Pakistan planning more strikes: Musharraf

Summary of interview by Thanthi TV with Musharraf

General Pervez Musharraf in conversation with Thanthi TV
General Pervez Musharraf in conversation with Thanthi TV

This is a summary of the interview former President and General of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. The complete transcript can be read here.

Undeterred by the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army as retaliation to the Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks at Pathankot and Uri, Pakistan is planning more such terrorist attacks against India, according to Pervez Musharraf, former president of that country. Musharraf also blamed India for aiding the “secessionists” in Balochistan which he claimed as an integral part of Pakistan,

The former General, who is described as a self-promoted president because of his seizing of power from a democratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, justified all attacks against India by the Pakistan based terrorists.

According to Musharraf, what India does in Kashmir is a repetition of what it did in East Pakistan in 1971 which culminated in the formation of Bangladesh. He claimed that the attacks carried out against India by the Pakistani terrorists were retaliatory strikes for the Indian Army’s action in Kashmir, which the former dictator claimed as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

“Indians must realize that there is a dispute which causes emotions to rise. It does justify because of what the Indian army does in Kashmir where killings have taken place, what happens to people. People then run to Pakistan , they rise against Indians.. This is what has been happening all along . High time we see this reality. If we don’t ,then these things will keep happening . Pathankot and Uri will keep happening,” said Musharraf in an exclusive interview to Hariharan, executive editor , Thanthi TV, a popular 24X7 Tamil news channel.

The former General, who is described as a self-promoted president because of his seizing of power from a democratically elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, justified all attacks against India by the Pakistan based terrorists. He said these attacks were similar to the ones carried out by India in East Pakistan which was once an integral part of Pakistan.

When Hariharan pointed out that the atmosphere was not conducive for talks with Pakistan due to the environment of terror following the Pathankot and Uri attacks, the former dictator blamed India and warned of more such attacks in the future. “That environment has to be accepted as a reality, because of what you are doing in Kashmir and the unresolved Kashmir dispute. Therefore, Pathankots and Uris will keep happening,” the General reiterated again.

He blamed India for projecting an image all over the world that Kashmir was an integral part of India. He alleged that the United Nations was silent on Kashmir because the Secretary General was guarding his own interests with India “or whatever pressure he has”. “Which Secretary General of UN can deny that Kashmir is a UN dispute? I mean that is a joke,” said the former dictator. He also claimed that the terrorists including the Taliban operating out of Pakistan were not anti-Pakistan.

To a question by Hariharan on the number of terrorist attacks against India by Pakistan sponsored terrorists, Musharraf retorted that till India agreed that the Kashmir issue was a bilateral issue between the two countries, there would be more Pathankots and Uris. “Has’nt Burhan Wani been killed? Have’nt 80 people been killed and thousands injured and hasn’t the Kashmir issue not been resolved. Why don’t you go to the core of the problem?” asked Musharraf and said India has to understand the ground reality.

He also described the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed as “volunteers” who sprang up to fight the Indian Army in Kashmir as a follow up to the request made by people from the Indian side of the Kashmir.

Interestingly, the former President feigned ignorance when asked about the whereabouts of dreaded don Dawood Ibrahim. “I am not in touch with his whereabouts at all,” said Musharraf who refused to answer the question whether the fugitive don was residing in Pakistan at any point of time.

But Musharraf said Dawood was respected in Pakistan. “He will be respected. Because what happened in Bombay, what happened in Gujarat were 200 muslims were killed… as a reaction whatever he does, it resonates well with people,” said the former President.

He also described the terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed as “volunteers” who sprang up to fight the Indian Army in Kashmir as a follow up to the request made by people from the Indian side of the Kashmir.

He scoffed at the ‘freedom struggle’ happening in Balochistan and blamed Indian government and the media for the same. “I don’t know how much you know about Balochistan. I operated in Balochistan in the 70’s. There are only two or three tribes, and only a part of those tribes who tend to go against Pakistan .Balochistan’s population if you know is just about 3% of Pakistan and in that 3%, these tribes that I am talking about maybe about 0.5% of Pakistan,” said Musharraf.

The former General also rubbished talks of struggle for self determination by the Baloch people. “There is no call for self-determination. Absolutely wrong. Don’t quote wrong things. There is no call for self-determination. You don’t know ground realities, the demographic realities of Balochistan… we have taken this Brahamdagh.. this youngster and we are trying to project him all over the world… Balochistan, Balochistan… nothing is happening in Balochistan. All that is happening is done by you. Some people, maybe a thousand people, are trying to destabilize Pakistan. You are the ones who are arming them and launching them from Afghanistan,” he said.

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