Obama has overlooked Pakistan: Musharraf
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: President Barack Obama should have added Pakistan to his Asia trip, given the central role Pakistan is playing in the war in Afghanistan, former president Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“One would have preferred that he should have gone to Pakistan to give due importance to Pakistan, which is fighting extremism and terrorism in a lead role and being a strategic partner with the US on this issue,” Musharraf said. “So some importance should have been given to Pakistan.”
Musharraf’s comments came as Obama wrapped up his Asia trip in Indonesia, his childhood home. Obama spent three days in India, where he became the first US president to endorse India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
Musharraf, in an interview, said the US president’s support of India’s bid will not be viewed favourably in Pakistan and “is a perceptible more leaning toward India”. The White House declined to comment on Musharraf’s remarks.
Musharraf defended Pakistan’s role in the ongoing Afghanistan war, saying the nation has lost many lives fighting militants and that ongoing drone strikes risk destabilising the population. In recent months, concerns have grown among some in Congress about Pakistan’s commitment to helping the US.
“I don’t think Pakistan is the problem... but there is no doubt there is terrorism and extremism,” Musharraf said. “The centre of gravity of all of this is Afghanistan. Pakistan is the victim of all this. ... We need to see Pakistan sympathetically.”