NEWS

Musharraf eager to invade Cyprus

NICOSIA (AFP) – Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf’s revelation that he wanted to fight as a volunteer during Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus has «astonished» Nicosia, the government spokesman said yesterday. Speaking at a Turkish military academy in Istanbul on Sunday, in the presence of Turkey’s chief of staff, Musharraf revealed his willingness to fight on Turkey’s side in 1974. «I remember at the time of the Cyprus operation in 1974 that every Pakistani was ready to fight alongside the Turks as volunteers,» he said. «There was a Turkish student attending class with me. I told him, ‘I have such motivation that I am ready to fight with Turkish forces if Turkey requires volunteers.’» «If these statements are true, then I can only express my astonishment that a head of state could so light-heartedly side with a crime against international law and the UN charter,» government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told AFP. Cyprus-Pakistan relations are cool at best. Musharraf’s comments came after Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee paid an official visit to Cyprus last week and signed bilateral agreements.