Attacks precisely targeted: Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf has said the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan were precisely targeted and that the opposition Northern Alliance must not exploit them.
"The Northern Alliance must not draw mileage out of this action and the post-action has to be balanced," he told a press conference.
"We tried our utmost but unfortunately it was not possible to prevent the conclusion that happened last night," he added, following Sunday's strikes, launched to punish Kabul for harboring Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden.
The Northern Alliance, which has been battling the Taliban for years, hopes U.S. action will help in its struggle against the Islamic militia. Russia and Iran are helping to supply the opposition with weapons.
Pakistan fears a loss of influence in a volatile neighboring country if the Northern Alliance takes power.
Musharraf's comments appeared to contradict U.S. defense officials, who had said one goal of the initial strike was to weaken the Taliban's military defenses so that rebel Afghans could advance in their effort to overthrow the Taliban.
"Our interest is to strengthen those forces that are opposed to al-Qaida and opposed to the Taliban leadership ... so that they will have better opportunities to prevail," Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said.
Operations will carry on
Sites bombed close to Afghan cities overnight were camps used by bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation to train fundamentalist fighters, he said.
"The action which is going on now is targeted ... It is the terrorist camps which are being targeted," he said.
"One is hoping, and I have definite assurances, that this operation will be short, targeted and should not have collateral damage," he said.
"I certainly think that the operation is not over, it will carry on," he said.
Musharraf said that once the military campaign is over, efforts must be undertaken to ensure "the unity, the stability of Afghanistan and bring peace into Afghanistan."
He said that any future government must be broad-based and multiethnic and not "imposed on Afghanistan."
Pakistan has maintained close ties for years with the Taliban and is the only country that recognizes the Islamic militia as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
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