Musharraf denies he misappropriated US anti-terror funds

August 11th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, Aug 11 (DPA) A spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf has denied that the embattled leader had “misappropriated” millions of dollars of military aid provided to Pakistan by the United States since the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks. “The allegations are absurd and baseless. Every penny that we got in aid since 2001 has been accounted for,” presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi Sunday told DPA.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) which leads the country’s ruling coalition, alleged in an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times magazine that Musharraf had “not been passing on all the $1 billion a year that the Americans have been giving for the armed forces.”

“The army has been getting between $250 and $300 million reimbursement for what they do, but where’s the rest?,” he asked.

Zardari, who succeeded slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto as PPP leader after her assassination on December 27 last, along with junior coalition partner ex-premier and Nawaz Sharif Thursday announced the plan to impeach Musharraf.

His party, in consultation with coalition partners, is currently preparing a charge sheet against Musharraf to be tabled in parliament next week.

“They claim it’s been going in budget support but that’s not the answer. We’re talking about 700 million dollars a year missing. The rest has been taken by ‘Mush’ for some scheme or other and we’ve got to find it.”

“We’re looking for the money,” he said. “I think he has a slush fund being used for this and for some activity for the future.”

Pakistan, a former backer of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, in a U-turn joined the international war on terror in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Since then, Washington has provided it with $10 billion in aid, including $7 billion in military assistance.

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