Bush Says He Is Unaware of Any US Pressure on Pakistan after 9/11

President Bush says he is unaware of any White House pressure to force Pakistan into joining the fight against terrorism following the 2001 attacks in New York and Washington. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says a senior Bush administration official threatened to bomb his country if it did not back action against the then-Taleban government in Afghanistan.

President Bush says he was taken aback by the harshness of the alleged U.S. threat which he says he first heard about in the morning's newspaper.

"I don't know of any conversation that was reported in the newspaper like that. I just don't know about it," he said.

In an interview to be aired Sunday on the U.S. television network CBS, President Musharraf says then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Pakistani intelligence chief that the United States would bomb his country back to the Stone Age if it did not join the fight against the Taleban. President Musharraf says it was a "very rude remark."

Armitage says he was not authorized to make such a threat.

Asked about it following White House talks with President Bush, President Musharraf said he could not discuss the issue because it is part of his new book.

"I am launching my book on the 25th, and I am honor-bound to Simon and Schuster not to comment on the book before that day," he said.

"In other words, buy the book. That's what he is saying," quipped Mr. Bush.

White House spokesman Tony Snow says the Bush administration did make clear to Pakistan that it had a choice to make following the September 11th terrorist attacks but it is not U.S. policy to issue bombing threats.

During their talks, President Bush and President Musharraf discussed relations with India, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Pakistan's deal with tribal leaders in its remote border region with Afghanistan. President Musharraf say tribal leaders have agreed to prevent Taleban and al-Qaida fighters from operating in the area, where the central government has little control.

That agreement has raised concerns among some U.S. lawmakers that it gives Taleban fighters greater freedom to operate in the area. President Musharraf says that is not so.

"This treaty is not to deal with the Taleban, it is actually to fight the Taleban," he said. "The misperception in the media I did clarify to the president."

President Musharraf says the agreement is part of his holistic approach to fighting terrorism in tribal areas by using political, military, and administrative resources. He has also called on Afghanistan to do more to fight terrorism on its side of the border.

President Bush meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House next Tuesday, then brings both President Karzai and President Musharraf together for a working dinner Wednesday.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs