Former Minister says Musharraf was more deceptive

India, Pakistan should follow SAARC declaration on terror

“Pakistanis have not approved deal with

Taliban in Swat”

HYDERABAD: The former Law Minister of Pakistan, Syed Iqbal Haider, on Thursday ridiculed the emerging theory of “good Taliban” and “bad Taliban.” He said there was only one Taliban that believed in terrorism to impose its brand of radical Islam on people.

Mr. Haider, who is touring India with the Pakistan peace delegation, said at a press conference here that the people of Pakistan have not approved the peace bought by Islamabad with the Taliban in the Swat valley.

“The theory that Pakistan’s Taliban head Sufi Mohammed is moderate is ridiculous. He is pretending to be peaceful but wants to take over Pakistan.”

The former Attorney General blamed military rule in Pakistan as the root cause of tensions between both the countries. The Generals who ruled the country promoted religious fanaticism for their own benefit. Pervez Musharraf was more deceptive and destructive than the earlier Generals. He nurtured, financed and patronised terrorist organisations and allowed them to operate freely in the country. He put the unarmed civil rights activists in jail while releasing the fanatics and terrorists, who now were threatening the very existence of Pakistan, Mr. Haider said.

Common enemy

Arguing that majority of Pakistanis did not support terrorism, he said the terrorists who attacked Mumbai last year were enemies of both Pakistan and India. Such forces could be defeated with the collective effort of governments and the civil society.

Similarly, the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore on Tuesday also reflected their evil designs. He agreed that the incident caused more damage to Pakistan as a nation and also fuelled the existing tensions between India and Pakistan.

Mr. Haider wanted both India and Pakistan to follow the SAARC declaration on terrorism in letter and spirit.

Senior trade union leader of Pakistan B.M. Kutty, who is part of the delegation, said Pakistanis voted for secular parties in the last elections, which indicated whom they wanted in power.

The delegation, which is in India as part of a Joint Signature Campaign by civil society organisations, will visit various cities to promote peace. A similar delegation from India will visit Pakistan soon.