Thanthi TV : General Pervez Musharraf , Thanks very much for agreeing to do this Interview.
General Pervez Musharraf: You are welcome.
Thanthi TV :General Musharraf, I am not beginning this interview with a question on either India or Pakistan. But with something which has taken the whole world by surprise. The stunning victory of Donald Trump… What do you think, Mr. Donald Trump as the President of the United States mean for the world and for pakistan in particular?
General Pervez Musharraf: I look at it very positively because comparing him with Hillary Clinton, she was a product of the establishment for 15 years. She has been flowing along at the helm of affairs with the system. She may be a status quo agent and when you talk of Donald Trump, he is quite uninitiated. He comes with an open and a fresh mind. Even if he has a lack of understanding of international issues. If he has got an open mind, if he is intelligent enough to grasp essentials, to learn and to make fast decisions, he will bring about change. That is what the people of United States want. They want change.
Thanthi TV: But you had a friend of a sort in Hillary Clinton . But with Donald Trump don’t you think you have reasons to worry as well considering his hardline positions on Pakistan. He recently blamed Pakistan of nurturing terrorism. He went on to say that Pakistan is a betrayer.
General Pervez Musharraf: I don’t agree with that .Since he is as I said uninitiated. When He comes into office, he gets briefings, he will get briefings obviously. A person with an open mind is very liable to change and if Pakistan plays its cards well and deals with him suitably at a diplomatic level, I am sure he will understand realities and change his thoughts.
Thanthi TV: But his position on this matter is very strong. He has used the strongest words possible which no other candidate in the American elections has done, as far as Pakistan is concerned.
General Pervez Musharraf: Frankly I really don’t know exactly the words that you are talking of. He has spoken against muslims alright. But whether he has spoken that strongly against Pakistan.As I said again,even if he has done that, he can be dealt with because he is uninitiated. He comes with a fresh mind.
Thanthi TV: Of late, the Pakistan-US relations has been a love hate relations. Especially after 9/11. Now Mr.Donald Trump also has lavish praises for India, for the Hindu community, for the Indian Prime Minister. Don’t you think a paradigm shift or a large shift in the Indo-US relations is a likely possibility and the position of the United States is most likely to be pro-India than Pro- Pakistan.?
General Pervez Musharraf: Well.. we know that Republicans have generally have been Pro Pakistan and Democrats have generally been Pro India. So he is an republican by the way. So it’s not an individual, it’s the whole party, the whole system.
Thanthi TV: But he has been an exceptional Republican because he has taken these positions which have taken everybody by surprise. His position on Russia, his position on Pakistan ,his love for India. This is new for a Republican It looks like he means it.
General Pervez Musharraf: Well as I said, United States has strategic interests with India . it will continue. But that doesn’t been that it should be at the cost of Pakistan and that is what we have to ensure.
Thanthi TV: So you are hopeful of Mr.Donald Trump’s tenure.?
General Pervez Musharraf: Definitely.
Thanthi TV: And coming to Indo-Pakistan relations. Indo – Pakistan relations are going through very tumultuous and tempestuous times. Who do you think is largely responsible for the state of affairs ?
General Pervez Musharraf: You won’t like the answer. But the answer is India. India is responsible
Thanthi TV: I expected that.
General Pervez Musharraf: It is India.
Thanthi TV: How?
General Pervez Musharraf : Whatever is happening now , it is again India and the Indian Prime Minister. Look at our history. What happened in East Pakistan?
Thanthi TV: Did India cause Pathankot? Was Pathankot a self inflicted pain? Or was Uri a self inflicted pain?
General Pervez Musharraf: Now that you have spoken about that, let’s go back in history. Why do you ignore what happened in East Pakistan in the creation of Bangladesh? Your country, your whole army invaded East Pakistan.. ? What happened in Siachen?
Thanthi TV: It was a struggle by the Bangladeshis.
General Pervez Musharraf: So you can’t interfere. Should we interfere in Kashmir and in Punjab?
Thanthi TV: But there was a huge refugee inflow into our country.
General Pervez Musharraf: There was a struggle for Khalistan. There was a struggle in Assam and there are Maoists and Naxalites in your Eastern districts. Should we send Pakistan army inside? That you can’t do. You can’t invade another country. What about Siachen? These things have been happening. . The problem is you ignore the core issue and you are talking of Pathankot and Uri. Why don’t you go a little back? Why are they being caused? What has happened in Kashmir? What has happened? 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?
Thanthi TV: What about the thousands of Baloch people been massacred? And the extra judicial killings in Balochistan?
General Pervez Musharraf: Just a second…There has been no massacre of thousands of people. This is what your media and your governement try to project. Absolutely untrue.
Thanthi TV: There is an international angle to this as well.
General Pervez Musharraf: There is no international angle. This is our country and you can’t compare a disputed Kashmir with our part of Pakistan, Balochistan.
Thanthi TV: Baloch people are also fighting for their self determination.
General Pervez Musharraf: Not at all. , let’s not kid ourselves. 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.
Thanthi TV: You can say similar things about Kashmir as well.
General Pervez Musharraf: No .! when I am talking of Balochistan, this is spread by your media and your government.
Thanthi TV: Bodies like the ASEAN have recognized situation in Balochistan alarming. The European Parliament has recognized the alarming situation. There have been extra judicial killings.
General Pervez Musharraf: Whatever anyone is saying, I know that mostly it is Indian articulated. One has to admit, you influence everywhere and that is what you do.You are trying to undermine Pakistan and these are the causes of conflicts between India and Pakistan.
Thanthi TV: Similarly, issues in Kashmir can be said that it is all Pakistan fabricated. When a Baloch leader is quoted, you say he does’nt matter, similarly it can be argued, Hurriyat doesn’t matter, Burhan Wani does’nt matter. There is a democratically elected government, there is an opposition. They do matter.
General Pervez Musharraf: No… How can you compare an issue, which is in the United Nations Resolution passed,. This is a dispute between India and Pakistan. How are you comparing this with anything else?
Thanthi TV: Last week I spoke to the Secretary General’s Spokesperson, I asked him if there is a requirement for the United Nations to intervene in this matter & If it has any role to play. He was completely non committal. He was’nt ready to say yes.
General Pervez Musharraf: The UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson?
Thanthi TV: Yes
General Pervez Musharraf: That is because of India. India has said that it is an bilateral issue and we went along in my time saying yes it is an bilateral issue but you start talking and want to talk, India does’nt talk. So it’s all a game being played by India.
Thanthi TV: The UN has to recognise that it is an international issue. It has to right?
General Pervez Musharraf: See it’s all in black and white. No United Nations Secretary General can deny that. So if he has kept quiet, he is just guarding his own interests with India or whatever pressures he has. Otherwise it’s in black and white. How can any Secretary General deny it? Which Secretary General of UN can deny that Kashmir is an UN dispute? I mean that is a joke.
Thanthi TV: India still believes and has always strongly advocated that it is a bilateral issue. Kashmir in fact is an internal issue.
General Pervez Musharraf: The problem in India is, India tries to be very clever. India tries to wield it’s strength and influence everywhere to undermine Pakistan. Now when you talk of bilateral, it’s a very good thought. Let’s sit down. When you want to sit down, they don’t sit down. Therefore we have to internationalize it. The only time we sat down was in my time. When we sat down we tried to resolve Siachen and Kashmir. Otherwise never has this bilateralism worked .The term is a hoax created by India. Unless you are sincere about it, and you want to sit down, then yes bilateralism is a good way of resolving the dispute. Otherwise if you don’t want to do that, it must be internationalized.
Thanthi TV: Don’t you think Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken genuine steps to normalise relations, which began with an invitation to Nawaz Sharif for his swearing in and he took everybody by surprise when he visited Lahore and greeted his Pakistani counterpart on his birthday. These are unprecedented. But what did we get in return?
General Pervez Musharraf: I laugh at them. These are gestures which are artificial. Cosmetic.
Thanthi TV: These matter a lot, don’t they?
General Pervez Musharraf: They matter if they end in addressing disputes. My handshake with Prime Minister Vajpayee mattered, because then we started the peace initiative. But if they don’t end in addressing disputes, they are cosmetics. They are smokescreens to hide real intentions.
Thanthi TV: But for them to be taken forward, there needs to be a conducive atmosphere. Look at what happened – Prime Minister Narendra Modi invites Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in, there follows the Herat attack. He goes to Pakistan, then comes Pathankot. If such is the environment, how can things be taken forward?
General Pervez Musharraf: No ..no. 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. One has to understand this reality and accept it.
Thanthi TV: When somebody lends a handshake, but he is slapped – how will he take it?
General Pervez Musharraf : Nobody is slapping. Nobody is extending a handshake. You are wrong. You don’t come and kiss on my cheek and say this is the handshake. Then you abuse me when you go back to your country.
Thanthi TV: That didn’t happen…. When there was a handshake, an attack follows….
General Pervez Musharraf: Always, look at what Modi Saab talks of Pakistan. Look at what his intentions are, on Pakistan.
Thanthi TV: The provocation begins with Pakistan… you try to internationalize the Kashmir issue. When there is an internal law & order issue in one state in our country, you try to internationalize it. And India raises a human rights issue in a part of your country, where there is call for self-determination. When you raise Kashmir…
General Pervez Musharraf: 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.
Thanthi TV: Exactly similar things can be said about Kashmir…People of Kashmir want to be with India…
General Pervez Musharraf: But that is an international dispute…
Thanthi TV: But a few people like Hurriyat, the Burhan Wani kind of people are against. The politial parties who represent the aspiration of the people want a solution within India. It is Pakistan which arms a few people and tries to create problems… There is no call for self-determination in Kashmir. Similar things can be said about Kashmir…
General Pervez Musharraf: Wrong, absolutely wrong. You are being most unrealistic. There is no comparison. One is an internationally recognized dispute; another is our own part of Pakistan. About ten times more is happening in India, which you know, obviously. In Assam… the ULFA… what is all that happening there? Aren’t there people being killed there? Aren’t you suppressing the will of the people of that area? Aren’t maoists and naxals present in about 100 districts on the eastern side?
Thanthi TV: There is Taliban in Pakistan… hundreds of terrorist organizations operate in Pakistan…
General Pervez Musharraf: They are not anti-Pakistan.
Thanthi TV: They are anti-peace.
General Pervez Musharraf: ..And then Khalisthan.
Thanthi TV: It’s a non-existent issue, sir. Khalisthan?
General Pervez Musharraf: Are you coming from London?
Thanthi TV: I’m from India, sir. I know the ground reality.
General Pervez Musharraf: Have you met any Sikh there? I go to London and I meet Sikhs. When you say it’s a non-issue…
Thanthi TV: In India, it’s a non-issue sir. People of Punjab are very peaceful and happy. We had a Sikh Prime Minister, whom you dealt with…
General Pervez Musharraf: The Khalisthani movement is very very live. Very live. There are thousands of Sikhs who come out on the streets in London. You may have curbed that through force. But that is an issue…
Thanthi TV: They may want a Khalisthan in London or United States, but in India, the people of Punjab are very peaceful. They are happily Indian.
General Pervez Musharraf: No no, the Sikhs are not very happy.
Thanthi TV: We had a Sikh Prime Minister whom the entire country cherished and the Sikh community cherished. This is a non-existent issue, sir. Moving on, there have been a lot of efforts taken by the political establishments of both sides, including during your time. But there is a section, allegedly in your country, which sabotages all efforts that are taken by the political leadership to bring things to the negotiating table, to normalize relations.. and things come to a screeching halt.
General Pervez Musharraf: This is again something that you in India, keep projecting. You keep bad-mouthing the military, because you have to undermine them…
Thanthi TV: I didn’t even name them sir..
General Pervez Musharraf: You have to undermine the military of Pakistan. That is the strength of Pakistan. If you undermine the military, Pakistan gets weakened. You understand that. And that is what you keep doing. Every government, they will keep accusing that political governments do everything and the military actually drags them. I am a military man. I was going for peace. So where was the military? They were all along with me. Military of Pakistan is all along for peace. But, there is one big difference. Peace with sovereign equality, peace with honour and dignity. Minus these two, no peace is required by the army.
Thanthi TV: Unlike in Pakistan, in India the army does not run the country…
General Pervez Musharraf: They don’t run the country. But they are one of the most important organs of the state. In India, yes. India is different. We are different. We are not India. We have our own environment. We are different from the whole world. Every country has its own environment. In our environment, military is very critical to Pakistan. And they have a role. That is the difference.
Thanthi TV: Don’t you think Pakistan is isolated of-late globally? India’s efforts in the United Nations and the international stage, garnering support against terrorism, have received enormous support. At the same time, Prime Minister Sharif’s efforts have miserably failed. Look at the huge response for BIMSTEC in Goa..but the SAARC summit failed and had to be cancelled. Don’t you think Pakistan stands isolated today globally? And somehow, India is gaining more and more momentum?
General Pervez Musharraf: Yes, India is trying its best to do that. These are all machinations by India. On SAARC…Look at the SAARC countries. Look at Bhutan, Nepal… I mean, what do you expect from poor Bhutan, if they don’t agree with what India is saying? Obviously, Bangladesh. Look at what you are doing… You are almost controlling Bangladesh, unfortunately. So these things, they are Indian machinations. Even in United States, it is Indian machinations. There is an India caucus there, which is pretty strong.
Thanthi TV: It is one of the largest caucuses in the US…
General Pervez Musharraf: When I was there, I created a Pakistan caucus that matched India with full force. So it depends… We are maybe at a juncture where, maybe we are down…. When you talk of being isolated in the world, I would say that to an extent you are right. But the future world is a multi-polar world, we are going towards multi-polarity. So it’s not United States alone, there is China and Russia coming up. So if you see in that context, we are not isolated, okay? But however, I will agree to this point – we need to do a lot on the diplomatic side, which we are not being able to do. And it is India which is trying to create an environment where Pakistan does get isolated, Pakistan gets weakened in every form and in every institution.
Thanthi TV: Do you think Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is responsible for the growing isolation of Pakistan?
General Pervez Musharraf: Well yes, I would say the government is responsible for a job to do domestically. And that is welfare of the people, development of the state. If that is happening well, and the country is prospering, going forward, progressing, developing… then it has a voice regionally and internationally. If your house is not in order, then your voice abroad..in the region or outside, diminishes. Now that is the problem of Pakistan. But these are ups and downs that happen. In my time… you talk of the economy and shining India, but let me tell you we were doing better than India in my time, economically.
Thanthi TV: Today India is one of the top-performing GDPs in the world, and look at Pakistan’s economy. It is equivalent to one of the Indian states. What do you think is responsible for this state of affairs in Pakistan? Because economy has always taken a backseat… confronting India militarily and other issues have taken economy to the back burner?
General Pervez Musharraf: No no no…confronting of India has always been the case. For 60 years, we have always confronted India. We have always had a hostile India which is trying to undermine Pakistan. Always, for sixty years. We will carry on doing that till we resolve disputes and India realizes, that being a big country, it should have a big heart also. I call it a big country with a small heart.
Thanthi TV: You call us a small heart sir… but we have tolerated all sorts of terrorism emanating from your soil and still managed to come to the negotiating table. That is too much of a heart sir…
General Pervez Musharraf: No.. that is no heart. Those are realities. These are issues, as I said.. it is a 50-60 years old dispute, since our partition… which was accepted by India and Pakistan as a dispute in the United Nations, signed and sealed.
Thanthi TV: ..Later reviewed as well.
General Pervez Musharraf: Let’s not carry on saying that Kashmir is not an end, comparing it with Balochistan and all that. Then we will start comparing it with Khalistan and Assam…
Thanthi TV: It’s not about Kashmir. It’s about the numerous terrorists attacks that India faces, which happens in various parts of the country, not just Kashmir. In Mumbai, Bengaluru… and lot of these cases trace back to Pakistan…
General Pervez Musharraf: Well, those are different. If at all anything has happened in Bombay, yes indeed, I would say that it was a terrorist attack against your country. Then again, if you go into the background of those, they also have some reasons. The Samjhauta Express, do you remember that there was a colonel who was involved? A serving Colonel or a serving Major…
Thanthi TV: That is an accusation. The issue is sub-judice and he has not been convicted…
General Pervez Musharraf: Well , that is what you will manipulate and you will manage, but that is…
Thanthi TV: We have a very strong judiciary sir, unlike many countries…
General Pervez Musharraf: I would still say, you have a stronger RAW…
Thanthi TV: RAW is not above judiciary in our country sir…
General Pervez Musharraf: It is not. They don’t act above. They operate underground.
Thanthi TV: I don’t think our judiciary can be manipulated sir. We have the strongest faith and it is internationally reputed…
General Pervez Musharraf: They don’t have to be manipulated, there are other ways of doing it. You don’t have to teach me what RAW does.. I know about what ISI does, what MI does, what RAW does, what KGB does…
Thanthi TV: What ISI does…
General Pervez Musharraf: Yes, every one of them. They all do the same thing.
Thanthi TV: Let’s agree to disagree on this, because our judiciary we feel is very strong to resist all that. On the issue of terrorism, both countries have been victims of terror. You have lost 132 innocent children. This issue has just not taken India by toll, Pakistan is also a victim of terror. But the general accusation is, you have not done enough to curb terrorism in your soil.
General Pervez Musharraf: No, I think they are doing a lot. It’s never enough, yes.. I will agree. Because the nuances of terrorism are different. The nuances of terrorism in KPK are very different. The army has operated very well there. They have cracked down and they have done very well. They have suffered a lot of casualties and sacrificed for the sake of the country. In Balochistan, it is very different. It is India-oriented, totally. The separatism there is induced by the Indians. There is a different way of handling that, which is being done. The other is sectarian terrorism and extremism… well, we are handling. But maybe, more room for improvement, I’ll agree.
Thanthi TV: Another million dollar question – where is Dawood Ibrahim? Is he not in Pakistan?
General Pervez Musharraf: No, I don’t know. I don’t know at all.
Thanthi TV: Is there a possibility that he is in Pakistan?
General Pervez Musharraf: I can’t say at all. I don’t know. I am not in touch with his whereabouts at all.
Thanthi TV: Was there any time that he was in Pakistan?
General Pervez Musharraf: Again, no comments.
Thanthi TV: Is he respected in your country?
General Pervez Musharraf: Yes, he is respected. 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.
Thanthi TV: And, what about the thousands of Hindus persecuted in Pakistan? When your country had its inception, the population of Hindus in Pakistan was 15%, it has now shrunk to 2%. So can we say Pakistan has not done enough to protect its minorities? Especially religious minorities?
General Pervez Musharraf: What a… Sorry to be using this word again and again – bullshit. Never have Hindus in Pakistan been 15%. I don’t know where you got these figures.
Thanthi TV: But it was much higher than what it is now..?
General Pervez Musharraf: Pre-partition, definitely they may have been 15, or maybe a little more. But after partition, certainly Pakistan is Muslim to about 93-94%. That has been the case. Hindus have total liberty in Pakistan. Minorities have total liberty. Occasional incidents do take place at the grassroot level and they are very strongly criticized by the entire civil society.
Thanthi TV: Such are the occasional incidents that happen in India, but you blow that beyond proportion…
General Pervez Musharraf: Now these things, as far as minorites are concerned… you should never talk about that. Because you, living in glass houses, don’t throw stones at others. Look at what you do with your minorities. Look at what is happening now, with the Dalits…
Thanthi TV: For Dalits, we have safeguards in our Constitution itself. They are oppressed, of course there has been historic injustice..but that has been corrected with a constitutional safeguard. You don’t have that in Pakistan.
General Pervez Musharraf: In Pakistan there are joint electorates for minorities. Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are in our military. In our armed forces. They have fought against you. So what are you talking?
Thanthi TV: In India, Muslims have reached very high offices. They have been in the military, they have become Presidents of our country…and they are very happy in our country.
General Pervez Musharraf: That may be because they may be upto 16-17%, or upto 20% of the population. In Pakistan, they (Hindus) are maybe upto 1 or 2% of the population.
Thanthi TV: Haven’t they (Hindus) been persecuted all along?
General Pervez Musharraf: Never.
Thanthi TV: Their religious rights curbed?
General Pervez Musharraf: Never. If you go to Sindh, where the major part of Hindus are… doctors, teachers and financial controllers are all Hindus.
Thanthi TV: Why has it shrunk? The muslim population in India has not shrunk, but the Hindu population in Pakistan has shrunk…
General Pervez Musharraf: No. I don’t agree with this statement. You made this 15% – 2%… absolutely wrong. Please correct your figures.
Thanthi TV: 15 and 2 may be wrong, but it has shrunk. That is factual.
General Pervez Musharraf: Never. It is never the case.
Thanthi TV: Your then foreign minister Mr. Khurshid Kasuri in his book writes, that when you were the President and there was a BJP govt previously, it was the best time for Indo-Pak relations.. things were on an upward trajectory. Do you agree with that observation?
General Pervez Musharraf: Yes. But in the BJP govt with PM Vajpayee and myself, we were not moving foward on resolution of the disputes. The first meeting that I had with him, the issue was on the drafting of a resolution, which recognized that in order to improve our relations, we had to resolve our disputes. It carried two or three sentences, that Kashmir is the core dispute between India and Pakistan, which must be resolved if we want to proceed further in a peaceful manner. So that was only the resolution. The real progress, on addressing disputes was in PM Manmohan Singh’s time.
Thanthi TV : You have worked with two Prime Ministers in India. Who is your favorite?
General Pervez Musharraf : I don’t like to compare the two. They were both very good. I must say, I respect them a lot. They were both were exceptionally good.
Thanthi TV : Is there an Indian leader you respect a lot? Who you really adore? Who is that and for what reason? May not be a contemporary leader. Maybe a leader in the past. Who you really respect. If there is one?
General Pervez Musharraf : If one looks at qualities, Gandhi Ji. Obviously and Nehru. They are the two leaders who were great people. But whether they were moving in the interest of Pakistan and muslims, I would’nt like to say that they were very positively inclined towards muslims and towards the creation of Pakistan. Subsequently after partition, we come to the leaders that we have seen all along. Out of them I would obviously pick on Manmohan Singh Saab and Prime Minister Vajpayee.And as I said, I respect both of them because they were the one who were moving towards dispute resolution and real peace. Real peace between the two countries. We were moving forward. Therefore I respect them a lot.
Thanthi TV : With Vajpayee you had a love – hate relationship..Dint You ?
General Pervez Musharraf : No .. I had love relationship..(laughs) I dont think there was ever a hatred .He was too good a person to be hated. There were issues.
We have to understand that our relations have been so volatile .Ups & downs and these irritants will happen.They shouldn’t be taken as if they are being articulated by the Pakistani leaders or the Pakistani army . If the Parliament is attacked ,in my time , It certainly was not articulated by the Government or the army or me. I would be mad to do that because we were moving on a peace process.
Thanthi TV : It is not the leadership at the helm , but there are forces in your country which are behind.
General Pervez Musharraf: Indians must realize that there is a dispute which causes emotions to rise.
Thanthi TV : That cannot justify Terrorism
General Pervez Musharraf : 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 dont ,then these things will keep happening . Pathankot & Uri will keep happening .
Thanthi TV : How can the talks go on then ?
General Pervez Musharraf :They must go on ..That is the point
Thanthi TV: If I come to the negotiating table with a smiling face& I’m attacked ! How can it go then ?
General Pervez Musharraf: Because the person with whom you are negotiating is not the one who is attacking. a Third person is attacking because of his emotional issues,
Thanthi TV: With whom I’m negotiating is in hand in glove with the person who is attacking me !
General Pervez Musharraf: No .No.That is not the case .We have to understand the historical background .In early 1990s , when the Kashmir uprising took place , it was suppressed strongly by your Military forces & lot of people were killed.That is when APHC & people from your part of Kashmir ran into Pakistan and an organization sprung up to fight the Indian army in Kashmir.That was the start of all Militant organizations in Pakistan. LeT … Jaish-e-Mohammad, every thing ..There were many others.10 or 12.
Thanthi TV : Many of them sponsored by your establishment
General Pervez Musharraf : No body sponsored..They were volunteers.
Thanthi TV : They being sponsored is recognized by many leaders of your country. It is not even an open secret, it’s factual.
General Pervez Musharraf: They may be turning a blind eye , They may be sympathetic towards them.. Yes Indeed .Definitely .Just like You are being sympathetic towards Balochistan. These things will keep happening. If you believe in peace , These must not come in the way of Peace. If an attack on Parliament , attack on Uri , attack on Pathankot ..these will happen but the Peace process must not be hampered .
Thanthi TV: Peace and bullets can not go side by side
General Pervez Musharraf: Bullets will stop , When Peace goes in . Without that bulletins carry on. You also do that , we do that.
Thanthi TV: Peace talks and bullets .How can they co-exist ? That is the billion dollar question
General Pervez Musharraf: They do. Take the example of UK , IRA & Ireland. Bullets were continuing & they reached peace. You can’t say first stop bullets and then we will talk Peace. No sir. Bullets continue & Peace also continues & when peace succeeds bullets stop.
Thanthi TV: There is a say that during your time , Siachen issue was almost close to a resolution and Dr.Manmohan Singh consented for that. Is that true ?
General Pervez Musharraf: I have suggested that there are 3 possibilities.Not less , not more. One is that we draw a line in between , although it will be difficult in the mountains. Second , make this a no go area for both because that is a desolated area. Number 3 is both sides can send expeditions from both sides , it becomes a common area. I had even told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that You decide on any one of these & I will agree . That is because of good will & sincerity on both sides. We were moving forward
Thanthi TV : What stopped the resolution ?
General Pervez Musharraf: That is an important question . In 2007 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was supposed to come to Pakistan .He had agreed
Thanthi TV : That was a long pending visit?
General Pervez Musharraf : Yes . Because I had visited India & Then we had met in the sidelines of United Nations in New York . He had agreed to come. We would surely have signed atleast one if not both Siachen & Sir Creek . Kashmir was in the process of being drafted. May not have been completed at that time. Too sensitive an issue.. But he didnt turn up , he dint come in 2007. My guess is because my popularity started going down in 2007.
Thanthi TV: Supreme court issue & all that ?
General Pervez Musharraf : A Lot of issues. May be he thought that he should not come.
Thanthi TV : What steps do you think both countries should take to keep things moving forward and normalize the relations because these bold steps need to be taken by both countries?
General Pervez Musharraf : I have been saying that both side leaders have to have three qualities. Number one is sincerity. Sincerity genuine and sincerity to solve the issues and not eyewash and no artificiality and no bluff game. Second is flexibility. You have to flexible enough for others point of view. Third is the important one. That is courage and boldness. Because when you resolve a dispute, you always meet halfway. You cant take and take. You have to give and take. Tke half and give half. Now that is where leaders get scared. Of their own population. Of their own people that they are going to accuse you of having sold out or succumbed. That needs courage. To face the negatives at your home. At your own backyard. So these are things three qualities required to initiate the process even. The first one, the sincerity part is the most important.
Thanthi TV: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a historic move to curb black money by abolishing 1000 and 500 rupee notes. This is basically largely because of complaint that counterfeit notes flow from the other side if the border. How do you look at this action ?
General Pervez Musharraf: First of all every accusation against Pakistan, let me just say it is done by both sides. You do exaclty what you accuse us of. Be very very clear, you are not that innocent. As for as the action is concerned, I personally think it’s good. I think black money especially, is not Pakistan’s counterfeit money. But the black money, ill gotten money, that will be unearthed. I think it is a good action. I am no economist, but I think it’s a good action.
Thanthi TV: What is your message to India, especially to the people of Tamil Nadu for watching you? We have come to the end of the interview.
General Pervez Musharraf : I have read a lot about south India and I hold south Indians in great esteem for the development that you have manged for yourselves.I know you are educationally much better off than rest of India. I know IT is booming in your part of India. Therefore I have tremendous respect for your achievements in south India and especially Tamil Nadu. May I also say that, whatever little people that I have met from south India, I see positive attitudes of south Indians towards Pakistan and towards the process of harmony between the two countries and I respect that also
Thanthi TV : That is a very a good end to this interview. Thank you very much
General Pervez Musharraf: Thank you
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