Rebel leader slams Musharraf

Jan. 12, 2006 at 1:21 PM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti criticized Pakistani President Musharraf for his allegedly anti-India remarks.

"President Musharraf is using his favorite weapon -- lies. His objective is to defame the legitimate demands of the people of Balochistan," Bugti told The Hindu newspaper in an interview Thursday.

Bugti, whose supporters have been waging a full-blown armed struggle with Pakistani troops, said the rebels have not received any assistance from India.

"What is the need for us to take anything from anyone?" he asked.

Musharraf has accused India of providing financial support to Baloch rebels.

"They (rebels) are anti-nationalist forces and anti-me," Musharraf said.

India has said Islamabad should stop using force and initiate political dialogue with Baloch tribal fighters.

"Weapons we are now using flowed into this region when the United States financed the jihad in Afghanistan," Bugti said.

He said it was Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency that distributed them to Afghanistan, Iran, Kashmir and Balochistan.

Baloch tribals have opposed the government's decision to set up a military base there to curb the rebellion. The government says the region has become a haven for militants.

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