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US, Pak relationship at its lowest ebb: Musharraf

Press Trust of India
Jan 14, 2012 at 12:59pm IST

Washington: Pakistan's former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has said that the current bilateral relationship between Islamabad and Washington is at its lowest ebb, lower than those post 9/11 attacks on the US.

"We're at a very poor level. I don't think they were at this level even before 9/11, when I took over," Musharraf told the CNN in an interview when asked about the relationship between Pakistan and the US.

"I don't think - I had a reasonable amount of respect around in the world even before 9/11. But now they certainly are at their lowest ebb. And it is extremely disturbing to anyone who understands geopolitics," he said.

US, Pak relationship at its lowest ebb: Musharraf

US-Pak ties teetered from one crisis to the next, which included the US raid last year that killed Osama bin Laden.

In recent months, relations between Pakistan and the US - key allies in the decade-old war on terror - teetered from one crisis to the next, including strains caused by the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil and deadly NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soliders.

"It is very disturbing, and I only wish that Pakistan and the United States mend fences and we move forward on a course which is in the interest of the region, in the interest of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the United States," he said.

The former Pakistani president said that there is no danger to the safety and security of the country's nuclear weapons, unless it is ruled by religious extremists, which is unlikely going to be the case.

"If the country goes down and it gets into the hands of religious extremists as a country from the government, then only it is possible that all the arsenal then belongs to them... But I don't see that as a possible," Musharraf said.

"I don't think any religious party today is capable of winning the elections, so the other way is that they take them through force, use force. I don't think that's a possibility, again, with the military guarding it, with the strategic force command of 20,000 people manning and guarding all these installations and them being in very secure places and very dispersed. I don't think it is a possibility," he said.

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