From BBC Online
The US threatened to bomb Pakistan “back to the stone age” unless it joined the fight against al-Qaeda, President Pervez Musharraf has said. General Musharraf said the warning was delivered by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan’s intelligence director.
“I think it was a very rude remark,” Mr Musharraf told CBS television.
Pakistan agreed to side with the US, but Gen Musharraf said it did so based on his country’s national interest.
“One has to think and take actions in the interest of the nation, and that’s what I did,” he said.
The extracts from the CBS show 60 Minutes, which will run on Sunday, were released on the same day that the White House praised Pakistan for its co-operation in America’s “war on terror”.
Gen Musharraf is due to meet US President George W Bush at the White House on Friday.
He is also due to launch his autobiography next week and some analysts say the timing of the revelation may be an attempt to generate interest in the book.
The White House and US State Department declined to comment on the 60 Minutes interview.
The Pakistani president said that, following the attacks of 11 September 2001, the US made some “ludicrous” demands of Pakistan.
“The intelligence director told me that Mr Armitage said, ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age’,” he said.
The US envoy also insisted that Pakistan suppress domestic expression of support for attacks on the United States, he said.
“If somebody’s expressing views, we cannot curb the expression of views,” Gen Musharraf said.
Mr Armitage also allegedly demanded that Pakistan allow the US to use its border posts as staging points for the war on Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s support was considered crucial in the defeat of Afghanistan’s Taleban government, which Pakistan had helped to bring to power.
President Musharraf has proved a loyal ally though many now will question the means used to extract the co-operation, says the BBC’s US state department correspondent Jonathan Beale.