Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf criticised attempts to politicize the Olympics and said efforts have been taken to ensure the torch relay through Islamabad this week will be successful.
“We think that politics must be kept out of sports,” Musharraf said in a speech Monday to a Beijing university audience.
China is one of Pakistan’s closest allies and a major source of investment, trade and armaments.
Pakistan has lent support to Beijing’s fight against groups involved in a simmering, low-intensity battle for independence in China’s traditionally Muslim western region of Xinjiang. Some of those militants are believed to train in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas.
Musharraf also pledged that the torch relay’s one-day stop in Islamabad would be uneventful, unlike its chaotic stops in Europe and the United States.
“We have taken all measures to ensure its security,” he said. “There is not one man in Pakistan who would do anything against the interests of China.”
But he did warn against outsiders trying to disrupt the relay.
“We have to take care that there is no infiltration by some elements who are bent on disrupting our understanding and great relationship,” Musharraf said. He did not give details.
“Any attempt by anyone to disrupt the process of the torch relay and create ill will is condemned by Pakistan,” he said at Tsinghua University. (AP)
Pakistan’s Musharraf criticises efforts to politicise Olympics