Musharraf denies he misappropriated US anti-terror funds

Other News Materials 10 August 2008 21:13 (UTC +04:00)

A spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf denied on Sunday that the embattled leader had "misappropriated" millions of dollars of military aid provided to Pakistan by the United States since the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks, the dpa reported.

"The allegations are absurd and baseless. Every penny that we got in aid since 2001 has been accounted for," presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) which leads the country's ruling coalition, alleged in an interview with Britain's Sunday Times magazine that Musharraf had "not been passing on all the 1 billion dollars a year that the Americans have been giving for the armed forces."

"The army has been getting 250-300 million dollars' reimbursement for what they do, but where's the rest?," he asked.

Zardari, who succeeded slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto as PPP leader after her assassination on December 27 last, along with junior coalition partner ex-premier and Nawaz Sharif on Thursday announced the plan to impeach Musharraf.

His party, in consultation with coalition partners, is currently preparing a charge sheet against Musharraf to be tabled in the parliament next week.

"They claim it's been going in budget support but that's not the answer. We're talking about 700 million dollars a year missing. The rest has been taken by 'Mush' for some scheme or other and we've got to find it."

"We're looking for the money," he said. "I think he has a slush fund being used for this and for some activity for the future."

Pakistan, a former backer of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, in a U-turn joined the international war on terror in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Since then, Washington has provided it with 10 billion dollars in aid, including seven billion dollars in military assistance.