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Pakistan president blasts Afghan leader

Musharraf upset over release of intelligence information to media
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, left, chats with Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in March 2005.




Pervez Musharraf
Hamid Karzai

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf ripped the president of neighboring Afghanistan on Sunday, telling CNN that Hamid Karzai is "totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country."

Tension between the two leaders, both key U.S. allies in the effort to crush al Qaeda, has developed "in the last one or two months," Musharraf told CNN's "Late Edition."

Musharraf was furious over an Associated Press report that Karzai had given Pakistan intelligence suggesting that former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and his associates are hiding in Pakistan.

The report also said Afghanistan gave Pakistan information about locations of alleged terrorist training camps along the border between the two nations.

"I am really surprised and shocked why they have disclosed this to the media," Musharraf told CNN.

"We've already gone through it, this list. Two-thirds of it is months old, and it is outdated, and there is nothing," he said. "What there was, the telephone numbers that they are talking of, two-thirds of them are dead numbers, and even the CIA knows about it, because we are sharing all this information with them.

"The location that they are talking of Mullah Omar is nonsense. There's nobody there."

He also accused Karzai of "waiting for a presidential visit to hand me over this list" -- an apparent reference to President Bush's visit to both nations this past week.

"Is that the way intelligence functions? I am totally disappointed with their intelligence, and I feel there is a very, very deliberate attempt to malign Pakistan by some agents, and President Karzai is totally oblivious of what is happening in his own country."

Musharraf accused Karzai personally of releasing the information publicly, saying he "has raised this accusation against Pakistan."

He added, "There is no need of releasing such sensitive information to the press. And he did that. His government people did that, and [that is the reason for] the response, the harsh response that I am now giving against that."

And Musharraf complained of a "conspiracy going on against Pakistan in [Karzai's] ministry of defense and his intelligence setup" and said he had passed on information about it to Karzai.

"He better set that right," Musharraf said.

Former members of the Taliban, which sheltered al Qaeda, and wanted al Qaeda members -- including the leader of the terrorist network, Osama bin Laden -- are believed to be near the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have said they are committed to tracking down the wanted individuals and assisting the United States in what the Bush administration has called the war on terrorism.

Karzai was elected in October 2004 after the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan ousted the Taliban following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Musharraf told CNN he helped in Afghanistan's election process, and "if it was not for Pakistan, maybe [Karzai] and his election would not have taken place smoothly."

Musharraf, an army general who assumed power during a bloodless coup in 1999, gave a staunch defense of democratic reforms during Bush's visit Saturday, saying "sustainable democracy" has been introduced. (Full story)

Bush said part of his visit's purpose was to determine whether Musharraf "is as committed as he has been in the past to bringing these terrorists to justice -- and he is."

Bush said Pakistan won't receive U.S. help for its civilian nuclear power program as India did, saying that he had explained to Musharraf "that Pakistan and India are different countries with different needs and different histories."

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