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Pakistan leader says U.S. made threats

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060921/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_musharraf_threat Pakistan leader says U.S. made threats By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer 5
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2006
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060921/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_musharraf_threat

      Pakistan leader says U.S. made threats

      By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer 5 minutes ago

      WASHINGTON - President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan
      says the United States threatened to bomb his country
      back to the Stone Age after the 9-11 attacks if he did
      not help America's war on terror.

      Musharraf says the threat was delivered by Richard
      Armitage, then the deputy secretary of state, to
      Musharraf's intelligence director, the Pakistani
      leader told CBS-TV's 60 Minutes.

      "The intelligence director told me that (Armitage)
      said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go
      back to the Stone Age,'" Musharraf said in the
      interview to be shown Sunday on the CBS television
      network.

      It was insulting, Musharraf said. "I think it was a
      very rude remark," he told reporter Steve Kroft.

      But, Musharraf said he reacted responsibly. "One has
      to think and take actions in the interests of the
      nation and that is what I did," he said.

      According to 60 Minutes, Armitage disputed the
      language attributed to him but did not deny the
      message was a strong one. The former deputy secretary
      of state could not be reached immediately by the
      Associated Press Friday at his home or his office.

      In a speech in January 2002, four months after the
      attacks on the World Trade Center and the
      Pentagon, Musharraf gave a speech in which he clearly
      came down on the side of reform at home and opposition
      to Islamic fundamentalism.

      Pakistan to this day is considered a close ally of the
      United States in the struggle with militant groups.
      Sometimes, however, Pakistan appears reluctant to go
      after Taliban, which controlled neighboring
      Afghanistan until 2001 and has intensified its
      insurgency in the southern part of the country in
      recent months.

      He is scheduled to meet on Friday at the White House
      with
      President Bush and then see Bush again next week in a
      three-way meeting with President Hamid Karzai of
      Afghanistan.

      Musharraf told 60 Minutes that Armitage's message was
      delivered with demands that he turn over Pakistan's
      border posts and bases for the U.S. military to use in
      the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Some were
      "ludicrous," such as a demand he suppress domestic
      expression of support for terrorism against the United
      States.

      "If somebody is expressing views, we cannot curb the
      expression of views," Musharraf said.

      Julie Reside, a State Department spokeswoman, declined
      to comment on the reported conversation between
      Armitage and a Pakistani official.

      "We are referring all questions to Mr. Armitage," she
      said.

      Pakistan for years has been a close ally in the war on
      terrorism, Reside said. "We are continuing to work
      cooperatively with them and in the process are
      broadening our bilateral relationship," she said.

      The White House declined to comment on the record on
      the reported conversation between Armitage and a
      Pakistani intelligence official.
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