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Former Pakistan president criticizes Obama for bypassing his country

By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior Producer
  • Pervez Musharraf spoke in Washington
  • He said Pakistan deserved a visit from President Obama during his Asian trip
  • "A short visit, sympathy toward a strategic partner who's suffering"
  • Pakistan has been hit by terrorism attacks and the worst floods in its history

Washington (CNN) -- Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf faulted President Barack Obama Wednesday for visiting India this week but not Pakistan.

Musharraf said the United States had a long history of showing what he called "insensitivity" to a Pakistan as an important strategic partner. And he said that after terrorism attacks and the worst floods in its history, Pakistan deserved a visit from Obama.

"We deserve a show of sympathy by a visit, a short visit, sympathy toward a strategic partner who's suffering," Musharraf said in a speech to the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

"I am nobody to interfere with the views of people of the United States and the United States president. He must be having some reasons for not visiting," Musharraf said after hs speech.

The former president said he started a new political party and is "absolutely" ready to return to power.

"When I look at Pakistan and see all darkness and no way a political party or political personality can handle the situation, having that dynamism and charisma to hold all Pakistan and move it forward, I thought there was a cause bigger than self," Musharraf said. He said he is touring the world making lectures and has more than 350,000 contacts on Facebook.

He said the United States must stop criticizing Pakistan for not stopping terrorists crossing over its border from Afghanistan. "Let us win on Pakistan side, you concentrate on Afghan side and win there," he said, accusing the United States of micro-managing Pakistan operations.

"Why is it not your responsibility and Afghan forces responsibility, or at least let's share the blame 50-50... let us leave the operations to each other as long as the confidence and trust in each other is there, that both are trying to defeat Taliban and al Qaeda," Musharraf said.