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Musharraf suggests Times Square bomber motivated by Pak drone attacks

“Indiscriminate” drone attacks by the United States in Pakistan might have motivated would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, Pervez Musharraf, former President of Pakistan, suggested during an interview with a television news channel here.

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Mr. Musharraf said such indiscriminate use of the drones was having a negative impact on the Pakistani public because of the collateral damage it produced. He then added, “I wonder [about] the Faisal Shahzad incident – has he been affected by the indiscriminate bombing by the drones?”

Mr. Musharraf also repudiated the suggestion that it was time for the United States to go into Pakistan with ground troops, arguing that the Pakistani military had already succeeded in Swat, Bajaur and South Waziristan.

“Now I believe they are acting in Orakzai Agency, where these Taliban and al-Qaeda have escaped,” he added, however admitting that it was necessary for the Army to “add more force in the form of frontier core, the second line core”.

On Benazir Bhutto

In a strong rebuttal Mr. Musharaff also criticised the findings of the recent United Nations report that had squarely blamed his government for failing to prevent the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Reacting to the allegation, the former President said, “I do not fully agree with this statement. In fact it was me who warned her about the threat to her. It was I who stopped her from going to that venue once before, to which lots of political aspersions were cast on me, that her movements are being restricted. But she decided to go again.”

He went on to add that all the necessary security had been provided “within the Pakistani environment” and in fact Ms. Bhutto went to the venue safely, addressed the people for one hour safely and got into the car safely. “I think this comment is rather unfair,” he said.

Mr. Musharaff also expressed support for the actions of the Pakistani government in closing down the social networking sites Facebook and YouTube within Pakistan. In that regard he said, “One has to obviously take some measures because people were agitating… You cannot have photographs of the Prophet, leave aside going for cartoons of the Prophet.”

He also noted, “We must understand these are sensitive issues and for the sake of independence of media, liberty of speech, we cannot hurt sensitivities of millions of people. We must not do that. I am against that.”


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:20:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Musharraf-suggests-Times-Square-bomber-motivated-by-Pak-drone-attacks/article16302505.ece

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