Former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has accused former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf of striking deal with Taliban and Al-Qaeda which led to their revival in Afghanistan.
Robert Gates, in his forthcoming book ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’, writes that during a meeting in Islamabad in 2007 he requested then military strongman to capture three top Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders and shut down the Taliban headquarters in Peshawar and Quetta but he refused to take any action.
“I gave him a list of specific actions we wanted Pakistan to take, actions we could take together, and actions the US was prepared to take alone. In private, Musharraf acknowledged Pakistani failures and problems on the border, but he asked me what a lone Pakistani border sentry could do if he saw thirty to forty Taliban moving toward the Afghan border,” Gates, who served as US defence secretary from December 2006 to July 2011, writes in his memoir.
“I responded, you should permit the sentry to warn us, and we will ambush the Taliban. He replied, ‘I like ambushes, we ought to be setting them daily.’ If only, I thought.”
Fomer US defence secretary writes that during the meeting he requested Musharraf to authorize US to take action against certain militant leaders and terror camps inside Pakistan but he declined the request.
Gates further states that Musharraf had also been requested to seal certain major penetration routes across the border, intensify intelligence collaboration and rationalize Pakistani decision making on targeting but he didn’t take any practical measures regarding that.
“Musharraf kept a straight face and pretended to take all this seriously,” he writes.