghanistan and tried to hunt for Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but it wouldn’t be ok to operate in Pakistan?

A: Please don’t compare Afghanistan with Pakistan. Pakistan is a stable country. We have a strong government. We have strong military. We have strong Intelligence System and everything in Afghanistan has broken down. So, how can you compare the two? We don’t want our Sovereignty to be violated, whereas in Afghanistan the issue of terrorism within Afghanistan after 9/11 and their law and order has totallybroken down. It was a warlordism going on in Afghanistan various warlords operating at different areas of Afghanistan. How can you compare with Pakistan?

 Q: Because some US official, and you know it very well, they fully support you, they have total confidence in you as the President of Pakistan, but there is lot of concern about others in Pakistan, especially your Intelligence Services even within your military, that there could be more of Al Qaeda and Taliban. If US shared some sensitive information it could pick up. You are familiar with it?

A: Yes, I am familiar with it. But I do not agree with it at all. Anyone who knows ourIntelligence Service, anyone who knows our military, they will not say that and in any case we exchanged the most sensitive issue, most sensitive information already. There is total coordination in intelligence and at the operational level also.

 Q: Even there is some threat against you within your own military and intelligence; you have been arrested. So, presumably there is threat for you?

A: No, that happened so many years back. That happened at the very low level and in a force that is about 600,000 if you confine Army, Navy, Air Force. If there are five or six individuals who have done that then, it’s not such an alarming issue and that too at the lower rank. No officer was involved. The armed forces of Pakistan are commanded by officers. Actions are taken by officers. So, these were some people who got affected by whatever was happening around and these were individual act of terrorism.

 Q: “The key to resurgent Taliban can be summarized in one word: Pakistan. The Pakistani government has proved unwilling or incapable (or both) of calming down on the religious militia, even though the headquarters of the Taliban and its key allies are in Pakistan.” By Peter Berger September 10 Washington Post.

A: Now this shows absolutely ignorance of reality on ground, this is not the reality. Taliban were created in 1995 in Afghanistan. They took over the whole of Afghanistan about 90%. Who were they? Were they from Pakistan? It is the same Mullah Omar, same Kotri, same people who are doing this.

 Q: Your people were suggesting, Mr. President, that Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Taliban is actually in Quetta, in Pakistan?

A: This is ridiculous. Quetta is the provincial headquarter, there is corps headquarter – two divisions. There are provincial government functioning and there is Intelligence set up of CIA and ISI. I must say, that both of them are inefficient, if they do not know that Mullah Omar is there.

 Q: So, you are saying that CIA and ISI both Pakistani Intelligence agencies are working together in Quetta right now?

A: Yes

 Q: You say the functioning of CIA credible?

A: Everywhere we track down the terrorist. Wherever they are, we get technical support from your people. But I would like to show a report of UN briefly 24 Sep, day before yesterday. The report is on the general situation in Afghanistan. I just want to read out few lines. “Insurgency is being conducted mostly by Afghan operating in Afghanistan borders; leadership seems to rely on the support and sanctuary from outside the country.” Now, this is where Pakistan gets involved. But the more than that let me just say the report identify the five district leadership centres of the insurgency appear to act in loose coordination. We reach each other and are benefiting from financial and operational links with the drug trafficking networks.

 Q: Are you talking about what has been happening in Afghanistan. You know President Karzai has been complaining what is happening in your country?

A: just one second, this is what is happening in their country “Hizb-e-Islami” party of Gul Badeen Hikmat Yar is in Kunhar and Taliban northern command in Nunghar – networks led by Jalaluddin is in Khost and Pukhtia, WANA shura for Pukhtika, Taliban Southern command in Zabul. The foot soldiers of insurgency are Afghans, recruited in Afghanistan. That is what I wanted to read now. I have been crying with force for whole world, the Taliban movement, let us not convert into a people’s movement and this is what is happening in Afghanistan. If we keep going wrong and thinking that is happening in Pakistan, this is what will happen. Now if everything in Afghanistan I must say Mullah Omar is damn crazy to be sitting in Quetta when his people, his army who are fighting are sitting in Afghanistan.

 Q: You said when we spoke last time in March that President Karzai is oblivious, what is happening in his own country and you just referred to that is happening in Afghanistan. Is he still oblivious of what is happening in his own country?

A: He is not oblivious. He knows everything but he is purposely denying or turning a blind eye like an ostrich. He does not want to tell the world all the facts for his own personal reasons, that is what I think.

 Q: What would be his personal reasons? Why he has not been that much blunt as you are?

A: In governance, in Afghanistan there is a community which is treating alienated and this community has 50%-60% representation in Afghanistan. This is the problem. He has to balance out and he has not been able to do that. Therefore, he is trying to hide that everything is happening from Pakistan. If he keep going wrong, I have been telling the world since three months, we are delaying, we are getting late, all this what I have read is happening in Afghanistan in all the provinces. This is the movement going on, This is the Pukhtoons uprising by the people going on. If he does not understand this, he will keep going wrong and we will loose in Afghanistan.

 Q: Mr. President, this deal which you worked out with Taliban leaders along the border of  Afghanistan and Pakistan some describe it affectively amnesty for Al- Qaeda and Taliban. You reject that, you say that this is the part of war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The London daily Telegraph has said this Sunday “The fugitive Taliban Commander, Mullah Omar, has emerged as the key player behind the movement’s controversial peace deal with Pakistan. The Taliban’s one eyed spiritual leader , who has $10 million price on his head for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks, signed a letter explicitly endorsing the truce announced this month. Your reaction?

A: No, I do not really know about anything what they are saying , I do not know whether they have proof of this , I would like to have the proof of this , of Mullah Omar having supported the process but how ever I am mentioning the fact , they approached the governor them selves to reach the peace deal and the peace deal is between as you said is with the tribal elders and the basic strategy which we must understand when I am saying that we must avoid this it is a danger, the disastrous danger of this being converted the Taliban movement in to getting converted into people’s movement we can only do that if we understand that all Pukhtoons are not Taliban. We need to take away the Pukhtoons majority it is in majority from the Taliban and this deal is intended to take the majority away from the Pukhtoons lean them away and then utilise them with the force back up to counter the Taliban. This is the political strategy which lead us in a right direction may be it should replicated across the border if it succeed.

 Q: You written in a book “In the Line of Fire” a memoir in which you make many explosive charges in this book one of which is suggest perhaps Pakistan is the reluctant ally of United Sates immediate aftermath of 9/11 the warning you supposedly got by Richard Armitage that US will bomb you back to  he stone age if you didn’t cooperate. You know the denial of Richard Armitage or your intelligence director or anything like that?

A: No, I written whatever I heard and my Intelligence Director did say that now I would leave it at that he didn’t contact me.

Q: That is why you cooperated with US because of the threat because you also talked about war games that you were engaged in your military at least you and US engage in military conflict against each  other?

A: No, this is not the case. The first thing came into my mind was Pakistan, Pakistan’s national interests, Pakistan’s  security so as far as Pakistan is concerned we are still against terrorism and we are against Al- Qaeda and we are against any type of terrorism acts and we are against Al-Qaeda and we are against any type of terrorism acts. We were against Talibanization of Pakistan so basically it is in the national interest that I took the decision however we took into a accounts certainly that we are a nuclear state destabilising the nuclear state would certainly cause a lot of upheaval in the world and therefore the decision which was base in realities ground realities.

 Q: War in Iraq and its effect on global world do you agree with your statement in the book or you want to revise it?

A: No, I stand by it, absolutely.

 Q: So you disagree with the President of United States?

A: Well, I stated whatever I had to that it has made the world more dangerous place to live.

Q: Pakistan is the first Muslim country developed a nuclear bomb from your perspective is it ok that Iran follows your line?

A: We developed it because of our security perspectives because of our threat perceptions we don’t believe that there would be any nuclear proliferation and we don’t think that Iran has suffered any sort of threat perception that we were suffered.

 Q: So you opposed Iran going forward?

A: We are against it.

 Q: How far alone are they because you know AQ khan your scientist did provide them with certain sophisticated technologies?

A: Well, I can’t say at all anything but I believe that just providing drawings of few centrifuges doesn’t mean anything because you need thousands of centrifuges to enable the enrichment of uranium to that level and it takes a span of time. I don’t know whether they have thousands of gas kits and if they have them they have got them from the West because these all are available in your United States; the metal energy is only available in United Sates.

 Q: We asked CIA how much price money you paid to government of Pakistan they have no comments we asked former Intelligence officials they said no such money paid to the government of Pakistan. Y our comments?

A: I don’t think I wrote government of Pakistan if it is government of Pakistan yes so many people with head money they has to be given to whom it is given and how it is given I don’t know even the details but however there is not only on person is involved in these operations there is a whole organization and whole operation that goes on of intelligence and law enforcement agency, so how the money distributed, it is distributed to people certainly so I am very cleared that this money get distributed I am not even involved in who distributed that money and who exactly get. No if I wrote government of Pakistan no not government of Pakistan.

 Q: You have a fascinating dinner with President Bush and President Hamid Karzai we like to invite you and President Hamid Karzai to come to Situation Room and jointly discuss the issues we can make certain arrangements?

A: We need to have a proper atmosphere and proper attitude then only sit together on table and showing the what has happening I think this is a situation where we need to coordinate the effort we need to be harmonize between Afghanistan Pakistan allied forces especially United States and if there is disharmony and if there is disagreement even in an environment it is  the most terrible thing and I think at the moment there is total misunderstanding of the environment by Afghanistan and President Karzai and I know Karzai knows the environment but he is denying the realities and putting all more convenient for him is to throw the blame on Pakistan that Mullah Omer is there headquarter of Taliban is there I read out the UN report I have been saying exactly three month before everyone said Pakistan is supporting their financially if Pakistan is supporting then I am supporting because we are controlling financing the Prime Minister who was my finance minister controlling the finances and there is no one philanthropist in Pakistan who is doing all this, the money is from drugs and this is very clear.

Thank you Mr President.

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