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Musharraf Denies Pakistan to Blame for Growing Insurgency in Afghanistan

Pakistan's president has denied allegations that his country is to blame for the growing Taleban insurgency in Afghanistan.

Speaking at New York's Council on Foreign Relations, President Pervez Musharraf rejected assertions from Afghanistan's president that Taleban rebels hiding in the Pakistani border areas are driving the growing insurgency in Afghanistan.

Mr. Musharraf said President Hamid Karzai is the best choice for leading Afghanistan. But he also said Mr. Karzai needs to understand his own country in order to defeat the Taleban insurgency.

He called on Afghanistan to end the alienation of ethnic Pashtuns, who form the support base for the Taleban.

Mr. Musharraf has been speaking in the U.S. about his memoir "In the Line of Fire" which was published on Monday.

The Pakistani president meets with President Bush and Mr. Karzai on Wednesday.

In his book, Mr. Musharraf says the Central Intelligence Agency paid his government millions of dollars for hundreds of al-Qaida suspects that it turned over to U.S. custody.

Mr. Musharraf does not reveal the exact sum the U.S. agency allegedly paid. He said his country turned over almost 400 al-Qaida suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

He writes that he had no choice but to switch support from the Taleban to the U.S.-led war on terror in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.