Musharraf 'not told of UK's disapproval of torture'

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Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has cast doubt on Britain's public stance that countries should not torture British citizens on its behalf.

He said he was never told that was the policy and this may have been "tacit approval of whatever we were doing".

His comments raise questions about how much MI5 knew about torture being used in the fight against al-Qaeda.

Former MI5 director general Elizabeth Manningham-Buller denied that "a blind eye had been turned."

Claims that Britain was complicit in the torture of terror suspects in other countries including Pakistan are to be examined by an independent investigation.

The inquiry, chaired by former appeal court judge Sir Peter Gibson, is expected to start within the next two months.

Mr Musharraf was president of Pakistan from 1999 until 2008 and was a key US ally in its conflict with al-Qaeda.

"We are dealing with vicious people and you have to get information," he told BBC Two programme The Secret War on Terror.

"Now if you are extremely decent, we then don't get any information… We need to allow leeway to the intelligence operatives, the people who interrogate," says Mr Musharraf....

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