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Musharraf slams 'double dealing' claims

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | February 17, 2009 11:46 IST

Describing as a "white lie" claims made in a new book that he had secretly backed the Taliban [Images] while participating in the US-led war on terror, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf [Images] said on Tuesday that it was a conspiracy aimed at weakening Pakistan and the army.

Musharraf also rejected reports that he had told slain former premier Benazir Bhutto [Images], that her security after her return to Pakistan in 2007 depended on her relationship with him.

Musharraf said claims about his "double dealing" with the Taliban in the book, The Inheritance: the world Obama [Images] confronts and the challenges to American power", written by New York Times journalist David Sanger were a "white lie and a distortion aimed at creating misunderstandings".

This "malicious campaign" was directed against him, the Pakistan Army [Images] and the Inter-Services Intelligence, Musharraf said.

"Such a move to malign the army and ISI is aimed at weakening Pakistan," he said. Musharraf pointed out that there had been attacks on him and the army by the Taliban and 1,500 security personnel had been killed in the 'war on terror'.

Referring to a claim in the media that the President had linked Bhutto's security to her relationship with him, Musharraf said: "It is a lie, a white lie. I have never said such a thing. Let anyone prove I have said it."

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