The Financial Times reports:
General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s military ruler, urged the US on Monday to resolve a growing dispute with neighbouring Afghanistan over the location of Taliban dissidents who Kabul says have taken refuge on Pakistani soil.
In unusually tough remarks, Gen Musharraf said Pakistan would use a visit to Islamabad on Wednesday by General George Abizaid, commander of the US central command, to highlight “baseless” information given by Afghanistan.
The dispute began last month when Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, handed Pakistan a list of Taliban suspects alleged to be living in Pakistan, complete with addresses and phone numbers.
Gen Musharraf said on Monday that “two-thirds of the information” was outdated, and the findings of an investigation of the list by Pakistani officials had been shared with the US Central Intelligence Agency.
“This kind of nonsense cannot be tolerated by us any more,” the general said. “There is a deliberate `conspiracy against Pakistan. This involves Afghan intelligence, the Ministry of Defence [of Afghanistan].”
He also accused an unnamed country of operating against Pakistan as a “foreign hand” in Afghanistan – language that has in the past been used to refer to intelligence agencies from India.
Western diplomats said Gen Musharraf’s remarks underlined the difficulties faced by the US in overseeing greater co-operation between Pakistan’s military and the ruling establishment in Kabul, which deeply distrusts Islamabad.
Pakistani officials say Kabul’s ministries of defence, foreign affairs and interior include anti- Pakistan officials.
Gen Musharraf’s candid admission that a “semi- crisis” was brewing around Pakistan-Afghan relations was said by officials to reflect the depth of the growing tensions between the two countries.
“Pakistan must stop the institutional sponsoring of terrorism on our soil, which is sanctioned at the highest levels of government,” a top Afghan intelligence official told the Financial Times on condition of anonymity.
Separately, General Musharraf conceded for the first time that the controversy surrounding the activities of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the country’s disgraced nuclear scientist, had undermined Pakistan’s efforts to seek a civilian nuclear co-operation deal similar to that offered to India last week by George W. Bush, US president.
The general said the US had in the past sought direct access to Mr Khan as well as to Mohammad Farooq, a Pakistani nuclear scientist working for Mr Khan, and Aizaz Jafri, an Islamabad businessman accused of being the finance manager for Mr Khan’s global network.
That network has been accused of selling nuclear knowhow and technology to Iran, Libya and possibly North Korea. He said the US was not seeking direct access any longer to the three individuals, but Pakistan was co-operating with the US to prevent the flow of nuclear technology from the country.