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'Top leadership of Al Qaeda is hiding in Pakistan'

September 13, 2006
Billionaire-activist George Soros says the top leadership of Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, and the resurgence of the Taliban is supported by elements within Pakistan.

In the second part of his interview to Rediff India Abroad Managing Editor [Features] Arthur J Pais, he also says Musharraf in a way exploits the Muslim extremists' presence in Pakistan to gain American support for his regime.

In his new book The Age of Fallibility, he discusses how the open society in America has been endangered in the last five years and lays greater blame on President Bush and less on the 9/11 terrorists.

'By declaring war on terror, he (Bush) suspended the critical mode of thinking that is at the core of an open society,' Soros writes in his new book. 'Criticism of the President's policies was denounced as unpatriotic. Congress passed the USA Patriotic Act without even having time to read it.'

As to Bush invading Iraq under false pretenses, Soros muses: 'When the most powerful nation on earth distorts the truth, disregards world opinion, and flouts international law, the world order is in great peril.'

Soros vigorously questions the claims that domestic surveillance, curtailing of civil liberties and the war on Iraq are the natural response to 9/11.

America cannot start repairing the damage by just reverting to the policies it pursued prior to 9/11, he pleads. 'We must recognise as the dominant power in the world we have a special responsibility. In addition to protecting our national interests, we must take the leadership in protecting the common interests of humanity.'

'Who would have thought that the United States, which I had learned to regard as the champion of democracy and open society could become a threat to the world order?'

Photograph: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images
Part I: 'America got carried away with the war on terror'

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