Musharraf Warns U.S. to Keep Troops Out of Pakistan
From the chaos that ensured after the death of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to the growing threat of Islamic extremists and Al-Qaeda, President Musharraf has said that United States troops are not welcome to fight those groups in Pakistan. On Friday, Musharraf warned that the government will resist any unilateral military action by the United States.
“I challenge anybody coming into our mountains,” Musharraf said. He adds: “They would regret that day.”
Currently, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is the most likely location where Osama Bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda is hiding along with his right hand man Ayman al-Zawahri. This is also considered a staging ground for Taliban militants to launch attacks on coalition troops.
Last week, it was reported by the New York Times that the United States government thought about expanding the authority of the CIA and the United States military. The expanded authority would allow them to launch aggressive convert operations within the tribal regions.
It has been hinted that several United States presidential hopefuls would support unilateral action in the area.
Musharraf said that they would be considered as invaders if they stepped foot in any of the tribal regions without his permission. Also in the interview, he said he would resign if the opposition parties try to impeach him after the parliamentary elections that are set for February 18.
The opposition looks to make gains in the elections with the widespread sympathy of Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated on December 27. The opposition parties will try to oust Musharraf from office. But it still unlikely if they could get the two-thirds majority in parliament required to do so.
Musharraf is in the position to be impeached due to his decision to fire judges in Pakistan’s Supreme Court along with suspending the constitution.
“If that (impeachment) happens, let me assure that I’d be leaving office before they would do anything. If they won with this kind of majority and they formed a government that had the intention of doing this, I wouldn’t like to stick around,” Musharraf said.
He adds: “I would like to quit the scene.”
In the case of the Thursday bombing in Lahore killing 24 people, this is the first major attack ever since Bhutto’s assassination.
Tags: Musharraf , United States , Pakistan
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.