‘Musharraf siphoned millions from US war on terror fund’
* PPP co-chairman says swindling to form part of impeachment charge sheet
* Accuses Musharraf of sabotaging economy, democracy, fomenting conflict in Balochistan, Tribal Areas
* Says those who killed Benazir Bhutto want to kill him too
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Zardari has accused President Pervez Musharraf of misappropriating millions of dollars of United States aid given to Pakistan for supporting the war on terror.
Zardari made the charge in an interview published in The Sunday Times on Sunday.
“Our grand old Musharraf has not been passing on all the $1 billion a year that the Americans have been giving for the armed forces,” he claimed. “The army has been getting $250m-$300m reimbursement for what they do, but where’s the rest? They claim it’s been going in budget support but that’s not the answer. We’re talking about $700m a year missing. The rest has been taken by Musharraf for some scheme or other and we’ve got to find it,” Zardari said.
Charge sheet: The alleged misappropriation will form a part of the charge against Musharraf to be announced today (Monday) when parliament is recalled to start impeachment proceedings, the report said.
The move has sparked panic in Washington where the nuclear-armed Pakistan is increasingly seen as a greater danger than Iraq or Afghanistan.
Zardari claimed the US aid might have gone to fund rogue members of the military intelligence, the ISI, who were accused by Washington last week of assisting the Taliban.
“We’re looking for the money. I think he [Musharraf] has a slush fund being used for this and for some activity for the future,” he said.
Accusation: Zardari also accused the president of economic sabotage and fomenting conflict in Balochistan and the Tribal Areas. “They laid so many mines for us,” he said.
“They spent all the money so we would have to borrow; they didn’t pass on the increased price of oil; nor added a single extra megawatt of power in the last 10 years. All these things were deliberately thought out so at the end of day they can turn round and tell the world, ‘Look, democracy doesn’t deliver’, and step back in,” said the PPP co-chairman.
Killing: “I know I’m in danger, whoever killed her [Benazir Bhutto] wants to kill me,” Zardari added.
“To say we’re responsible for the country, yes we are, but first get your role model out of the way, remove your most allied of allies,” said Zardari, adding, “They’ve had Musharraf there 10 years, instead of bringing these issues up with him they are trying to bring them up with us today.”
Zardari warned an old magician of the president’s camp to stop playing with democracy and not force the coalition to include his name in the charge sheet. daily times monitor/app