Negroponte was tougher on Benazir than Musharraf, claims sources

November 19th, 2007 - 5:07 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Nov 19 (ANI): US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte was tougher on former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and what he told to President General Pervez Musharraf was a public posture directed more to placate home audience, particularly the media which has become extremely hostile to the steps taken by Musharraf, sources have revealed.

If Negroponte was tough, he was tough to Benazir and not to Musharraf. He talked to her on telephone and dropped plans to meet her, ostensibly at Musharrafs urgings who feared it would convey wrong message to home audience, The Nation quoted the sources, as saying.

The Bush Administration seems willing to buy the Generals arguments that emergency was inevitable to combat terrorism, save nuclear assets from falling into wrong hands and checking the judicial activism that had encouraged extremists.

The gullible PPP leadership, which had pinned unrealistic hopes on Negropontes visit, has, understandably, been greatly disappointed by this outcome.

Negroponte was all praise for Musharraf in remarks to newsmen before departure. He, however, wanted Benazir to restart negotiations and abandon the path of confrontation she had recently adopted.

If steps were taken by both sides to move back towards the kind of reconciliation discussions they had been having, we think that would be very positive, Negroponte said adding that such talks would help improve the political environment.

Engagement and dialogue - not brinkmanship and confrontation, should be the order of the day for all parties, he said.

Musharraf argued that Benazirs abrasive statements against him and his coalition partners were nothing but brinkmanship to exert pressure on him and wrest certain advantages in the run-up to the elections, the source told the daily.

It struck me that the Americans are least enthusiastic about Nawaz, an official said. (ANI)

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