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Pakistan plays down US snub
March 06, 2006 17:38 IST
Putting a brave face in the wake of the United States' refusal to extend the historic Indo-US civil nuclear deal to Pakistan, President Pervez Musharraf has said that everything should not be seen in an "Indo-centric" fashion.
Agreeing with US President George W Bush that the two countries have different interests, Musharraf said in an interview to CNN on Sunday night that he was aware of "interests and nuances" in inter-state relations.
"I'm a very strong believer that this tendency of being Indo-centric in all relations doesn't have a rationale. And I wouldn't like to do that at all. Pakistan has its interests and United States has its interests in Pakistan. We need to see that and we need to move forward on that track.
"And I think both of us move forward on the track, wherever there is mutual interest. And we don't have to bother what they are doing with India," he said when asked on the difference in Bush administration's treatment of India and Pakistan on civilian nuclear energy cooperation.
Bush after his talks with Musharraf in Islamabad on Saturday had said the two countries had different needs and different histories.
"I would tend to agree with him [Bush]. When we are dealing with two countries, the interstate relations have different compunctions; they have different nuances," the Pakistani President said.
"So, therefore, countries have to look at each other's interests, the mutuality of interests," Musharraf said.
"As far as the nuclear side is concerned, Pakistan really does not need much from the United States at all. What we need is nuclear energy. And we discussed that with him. And there was a very positive response from his side," he remarked.
Musharraf also maintained that the A Q Khan issue did not come up in the meeting with President Bush.
"No, it didn't come up during this talk. We already had spoken about it in the past, that we need to have some kind of an interrogation with him, which is mutually in a methodology which satisfied mutual concerns, and we are going forward on that, so there was no need of discussing it," he said.