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Musharraf holds ‘private talks’ with Blair

London, Sep 29 (DPA) President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan held talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair focusing on Afghanistan and the global fight against terrorism.

Officials in London described the Thursday meeting between the two leaders at Blair’s country residence in Chequers, near London, as private. Musharraf was on his way back home from the United States.

The meeting between Blair and Musharraf was preceded by a row over a leaked British document, which alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence services indirectly helped the Taliban in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda.

A spokesman for Blair said the British leader was to have stressed in the talks that the paper drawn up by a researcher at a think tank linked to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) did “not reflect the view of the government.”

Musharraf had reacted angrily to the allegation, saying on BBC television that his country’s intelligence services were doing an “excellent job” in tracking down and apprehending militants.

Musharraf had angrily denounced the Defence Academy report, insisting the allegations were being made by people who did not understand “ground realities”.

Musharraf had assured Blair that he was determined to deal with the Taliban and reduce cross-border activity into neighbouring Afghanistan.

The paper alleged that Pakistan was “on the edge of chaos.”

The paper is believed to have been written by a British intelligence official with a military background, who interviewed figures in the Pakistan Army and academics to prepare a briefing about the Islamic country and the global war on terrorism.

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