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No regrets over Lal Masjid: Musharraf

October 17, 2010

DALLASFormer president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that those who were killed in Islamabad’s Lal Masjid were terrorists and insisted that no woman was killed during that operation, adding that out of 150 only 94 terrorists, including two foreign nationals, were killed in the July 2007 encounter.

The former president was addressing a public meeting of All Pakistan Muslim League in Dallas on Saturday. The former general dwelt at length on Pakistan’s political situation and the issues of Dr Qadeer and Taliban.

Musharraf clarified that he had never apologised for the Lal Masjid episode. According to him, Lal Masjid was a “den of terrorists” and as a head of state it was his duty to restore the writ of the state. He said that the government tried its best to settle the Masjid issue peacefully. “We also invited the Imam of Ka’aba for mediation, but all in vain. Since, we never wanted to turn Pakistan into a Taliban state, we took action”.

“I have apologised on the issue of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which I had to accept on the advice of my political advisers.”

The former president said that when he was in uniform, people called him a dictator. Pointing at himself, he said that “dictatorship lies in the brain, and it is a mindset and uniform has got nothing to do with it”.

Referring to Dr Qadeer’s confession, the former dictator termed the nuclear scientist “a liar”, adding that Dr Qadeer “sold” nuclear secrets to three countries and he (Musharraf) had valid proof.

Denying that his government had harassed the nuclear scientist, he said that whatever Dr Qadeer had said on television he had done so voluntarily and he was not forced to do so, said Musharraf.

“I saved Dr Qadeer because he is a national hero, and I also consider him national hero,” he said, adding: “It is also a fact that he (Qadeer) made mistakes.”

The public meeting was also addressed by Coordinator of APML’s Dallas coordinator Javed Siddiqui. As many as 500 people attended the public meeting.

Earlier, General Musharraf was received by party leaders Ameer Sukhano, Dr Hassan, Dr Tasnim Agha, Naeem, Nadeem Akhter Azeem Siddiqui Tanvir Malik, Dr Arjumand, Khalil Qureshi Muhammad Ali Siddiqui, Nadem Chaudhry and others.

Source: Express Tribune

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