Musharraf disappointed over Obama skipping Pakistan

Saturday, November 6, 2010

LONDON - Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf has expressed disappointment that US President Barack Obama will not visit his country on the sidelines of his maiden trip to India, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

“I would take it as a disappointment, yes, indeed,” Musharraf told MSNBC television.

The former army chief also criticised Obama for not speaking about Kashmir, saying: “It doesn’t resonate well with the people of Pakistan.”

“They take it that the US or the president of the US is not that concerned about Pakistan’s own sensitivities and interests,” he said.

Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, ruled Pakistan as the military dictator when the US with western allies invaded Afghanistan following the 9/11 terror attack. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London.

Obama was en route Friday for Mumbai and New Delhi on a trip aimed at convincing India that he wants to push ahead relations between the world’s two largest democracies after an early focus on Pakistan and China, the report said.

For many US policy-makers, it would be unthinkable for Obama to visit Pakistan on the sidelines of the long-promoted trip as Obama is hoping to show India that he sees it as a global power and not simply as a regional player.

But Obama has a delicate balancing act as he has also tried to convince Pakistan that he sees the country as more than simply a conduit into Afghanistan for war operations.

Ahead of the India trip, Obama invited Musharraf’s civilian successor, President Asif Ali Zardari, for a future visit to Washington and announced that he would travel to Pakistan next year.

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