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September 11, 2000
Musharraf acknowledges US tilt towards India
Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has admitted that the US priorities regarding South Asia had lately shifted away from Islamabad, but asserted that his country could not be sidelined.
In an interview to a Pakistani daily from New York, General Musharraf said he was "satisfied" with US President Bill Clinton's role on the Kashmir issue.
"India's non-co-operation is preventing any progress on the Kashmir issue," the chief executive of Pakistan told The News daily, adding he hoped Clinton would try to play an important role over the Kashmir issue before his term as the US president expires in January.
Responding to a question, he conceded that US priorities regarding South Asia had changed lately. "It does not mean that they are marginalising Pakistan. Pakistan is located in a very strategic location, which cannot be denied... We cannot be sidelined," he added.
Stating that Pakistan was a "nuclear power of 140 million people" and "sitting in an area between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East." The military ruler questioned: "Who can deny this geography?"
He said the US had bilateral interests with India, "but that does not mean it will be at the total cost of Pakistan."
Claiming his visit to the United Nations Millennium Summit as an "overall success," he said it provided him an opportunity to tell the world leaders about the Kashmir issue "very strongly."
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