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Musharraf: Military Operation is not a War Against the People of Afghanistan - 2001-11-10

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf says the current military action in Afghanistan should not be characterized as a "war."

Mr. Musharraf told reporters he is against using the word "war" to describe what is now occurring in Afghanistan. "There is no war going on in Afghanistan," he said. "It is an operation against terrorists, their abettors and their supporters. Unfortunately, it has been projected as if there is a war against the people of Afghanistan. That is not the case."

Mr. Musharraf said he hopes the U.S.- led military action will be short and targeted, although he did not specifically say that he would like to see the military activity suspended during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Asked about the possibility that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network has nuclear and chemical weapons, the Pakistani president doubts it. "I have no such information but purely on my own judgment, I can not even imagine that he has nuclear weapons," he said. "It is not such a thing that you can possess safely. It involves the nuclear material, its trigger mechanism, its delivery system and I can not imagine him possessing all of that. Chemical weapons are a possibility but I have no such information."

Regarding Kashmir, Mr. Musarraf said he hopes to resume talks with India to achieve a peaceful resolution of the dispute "according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir."