Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Musharraf does not deserve our support

Daily Telegraph - November 6th 2007

Sir

Your leading article on Pakistan ("Musharraf does not deserve our support", November 5) should be required reading at the Foreign Office. It may have been apposite to bolster military dictators in the Cold War, but there is no excuse to back Gen Musharraf now.

We have cultivated a man who is supposed to be a staunch ally in the war on terror, but whose commitment to rooting out home-grown Islamist terrorism is lukewarm at best. He turned a blind eye to nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan's sale of information to Iran and North Korea. He allowed the Red Mosque siege to fester before engineering a dramatic showdown. He has done nothing to stop the indoctrination and radicalisation of young British men in madrassas, thus increasing the likelihood of another terrorist atrocity.

Gen Musharraf will do and say anything to wriggle out of the commitment he made to abandon his uniform and reinstall a semblance of democracy. It's time for the EU to review its trade and aid concessions to Pakistan.

The prospect of Pakistan becoming a nuclear-armed rogue state is frankly terrifying. By acting as his apologists, we in the West are unwittingly hastening that scenario.

Dr Charles Tannock MEP (Con)

Brussels