Musharraf denies saying US aid was diverted

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WASHINGTON - Former Pakistani president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf has denied saying that US military aid to Pakistan to fight terror was used to bolster defences against India.

Dawn News website Wednesday reported that in a statement issued in Philadelphia, Musharraf said the issue highlighted was not raised in an interview.

The former president, who is currently in the US on a lecture tour, is reported to have told a Pakistani television channel that US military aid meant to fight Islamic extremists was used to strengthen Pakistans defences against India instead.

“No question was asked regarding US funds for fighting the militants in this interview or at any other time,” he claimed.

“I have never said Pakistan violated any agreement.”

Pakistan, he said, “never violated any agreement or mis-utilised US funds” for strengthening its defences against India.

He went on to say that “as far as the equipment issued to a military unit is concerned, the equipment moves wherever the unit is deployed”.

“The US at the time was aware of what we were doing.”

The US has said that it is taking very seriously former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s claim that arms provided by it to fight Islamic terrorists were moved to bolster defence against India instead.

A State Department official said: “We take very seriously any allegation of using US-origin military assistance for purposes other than we had already agreed to and that we had intended them for.”

To a query on when the weapons were sold to Pakistan, was there an understanding or a provision that they would not be used against India, the official said: ” Yeah. I - well, again, I don’t know all the details of what Mr. Musharraf said. But I believe that he was referring to this most recent assistance to help fight religious extremists in Pakistan. So I think that was the intent of this latest round anyway. But I just - I don’t know exactly what he was referring to.”

will not be displayed