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Old 09-21-2006, 10:15 PM
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Default 'US threat to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age'

'US threat to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age'

21st September 2006

Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf has stunned world leaders claiming Washington had threatened to bomb his country "back to the Stone Age" if it did not co-operate in the war on terror.

Interviewed for US TV while attending the United Nations general assembly in New York, Musharraf said the threat was made after the September 11 attacks.

He added the threat came from US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage and was given to his intelligence director.

"The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age,'" Musharraf said.

"I think it was a very rude remark."

The Pakistani leader said he reacted to the threat in a responsible way.

"One has to think and take actions in the interest of the nation, and that's what I did," added Musharraf in the interview with CBS news magazine show "60 Minutes" that will be broadcast on Sunday.

Pakistan has been a key ally in the war on terror allowing US forces to use the country as a staging post to send troops and supplies into Afghanistan.

Many of the major Al Qaeda suspects have also been arrested in the country.

Musharraf said some demands made by the United States were "ludicrous," including one insisting he suppress domestic expression of support for terrorism against the United States.

"If somebody's expressing views, we cannot curb the expression of views," Musharraf said.

The Pakistani leader is scheduled to have talks today (fri) with President George Bush in the White House.

In an earlier TV interview Mr Bush said he would not hesitate to track down and kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other terror operatives, even if it meant hunting them down on Pakistani soil.

"We would take the action necessary to bring them to justice," Bush said in an interview with CNN television.

"There's no question there is a kind of a hostile territory in the remote regions of Pakistan that makes it easier for somebody to hide. But we're on the hunt; we'll get him," he said in New York on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

Bush praised efforts by Musharraf to root out members of the Al-Qaeda network.

"I view President Musharraf as somebody who would like to bring Al-Qaeda to justice. As a matter of fact, we'll be discussing that with him on that subject on Friday at the White House," Bush told CNN.

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