NEW YORK - Former President Pervez Musharraf has blamed the present leadership for the deteriorating situation resulting from the Taliban control of the Swat region, saying it should have been handled with 'more sense'. "I would say now: There were no clear-cut instructions to the army. What did the government want them to do," he said in an interview with CNN on Sunday. "They were pulling in different directions - the provincial government telling the army to stay away as (they) were dealing with the matter politically...," Musharraf said. "The situation should have been handled with more sense. Never give up sense," he told Fareed Zakaria, the anchorman of CNN. Asked whether his remarks meant that the government had failed, the president said, "You can take it any way you like." Musharraf put up a stout defence of Pakistan Army and ISI, saying the vicious campaign against these institutions was aimed at weakening Pakistan. There was conspiracy to undermine the army and the ISI which are professional and discipline to the core. Indeed, he added, Pakistan's strength was its army. He totally rejected the claim that elements in Pakistan Army and ISI were in league with the Taliban. In this connection, Musharraf described as "ridiculous" President Asif Zardari's assertion that he (Musharraf) may have some dealings with the Taliban. Asked why Pakistan was overly focused on India, Musharraf said the Indians had lined up much of its military on the eastern border and the Pakistani army couldn't take their eye off their threat. The Indian threat was 'existential' and Pakistan must remain prepared. Further questioned by Zakaria, Musharraf replied: "Don't try to teach Pakistan Army of what their threat perception should be." The army carefully analyses the threats to the country and makes appropriate recommendations to the government. Questioned about Benazir Bhutto and the accusations that he bore some responsibility, he dismissed the insinuations. He said that he had personally warned Ms Bhutto of the threat to her life that an official from the Persian Gulf had brought to his attention. But she insisted on going to Liaquat Bagh amid a campaign that he was trying to restrict her. He took exception to being called "Busharraf", saying he never capitulated to anyone. He had his own ideas and principles that he followed. Musharraf said he wishes the current government well and that he "would be the happiest person" if the nation deals well with threats such as the growing political and martial strength of the Taliban. "But one is concerned about Pakistan, certainly," he said on the programme. "One does get concerned about where are we headed and what are we doing. If Pakistan is in trouble and if any Pakistani, myself included - if you can see that we can do something for it - well ... my life is for Pakistan," he said. When asked by Zakaria if Zardari has the public backing needed to fight the Taliban, Musharraf suggested he does not. "Democratically, he's elected by two-thirds. And these are the people who are the representatives of the same people you're talking of - 19 percent in favour." he said. "So, there's a dichotomy. You can analyse it yourself." Musharraf said the laws under which he stepped down would allow him to run for office in Pakistan in six months - although he doesn't intend to do so. "We're not running for office in six months," he said. "I'm on lecture circuits. I'm enjoying this professional activity of giving lectures, which I could never imagine, as a military man, that I'd be doing." Then, if Muslim League-Q asked him to run as their presidential candidate, he said, "They haven't asked me yet." "Let them ask me first and then I'll reply." AFP adds: Musharraf renewed his feud with Afghan President Karzai, accusing him of 'double-dealing' and insisting that all of Pak troubles could be traced to Karzai's failure to defeat Taliban. "We have suffered because of what is happening in Afghanistan. And we still continue to suffer because of that. He also attacked criticism of how more than $10 billion in US military aid was spent by his regime. "Five billion, half of it, is reimbursement for the (military) services provided by Pakistan. It is not your money, it is our money," he said, adding the rest went on social spending and on maintaining Pakistan's air force.