Musharraf: Crackdown was necessary

Nov. 16, 2007 at 6:32 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf insisted Friday the state of emergency was needed to prevent terrorism.

Musharraf, in an interview with The Washington Post, described former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as "too confrontational" and said he is no longer interested in negotiating a power-sharing agreement with her. Bhutto agrees on that point and is trying to form an alliance with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte arrived Friday in Pakistan to discuss the political crisis with Musharraf. While Musharraf said he has ordered the release of hundreds of people who had been detained since he declared the emergency, he said anyone who disrupts Pakistan will be arrested again.

"Anyone who breaks the law of the land will be back in jail or restricted," Musharraf said. "We don't want anyone in agitation mode and I will tell Negroponte that Pakistan comes first, and there are certain realities on the ground -- extremism and terrorism -- that made me decide to go with emergency law."

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