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Musharraf's support to US causes rift in army: Report

July 19, 2003 00:22 IST

Serious differences have emerged within the Pakistani Army over President Pervez Musharraf's support to US-led war on terror, a media report on Friday said.

Senior army and ISI officials have in the recent past made statements, which point at serious challenges to Musharraf within and outside the army over the President's siding with the US, Arnaud de Borchgrave, Editor-at-Large of The Washington Times said in an article.

While Musharraf was meeting US President Bush at Camp David, General Mohammed Aziz Khan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Pakistani armed forces, described the US as the 'No 1 enemy of the Muslim world' at a public meeting, reports Borchgrave.

"The US is conspiring against Muslim nations all over the world and even if the longstanding Kashmir issue is solved, India and Pakistan could never be friends," Aziz said.

Later, the ISI Public Relations sent out advisories to editors to kill the story saying General Aziz Khan's position was largely ceremonial.

However, de Borchgrave points out that Kashmir-born General Aziz Khan, with support from within and outside the army, must have felt sufficiently secure to, in effect, challenge Musharraf for his pro-American policies.

In another instance a retired ISI general Hamid Gul, said in an interview that America was directly involved in all terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including the Quetta bloodbath.

Gul also alleged that the US, India and Israel have established more than 20 base camps in Afghanistan, 'from where these powers foment civil unrest in Pakistan'.

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