Archive for May, 2011


APML issues legal notice to Guardian’s editor

May 18, 2011

From M Zulqernain Lahore, May 17 – Former President Pervez Musharraf’s party has issued a legal notice to British newspaper Guardian’s chief editor and a reporter for publishing what it described as a “fabricated” report on a secret agreement permitting the US to carry out a raid similar to the one that killed Osama bin Laden. The All Pakistan Muslim League said the legal notice was served in the context of a “fabricated” news report in ‘Guardian’ that said Musharraf had, during his regime, struck a secret deal with the US allowing unilateral raids in Pakistan against bin Laden and other al Qaida leaders. The legal notice contended that the report aimed to malign the former President and to stigmatize his political image in Pakistan. It said, “Guardian, without confirming the veracity and authenticity of the news item published it and made propaganda with intention to malign the former President of Pakistan. The news item not only damaged the reputation (of Musharraf) but it has also established a ridiculous impression that as if Pakistan and the US worked beyond the sphere of their domestic laws as well as the international law”. Taking advantage of the defamation campaign, the political opponents of Musharraf criticised him for point scoring and tried to damage his political image, the notice said. It claimed Musharraf, currently living in self-exile outside Pakistan, had not signed any secret deal with the US for unilateral raids in Pakistani territory and the ISI chief had acknowledged this during his briefing to parliament on Friday. The notice said Musharraf would file a suit seeking five million dollars as compensation if the daily did not retract the report.

Source: IBN Live


Bold and blunt Musharraf on Osama Bin Laden and his death

May 13, 2011

Commuting: Bridging distances, easing hardships

May 13, 2011
GILGIT: The RCC Bridge in Konodas has finally been constructed after five years. Chief Minister Medhi Shah inaugurated the bridge on Thursday.

The project of the bridge had been sanctioned during the government of General Pervez Musharraf, whose era saw considerable development work in the region including road networks, bridges and educational institutions. However, the contractor of the bridge left the project without completing it after Musharraf’s government was ousted in the general elections of 2008.

The old Bridge – adjacent to the new RCC Bridge – had been constructed in late 1890.It dilapidated overtime as traffic increased along with rise in population. Following growing complaints, the chief judge of the Gilgit-Baltistan’s Supreme Appellate Court, Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi, took suo moto action in 2010 and asked Public Works Department [PWD] to complete the project immediately or be prepared to face the law.

The suo moto worked its spell as PWD resumed work completing the project, making life easy for thousands of residents of Kondoas, Nomal and other adjoining regions.

The locals heaved a sigh of relief and thanked the Appelatte court for taking action on the pending project.On the inauguration ceremmony, as the chief minister, accompanied by  speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly and other officials, cut the ribbon, people praised Justice Nawaz Abbasi, who played the major role in bringing the project to its completion.

“We are so happy that more than half of our distance to Gilgit city and other connecting areas will be minimized,” said Tashfain Rafiq, an employee who lives in Konodas. He said due to a lot of rush at the bridge, they had to stand in a queue twice a day, while going to office in the morning and on their way home in the afternoon.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2011.

Source: Express Tribune


Musharraf denies ‘US secret deal’ reports

May 10, 2011

Via his Facebook page, General Pervez Musharraf has denied that he had agreed in 2001 for America to conduct a unilateral operation in Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden if the terrorist was located in Pakistan.

The Guardian newspaper reported this morning that after bin Laden managed to escape from the Tora Bora mountains, the General, who was then President of Pakistan, had struck a secret deal with then US President George Bush.

Mr Musharraf said today, “The accusation of my having allowed intrusion into Pakistan by US forces chasing Osama Bin Laden is absolutely baseless. Never has this subject even been discussed between myself and President Bush leave aside allowing such freedom of action that would violate our sovereignty.”

The Guardian cited a former senior US counter-terrorism official as declaring, “Both sides also agreed that Islamabad would vociferously protest the incursion afterwards in keeping with public sensitivities.”

Under the deal, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid on its soil in search of bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.  “There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him,” the US official was quoted as saying.

The Guardian said a senior Pakistani official confirmed that the deal  had been struck originally by Mr Musharraf and renewed by the army during the “transition to democracy”  –   a six-month period from February 2008 when Mr  Musharraf was still president but a civilian government had been elected.

Source: NDTV

A fresh start: Musharraf Foundation hands out house keys

May 6, 2011
MULTAN: The Pervez Musharraf Foundation, currently being monitored by All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) senior vice president Dr Amjad, recently distributed the keys of 25 houses to flood victims in the district.

“A small colony of 25 houses has been built so far but we will help build more houses throughout the country for people who were affected by the floods,” Amjad said.

The foundation distributed keys of newly constructed houses among flood victims from Daaria Din Panah and Alipur on Tuesday. More than 52 keys have been distributed in flood struck areas of southern Punjab including Daaira Din Panah, Kot Addu, Shah Garh and Alipur. According to NGOs and relief workers, this is the third stage of the plan to rehabilitate flood victims in the district. “The Musharraf Foundation has already distributed 52 keys but we will be building more houses,” said APML media advisor Attiqa Odho. “We also plan to provide proper medication to all flood victims in Pakistan including those in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Sindh and southern Punjab. Retired major general Rashid Qureshi, vice president of APML, said that the party was conducting a survey to identify the major problems being faced by flood victims. “Former president Pervez Musharraf has issued us strict orders to fairly allocate funding to flood victims throughout the country,” he said. “The APML will not abandon the people the way this government has done,” Odho said.

Flood victims in Multan expressed their joy at the initiatives taken by the APML and said that they were happy to finally have a roof over our heads.

“It is a relief to know that I finally have a home again. I am extremely grateful to former president Musharraf for still caring about the people of his country,” said Multan flood survivor Sohial.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2011.

Source: Express Tribune


Musharraf admits ‘slip-up’ on Osama, defends army

May 6, 2011

Rahul Kanwal  | New Delhi, May 6, 2011

Former president General Pervez Musharraf on Friday strongly defended the Pakistani army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) saying they could not be blamed for the ‘slip-up’ that saw the Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, residing in the country’s garrison town Abbottabad until the US forces killed him on Monday.

Talking to Headlines Today over phone from Dubai, Musharraf failed to provide many answers that India has been looking for. He however, did concede that as the former head of the military and ex-president of Pakistan he was embarrassed that Laden was found inside his country.

Asked about his statement at India Today Conclave three years ago that Laden was either dead or hiding in Afghanistan, Musharraf said, “I don’t remember having, as you said very confidently, I declared that he is dead and he is not in Pakistan. I don’t think I ever did that. I always used to put it in doubt that I don’t know… have information or intelligence. He could be anywhere. I used to get agitated when people used to say that he is in Pakistan. Really, I was never confident of his whereabouts. He could be anywhere, it could be Afghanistan or Pakistan or anywhere.”

“As far as dead or alive, yes, I used to say that he was a dialysis patient and therefore I don’t know whether he is dead or alive. I never once did I say that he has died or anything,” he added.

On existence of Laden in Pakistan’s military area Musharraf said, “Let me give three possibilities. Firstly, there was complicity by the intelligence agencies that they are harbouring him. I reject that for the reason that even President Obama has very clearly said that he is grateful to the Pakistani intelligence for having provided the leads. Now I would like you to ask him what were the leads. How is he thanking our intelligence agencies? What I know, maybe, some intercepts going from here to somebody abroad were provided by the ISI to the CIA. So if that was the case, why would ISI or intelligence agencies of Pakistan provide such leads if they were harbouring him? So I reject that.”

“The other is a possibility of a lower operative having known or involved without the permission or against the policies of intelligence agencies, or the army or the government. That I rule out because if at all he was there, as people say, for a long time then people keep changing.”

“The third one is not knowing… you call it incompetence or whatever. That is a possibility after all Bombay also took place after 9/11. Media always used to get after the intelligence agencies, the military or the government. What were the intelligence agencies doing? Such slip-ups do happen. It is very regrettable, it is terrible,” general added.

Asked again about Laden’s lair in the military area Musharraf said, “Having been trained in the guerrilla warfare, I think one of the best place to hide either is mountains which are inaccessible or the best place to hide is in cities, populated areas. That is the best place to hide, you wouldn’t be known. Thirdly, I may say, if there is a bold person, I think near to the bigger enemy is quite a safe place because there is a degree of complacency around the compound.”

He strongly objected to the army being called ‘incompetent’ in the wake of the ‘slip-up’, as Musharraf himself admitted.

“Let’s first differentiate intelligence agencies from army. Army is not incompetent. Intelligence agencies and within those agencies the operative who were responsible for the area… they are incompetent. Let’s focus on to that because the agency has shown tremendous amount of competence and in umpteen number of cases all over Pakistan, on international issues. So let’s not absolutely write off the intelligence agency and more than that involve the army in incompetence,” Musharraf said.

Source: India Today


The World should not forget Pakistan’s sacrifices: Pervez Musharraf

May 6, 2011
Hours after the 9/11 aerial strikes, he was asked to make a choice. “You are with us or against us,” the then US secretary of state Colin Powel told him. Pervez Musharraf , then the president of Pakistan, didn’t have much of a choice. He joined forces with the US in the war on terror as Osama bin Laden forged ahead with his mission: Talibinisation of Pakistan. Nearly a decade later, the US’s hunt for its most wanted man has ended in the heartland of Pakistan, barely 50 km from capital Islamabad where bin Laden was shot dead in a special operation. Musharraf, who now lives in exile, in Dubai, is a worried man. One can’t discredit Pakistan and still fight terror, he tells Soma Banerjee.

What would you have done if you were the head of state in Pakistan today?

This wouldn’t have happened if I were the head of state. It is Pakistan’s security forces that should initiate such a military action, not foreign troops. During my regime, our forces have hunted down high-value targets, aided by the US and other countries, but each operation inside the country was carried out by Pakistani soldiers. It is embarrassing for Pakistan if it was unaware of the American operation against Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

What is your message to the world, the sub-continent (India and Afghanistan) and to terrorist groups?

Pakistan has played the role of a frontline state to save the world from terror. Secret agencies of all countries had been struggling unsuccessfully to trace Osama bin Laden for the past ten years. Now, just because Osama is killed inside Pakistan, it doesn’t mean that the world should forget our sacrifices. Some countries have said that Pakistan is a haven for terrorists. I would like to clarify that the world cannot achieve desired results against terrorist elements by discrediting Pakistan.

Do you think the US could have conducted this operation without the knowledge of Pakistan’s government?

I am not certain whether Pakistan’s ruling government was informed or not about this operation. However, in view of the prevailing information, it seems that the leadership of Pakistan was not taken into confidence prior to this operation. No doubt the American military operation has achieved great success, but they have also violated Pakistan’s sovereignty by trespassing into the country’s territory.

Is the world a safer place after bin Laden’s death?

The death of Osama will not hurt the nefarious activities of radical elements. On the other hand, they will become more cautious. The death of Osama bin Laden cannot be considered as a satisfactory achievement for becoming relaxed.

Is this more of a symbolic achievement?

No doubt, bin Laden’s killing was a great achievement, but as I have already pointed out, we need to become more cautious and to annul the war on terror the world should acknowledge the sacrifices that Pakistanis have made.

What are the mistakes the US have made in Afghanistan?

The US has committed enormous mistakes in Afghanistan and Pakistan has had to face the music as a result of these mistakes. Time is now ripe to correct those mistakes. An American exit at this juncture from Afghanistan will further heighten the crisis in Afghanistan.


Never ordered harbouring of bin Laden: Musharraf

May 5, 2011

Former President Pervez Musharraf today said harbouring Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was not ordered by him though the al Qaeda leader’s presence in the country does indicate “incompetence” on the part of the Army, the ISI in particular.Musharraf categorially denied the accusation that he as president had ordered for the safe hiding of bin Laden, who was found living in a garrison city, close to a military academy in the heart of Pakistan.It was Musharraf, under whose presidency in 2001, Pakistan had joined the US-led war on terror in Afghanistan with the ultimate aim of hunting down bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders.”(The accusation of) hiding him I cannot accept, and I’m very, very sure it was not being done or ordered by me.And knowing the army, that could not have been the case. Yes, incompetence, I will have to accept, yes. Yes, indeed,” Musharraf told the Fox News in an interview.Musharraf argued that there was no reason for the Pakistani establishment to hide bin Laden, who himself was one of the enemies of Pakistan.”Let me tell you when you say that is why they may have hidden a person who has declared war on Pakistan, a person who was involved or his organisation was involved in many of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan which have killed hundreds, if not thousands of people,” he said.He said the military establishment has been fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda for Pakistan and they certainly do not want those organisations to violate the sovereignty of the country.”So people may be disliking the US, but that doesn’t mean that their own enemy will be harboured by the army and ISI which has suffered at their hands,” Musharraf said.Musharraf described Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the warlords leading the Haqqani network, as the son of a great revolutionary who fought the Soviets.He also said that Pakistan is not using the Haqqani network as a proxy against India.”I don’t think Haqqani is being used as a proxy against India… I can’t imagine they are supporting the Haqqani group to fight you across the border. I don’t think that is true,” Musharraf said in response to a question.”In India there are other groups. And they are involved in India. And there is great sentiment in Pakistan to join in these groups and go across the border into Kashmir and fight the Indian army but I don’t see them involved in that,” he said.Notably, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a recent interview to the Dawn newspaper said that elements in ISI have been supporting the Haqqani network.

Source: IBN Live


Musharraf: Pakistan Did Not Hide bin Laden

May 5, 2011
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says that under his watch, his country did not hide killed Al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Musharraf did tell Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday, however, that he concedes that Pakistan’s army might have been incompetent in not realizing where America’s most hated enemy was hiding.
“I can accept the second accusation, but hiding him I cannot accept, and I’m very, very sure it was not being done or ordered by me,” Musharraf said. “And knowing the army that could not have been the case. Yes, incompetence, I will have to accept, yes. Yes, indeed.
“Well, it is very surprising, indeed. I totally agree. But high security is not an uncommon thing in that part of the country,” Musharraf continued. “High walls, bashed wires are a common feature in the frontier province especially. And one doesn’t really — it doesn’t at all that much suspicion as it would in other countries, maybe in the United States.”
Van Susteren noted that many Pakistanis are upset that the United States conducted the operation without informing the nation’s government.
“Well, when you say that many of our people are unhappy with your country, yes, indeed, I think so — you are right— that many people in Pakistan are unhappy with the United States,” Musharraf said. “But let me tell you when you say that is why they may have hidden a person who has declared war on Pakistan, a person who was involved or his organization was involved in many of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan which have killed hundreds, if not thousands of people.”

Source: News Max


Musharraf Says Pakistan’s Military Would Have Been ‘Utterly Stupid’ to Have Harbored Bin Laden

May 3, 2011

As more questions are being asked how Pakistani officials missed that Usama bin Laden was living down the road from the country’s military war college in a town filled with retired generals, former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf tells Fox News that it would have been stupid for the country’s main intelligence agency to keep him hiding in plain sight.

“I think to imagine that the ISI had done this and planned this, keeping them right there,” Musharraf said in an interview in Dubai, “I think the ISI must be utterly stupid to put them in such a prominent place, hiding them in such a prominent place. That is not something the ISI would have done. Certainly not. So let’s not accuse the ISI.”

“I don’t think there is any basis for that,” he said, adding that there is a trust and confidence deficiency between the United States and Pakistan. “This is not the way of fighting terrorism, which is the common enemy.”

On Tuesday, the ISI said it is extremely embarrassed by its intelligence failures, which enabled bin Laden to live, for 5 years, in the sprawling compound in Abbottabad, home to many retired military and intelligence figures and just a mile from the gate of the Pakistan Military Academy.

Musharraf said he’s glad bin Laden is gone and that news of his death was a good day for “peace-loving people,” but warned the Taliban is Pakistan’s biggest threat now — a Taliban that was trained by Al Qaeda.

“They were the people who have taught the Taliban many things. The Taliban were quite less educated obviously, quite uneducated. So this technical aspect of terrorism, like suicide bombing, suicide bomb jackets, like IEDs, like remote controls, exploding devices through remote control, all this technical way of handling explosives and devices was the education imparted by Al Qaeda to the Taliban.”

Still, bin Laden has his followers in Pakistan who may react violently to his death, and the fact that American forces entered Pakistan and carried out that raid that took down bin Laden could add fuel to any fire.

Musharraf said that the fact that the U.S. carried out the mission without alerting the Pakistani government could create future political problems. “The violation of sovereignty of Pakistan, this is an extreme sensitivity in Pakistan. This issue could be agitated by political leaders.”

Musharraf also thinks further proof than what has been shown so far is needed to convince people bin Laden is really dead.

“People, especially the extremists, would require proof. And when you go into the TV channels of Pakistan, the talk shows that go on, dozens of them, they all start debating whether he is dead, and then all kinds of theories start emerging. I think this proof is extremely essential.”

Much of Musharraf’s term in office was marked by the hunt for bin Laden, and dealing with the terrorism that wracked his own country. Asked if he was disappointed that bin Laden wasn’t apprehended on his own watch, Musharraf said: “To an extent, yes.”

“I think since he has been eliminated in Abbotabad, which is a cantonment (a military quarters), I am to a degree disappointed, yes,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden’s birthplace, people continue to digest the news of the Al Qaeda leader’s death.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi tells Fox News that he had a mixed reaction to it.

“I remember the days when Osama was a moderate, young man, looking for change, before he made that terrible turn to radicalism. I knew him very well at that time. We were close. We were hoping for that day we are witnessing today in the Arab world when things would open up and diversify and the end of dictatorships, but Osama made that wrong turn that led the Muslim world into the dark days of radicalism.”

Khashoggi knew Osama bin Laden from the first Afghan war, which he covered. At that time, Bin Laden was a hero of the Arab world. Now, Khashoggi says, even before bin Laden’s death, his influence was on a serious decline.

“When the Egyptians, Tunisians, and the Yemenis stormed the streets, none of them carry a banner or portrait of Osama bin Laden. He wasn’t there in the tsunami of freedom in the Arab world.” Khashoggi also points out that bin Laden himself wasn’t the most important factor in the organization.

“Osama wasn’t the chief of staff of Al Qaeda. He was an inspiration. So it will not really have much meaning in the day-to-day affairs of Al Qaeda, because it is more like a franchise.”

Khashoggi also talks about the damage bin Laden inflicted on his own country.

“He almost succeeded in splitting the society by introducing a huge chunk of radicalism through many of us. But he also affected the Saudi economy. Fighting terrorism is very expensive. It takes investors away from a country. Not to mention the amount of people killed throughout the Muslim world.”

Source: FOX News

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