ISLAMABAD, Jan 10: Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday he had not entered into any agreement with the United States to allow drone attacks inside Pakistan’s territory.
“There was no such agreement. There was no permission for outside forces to operate inside Pakistan,” he told reporters before embarking on a two-week lecture tour of the United States.
This is Pervez Musharraf’s second visit abroad since quitting the presidency. Last month he had visited the United Kingdom.
Mr Musharraf, who has been accused of allowing the US to conduct air strikes inside tribal areas, said only Pakistan’s armed forces had the authority to act in its territory.
In reply to a question, he said “Pakistan is capable of giving a tit-for-tat response” in case India went for surgical strikes.
“Before making any surgical strike, India must know that the people and armed forces of Pakistan are not cowards. Why should we not make surgical strikes too?
“We have maintained a deterrence force level. We are ready to use force if threatened,” he remarked.
The former president condemned the Mumbai attacks, but accused India of creating war hysteria. He called for addressing the root causes of terrorism.
“We need to address the menace of terrorism and extremism. We are a part of the global war on terror.”
Mr Musharraf called for resolving political disputes, saying that Kashmir and Palestine issues were ripe for resolution.
He parried a question on the performance and policies of the present government.