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We did train militants: Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf, the former President of Pakistan, talks during a public rally of his new political party, the "All Pakistan Muslim League" in Birmingham, England on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth

Pakistan had trained militant groups to fight against India and “the government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir”, the former Pakistani President, General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, has said in a candid admission.



In an interview to Der Spiegel, General Musharraf said militant groups “were indeed formed” to fight India in Kashmir.



He said: “The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.”



To a query on whether the Pakistani security forces trained the militants, General Musharraf said: “The West was ignoring the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is the core issue of Pakistan. We expected the West — especially the United States and important countries like Germany — to resolve the Kashmir issue. Has Germany done that?”



The 67-year-old former Pakistan Army chief, who masterminded a coup in October 1999 and overthrew the Nawaz Sharif government, pointed out that whenever Pakistan was in turmoil, “everybody looks to the Army. But I would suggest that the times of military coups in Pakistan are over”.



On the present government, he said that “everybody can see what they are doing”. “Pakistan is experiencing a deep economic decline — in other areas, as well. Law and order are in jeopardy, extremism is on the rise and there is political turmoil. The non-performance of an elected government is the issue.”



On the present Pakistan Army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the man who succeeded him, the former President said: “I made him chief of the army, because I thought that he was the best man for the job.”



He lamented that the West blamed Pakistan “for everything”. “Everybody is interested in strategic deals with India, but Pakistan is always seen as the rogue”.



He also strongly criticised disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan and called him a “characterless man”.



To a query on whether he might meet the same fate as that of Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated on her return to Pakistan, he said: “Yes, that is a risk, but it won't stop me. I am happy here in London. I am earning good money, but Pakistan is my country.”

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 9:20:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/We-did-train-militants-Musharraf/article15769920.ece

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