Posts Tagged ‘Al-Qaeda’

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Horrible voices coming from taliban commander’s grave

February 5, 2013

Horrible voices coming from taliban commander grave

Source: http://bit.ly/Y7ry2k

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9/11 – Could we have decided otherwise?

August 24, 2011

By Pervez Musharraf – former President of Pakistan

Pakistan’s decision to join the US and the Coalition in Afghanistan in their attack on the Taliban remains a subject of intense debate. This is the decision we took after a thorough, deliberate and realistic appraisal of the obtaining geo-strategic realities, but it has drawn criticism and praise alike. With the latest upsurge in terrorist activity in Pakistan, the debate on the post-9/11 response of Pakistan has intensified. I, therefore, thought it my duty to lay bare facts in front of the people of Pakistan, so that with all the necessary information they could judge the situation more accurately. The decision of my government was indeed based on, and in conformity with, my slogan of ‘Pakistan First’.
Some people suggested that we should oppose the United States and favour the Taliban. Was this, in any way, beneficial for Pakistan? Certainly not! Even if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda emerged victorious, it would not be in Pakistan’s interest to embrace obscurantist Talibanisation. That would have meant a society where women had no rights, minorities lived in fear and semi-literate clerics set themselves up as custodians of justice. I could have never accepted this kind of society for Pakistan. In any case, judging by military realities one was sure that the Taliban would be defeated. It would have been even more detrimental for Pakistan to be standing on the defeated side.
The United States, the sole superpower, was wounded and humiliated by the 9/11 Al-Qaeda terrorist attack. A strong retaliatory response against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was imminent.

I was angrily told, by the US, that Pakistan had to be ‘either with us or against us’. The message was also conveyed to me that ‘if Pakistan was against the United States then it should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age.’

This was the environment within which we had to take a critical decision for Pakistan. My sole focus was to make a decision that would benefit Pakistan in the long run, and also guard it against negative effects.

What options did the US have to attack Afghanistan? Not possible from the north, through Russia and the Central Asian Republics. Not from the west, through Iran. The only viable direction was from the east, through Pakistan. If we did not agree, India was ever ready to afford all support. A US-India collusion would obviously have to trample Pakistan to reach Afghanistan. Our airspace and land would have been violated. Should we then have pitched our forces, especially Pakistan Air Force, against the combined might of the US and Indian forces? India would have been delighted with such a response from us. This would surely have been a foolhardy, rash and most unwise decision. Our strategic interests – our nuclear capability and the Kashmir cause – would both have been irreparably compromised. We might even have put our very territorial integrity at stake.

The economic dimension of confronting the United States and the West also needed serious analysis. Pakistan’s major export and investment is to and from the United States and the European Union. Our textiles, which form 60 percent of our export and earnings, go to the West. Any sanctions on these would have crippled our industry and choked our economy. Workers would lose their jobs. The poor masses of Pakistan would have been the greatest sufferers.

China, our great friend, also has serious apprehensions about Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The upsurge of religious extremism emboldening the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in China is due to events in Afghanistan and the tribal agencies of Pakistan. China would certainly not be too happy with Pakistan on the side of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Even the Islamic Ummah had no sympathy for the Taliban regime; countries like Turkey and Iran were certainly against the Taliban. The UAE and Saudi Arabia – the only two countries other than Pakistan that had recognised the Taliban regime – had become so disenchanted with the Taliban that they had closed their missions in Kabul.

Here, I would also like to clear the notion that we accepted all the demands put forward by USA.

On September 13th 2001, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, brought me a set of seven demands. These demands had also been communicated to our Foreign Office by the US State Department.

1. Stop Al-Qaeda operatives at your borders, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end all logistical support for bin Laden.
2. Provide the United States with blanket overflight and landing rights to conduct all necessary military and intelligence operations.
3. Provide territorial access to the United States and allied military intelligence as needed, and other personnel to conduct all necessary operations against the perpetrators of terrorism and those that harbour them, including the use of Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic locations on borders.
4. Provide the United States immediately with intelligence, immigration information and databases, and internal security information, to help prevent and respond to terrorist acts perpetrated against the United States, its friends, or its allies.
5. Continue to publicly condemn the terrorist acts of September 11 and any other terrorist acts against the United States or its friends and allies, and curb all domestic expressions of support [for terrorism] against the United States, its friends, or its allies.
6. Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Taliban and any other items and recruits, including volunteers, en route to Afghanistan, who can be used in a military offensive capacity or to abet a terrorist threat.
7.Should the evidence strongly implicate Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan and should Afghanistan and the Taliban continue to harbour him and his network, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, end support for the Taliban, and assist the United States in the afore-mentioned ways to destroy Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.Some of these demands were ludicrous, such as “curb all domestic expressions of support [for terrorism] against the United States, its friends, and its allies.” How could my government suppress public debate, when I had been trying to encourage freedom of expression?

I also thought that asking us to break off diplomatic relations with Afghanistan if it continued to harbour Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda was not realistic, because not only would the United States need us to have access to Afghanistan, at least until the Taliban fell, but such decisions are the internal affair of a country and cannot be dictated by anyone. But we had no problem with curbing terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We had been itching to do so before the United States became its victim.

We just could not accept demands two and three. How could we allow the United States “blanket overflight and landing rights” without jeopardising our strategic assets? I offered only a narrow flight corridor that was far from any sensitive areas. Neither could we give the United States “use of Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic locations on borders.” We refused to give any naval ports or fighter aircraft bases. We allowed the United States only two bases – Shamsi in Balochistan and Jacobabad in Sindh – and only for logistics and aircraft recovery. No attack could be launched from there. We gave no “blanket permission” for anything.

The rest of the demands we could live with. I am happy that the US government accepted our counterproposal without any fuss. I am shocked at the aspersion being cast on me: that I readily accepted all preconditions of the United States during the telephone call from Colin Powell. He did not give any conditions to me. These were brought by the US ambassador on the third day.

Having made my decision, I took it to the Cabinet. Then I began meeting with a cross section of society. Between September 18 and October 3, I met with intellectuals, top editors, leading columnists, academics, tribal chiefs, students, and the leaders of labour unions. On October 18, I also met a delegation from China and discussed the decision with them. Then I went to army garrisons all over the country and talked to the soldiers. I thus developed a broad consensus on my decision.

This was an analysis of all the losses/harms we would have suffered. if we had taken an anti-US stand. At the same time, I obviously analysed the socio-economic and military gains that would accrue from an alliance with the West. I have laid down the rationale for my decision in all its details. Even with hindsight, now, I do not repent it. It was correct in the larger interest of Pakistan. I am confident that the majority of Pakistanis agree with it.

Source: The Nation

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U.S. officials, former Pakistan leader worry about latest split

July 22, 2011

Washington (CNN) — With U.S.-Pakistan relations in the deep freeze, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and American officials called Thursday for a thaw.

“Blame games, rigidity, arrogance, insensitivity to each other’s national interests is certainly very counter-productive,”Musharraf said in Washington. “It definitely saddens me to see the deteriorating Pakistan-United States relations,” he said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

Twelve weeks have passed since American commandos killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, an event that dramatically widened the rift between the two countries.

Musharraf denied he knew during his time as president or later that bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan. “Whether one believes it or not, let me say with confidence, I did not know,” he declared.

He suggested that it was negligence and not complicity of the Pakistan government that allowed bin Laden to stay there undetected.

“If there was complicity this is very, very serious indeed,” Musharraf said. “I think the UN and the United States have all the right to be against Pakistan if it ultimately comes to believe that … people were hiding him, people were complicit in it,” Musharraf said.

The former president and general, who has been living in London, pledged to return to Pakistan next March for a political comeback in 2013, in what he called “the mother of all elections.”

David Petraeus, making his way home from Afghanistan where he was commanding general and soon to start his new job as CIA director, reportedly told a Paris audience yesterday he also is worried about relations with Pakistan. He just completed a visit there and said the relationship is at a difficult stage but the U.S. must continue efforts to work with Pakistan, recognizing what it has done in the fight against terror.

Meanwhile in Washington, top U.S. military leaders told senators of their concerns about Pakistan.

The soldier poised to take over as chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Ray Odierno, said militants hiding out in Pakistan along the Afghanistan border are a major security challenge facing the United States.

Adm. James Winnefeld, tapped as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pakistan must do more to crack down on insurgents like the Haqqani network.

“Pakistan is a very, very difficult partner and we all know that. We don’t always share the same world view or the same opinions or the same national interests,” Winnefeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I think we need to continued pressure on Pakistan using all elements of pressure that we’re able to apply to what really should be a friend to get them to realize that the Haqqani network poses a threat to their own country and to take the steps that we’ve asked them to take.”

Former congresswoman and Wilson Center director Jane Harmon said both the United States and Pakistan have made mistakes and miscalculations.

“Nothing is irreparable and this relationship has got to be fixed,” Harmon said after Musharraf’s speech.

“I think some tough love is required, I think there needs to be a more honest and straight relationship,” Harmon said. “The Pakistanis have grievances, but we clearly have grievances too.”

Source: CNN

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Musharraf calls for bridging trust deficit

June 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) — The most urgent need in the strained U.S.-Pakistan relations is to restore mutual trust, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said.

In a 1,700-word column written for CNN, the former military ruler, now living in exile in Britain, said his country finds itself “in the eye of the terrorism storm” while an “environment of controversies, contradictions, distortions and mutual suspicions prevails all around, polluting and weakening the war on terror.”

Musharraf, who took power in Pakistan after a bloodless military coup in 1999 and now seeks to return home to run for office, said the current environment does not bode well for the global war on terror.

“The first and most urgent need of the hour is to restore trust. We must speak the truth with each other very openly and frankly. Pakistan needs to explain clearly why it is not acting against the Haqqani group (suspected of using Pakistani sanctuaries to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan) or when it will operate in North Waziristan.

“The intelligence agencies of Pakistan should be purged of any elements who may not be committed to the official line of fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban,” Musharraf said.

On Pakistanis’ “antipathy” toward the United States, Musharraf blamed it on the “abandonment” of his country after 1989 with a strategic shift of U.S. policy towards India and military sanctions against Pakistan. He said other reasons included the U.S.-India civilian nuclear deal, the U.S. military presence and operations in Afghanistan and its drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

On the finding of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad before he was killed by U.S. forces last month, Musharraf blamed Pakistan’s “incompetence and callousness of the highest degree” in not being aware of bin Laden’s presence and ruled out any complicity with the militants.

He said any suggestion of complicity in hiding bin Laden in the country for five years would also involve him when he was president.

“I knew nothing about it, and I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams that the intelligence agencies were hiding it from me,” he wrote.

He said the United States must “trust” that Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism in its own interest.

“We, as a nation, have to boldly demonstrate our resolve towards moderation and rejection of extremism from within our society,” he said.

Source: UPI Asia

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What should be done in Afghanistan

December 19, 2010

Written by Pervez Musharraf – former President of Pakistan

Historical background: Events in Afghanistan took a turn in 1979 with the invasion of the country by the Soviet Union. The Soviets were challenged through a jihad, launched by the Afghans supported by America and Pakistan. The jihad was strongly reinforced by mujahideen, encouraged and brought from all over the Muslim world and also by the Taliban from the madrassas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It was spearheaded by various religious militant groups and, thus, we saw the introduction of religious militancy in the region which continued for ten long years. The year 1989 saw the defeat of the Soviet Union and its eviction from Afghanistan.

The fruits of this victory all went to the West, with the Cold War ending in the West’s victory, dismemberment of the Soviet Union, liberation of East Europe and the reunification of Germany. Unfortunately, what Afghanistan and Pakistan got after 1989 were a series of three short-sighted blunders leading to complications and perhaps, avoidable turmoil in the region. The rehabilitation and resettlement of the mujahideen brought into Afghanistan was totally ignored.

The first blunder was the abandonment of Afghanistan and Pakistan by the US in 1989. The chaos that followed for the entire decade of the 90s gave birth to al Qaeda and later the Taliban.

The second was the non-recognition of the Taliban government which ruled 90 per cent of Afghanistan after 1997. My idea of the entire world recognising the Taliban government and opening diplomatic missions in Kabul which would be managed from within, was not paid any heed to. Had it been done, maybe we could have saved the Bamiyan Buddha statues and even untangled the Osama bin Laden dispute.

The third blunder was committed after 9/11 when the Taliban, who were all Pashtuns, were defeated with the help of the Northern Alliance composed of three minority ethnic groups (Uzbeks, Hazaras and Tajiks). The Taliban and al Qaeda were dispersed and they ran into the mountains and the cities of Pakistan. Their organisational and command structure was totally dismantled. The military achieved its objective of getting into a dominant position. The logical course of action after this was to change strategy and place a legitimate government in Afghanistan, This implies a government dominated by the Pashtun majority (half of the Afghan population), because historically nobody other than Pashtuns have governed Afghanistan. Not doing this and persisting with a government dominated by a Tajik minority, still in place, was and still is a great blunder.

The Taliban resurgence started in late 2003, mainly, because of the third blunder of not weaning away the Pashtun from the Taliban. My view has always been that all Taliban are Pashtun, but all Pashtun are not Taliban; therefore, we can wean them away from the Taliban. Now, after eight years we are talking of parleys with moderate Taliban, or even Taliban, but from a position of weakness, when we have declared our intention to quit.

The present situation: The terrorist situation has transformed or visibly developed in the region and in the world, in the last few years. Let us see its contours in various countries.

Pakistan faces four menaces from terrorism. Each one requires an in-depth understanding and a different strategy to tackle: The first is al Qaeda which has a presence in the mountains of Fata, though in small numbers, and needs to be evicted. The second is the Taliban presence in Fata, especially in South and North Waziristan, and in Bajaur agency. However, they are our own people and have to be handled with acumen. We need to follow a triple strategy of force accompanied by a political and a socio-economic component. Deals must be struck with the tribal Pashtuns to wean them away from the Taliban and thus isolate the latter, who can then be dealt with militarily. Then there is the Talibanisation in the settled districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and even beyond. This has to be contained with force. The last is extremism and extremist organisations in some pockets of Pakistani society, which are primarily a fallout of Taliban activity in Afghanistan and mujahideen activity in Indian-held Kashmir.

Moderation has to be brought into society through a five-pronged strategy of stopping misuse of mosques for preaching militancy; banning militant organisations and not allowing them to resurface with different titles; ensuring that the curriculum/ syllabus in schools has no content of religious or sectarian extremism and mainstreaming students in madrassas

There is also the issue of mujahideen activity in Indian-held Kashmir against the Indian Army. This is supported by mujahideen groups in Pakistan and has tremendous public sympathy. Furthermore, extremism is on the rise in Muslim youth in India because of alienation of Muslims due to a sense of deprivation and suppression. The situation becomes more alarming due to the nexus emerging between extremists in India and the mujahideen in Kashmir on one hand, and extremists and the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other.

The menace deepens with the emergence of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib centered around Algeria and Mali and, in the Arabian peninsula, centred around Yemen and Somalia. The centre of gravity of all this extremism and terrorism, however, lies in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The future course: Losing at the centre of gravity means losing everywhere. Quitting from Afghanistan without getting into a dominant military position and placing a legitimate Pashtun-dominated government in Afghanistan could spell disaster for the region and also endanger the world.

So what is the winning strategy? In Afghanistan we are still diluted in space but since we cannot send additional Nato/Isaf forces we must increase the strength of the Afghan National Army. However, the correct ethnic balance must also be ensured. Then, we need to identify Pashtun tribes and tribal Maliks who have no ideological affinity with the Taliban and arm them to create lashkars to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda. With such a strategy in place, the drawdown of troops from the area should be effect-related rather than time-related. The effect that we would want to achieve is to be in a dominant force position and have in place a legitimate Pashtun-dominated government in Kabul.

Source: Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2010

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Pervez Musharraf at Asia Society Texas – Outlines Election Strategy

October 21, 2010

HOUSTON, October 19, 2010 – Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who earlier this month announced he was forming a new political party and would seek the presidency in 2013, held himself up as the only figure on the Pakistani political scene capable of delivering the country from “the darkness that it faces today.”

“All the political alternatives available have been tried and failed,” he told an audience of 140 at a luncheon address hosted by AsiaSociety Texas Center and the Greater Houston Partnership.

He specifically attacked former President Nawaz Sharif, the man whom Musharraf replaced in 1999 following a bloodless military coup and who is vying to return to power.

“Having taken us down the drain, he wants to take us again down the drain,” Musharraf said.”Therefore, like any patriotic Pakistani, I feel we must not allow that.”

The 67-year-old former president offered few specifics on policies he might follow if elected, beyond promising to revive Pakistan’s economy. He did provide a glimpse of his election strategy, saying he would target the 60 percent of Pakistanis who do not vote.

“This 60 percent comprises educated middle-class Pakistanis, young people, women, and ethnic minorities,” he said. “If you can bring them into the political fray, even 25 percent of them, you would bring about a change in the political culture. That is what I intend doing.”

Regaining power as a civilian, through election, would give him the full legitimacy he lacked the first time around, he said.

Musharraf devoted the first two-thirds of his talk not to current politics but to an uncompromising defense of his and his country’s role in battling Islamic extremism in the region. “We are the victims of religious militancy, not the perpetrators,” he said.

He revisited “three blunders” that he said have contributed to the terrorist threat emanating today from Afghanistan and western Pakistan. He pointed the finger of blame primarily at the United States and the West, first for arming and encouraging the mujahideen, many of them foreigners, to wage “jihad” in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupiers, a move that introduced religious militancy into that country. Worse, after the Soviets beat a retreat, the West abandoned the war-ravaged country.

“So the first blunder, in 1989, was abandoning the place without any rehabilitation or resettlement, [which] gave rise to al Qaeda and then the Taliban,” he said.

He defended his decision to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, a move that put him at odds with the United States. In recognizing the Taliban he aimed to “change them from within.” Western failure to follow that course constituted the second blunder.

Musharraf took strong issue with critics who say Pakistan has not done enough to battle al Qaeda and the Taliban. Joining the post-Sept. 11 coalition to fight terrorism was in Pakistan’s self-interest, he said.

“I want to underline this because there are now expressions in the West and the United States that we are not doing enough or that our heart is not in the issue. Wrong, sir.  Nobody in Pakistan would like to have Talibanization of Pakistan.”

He defended his strategy of trying to “peel the Pashtuns from the Taliban” in 2002 and 2003. “It could have been easily done” had the United States embraced that approach, he said. Failure to push for a political solution when the coalition had the upper hand militarily was the third blunder.

He summarized the threats facing Pakistan today as al-Qaeda, who exist “in small numbers” in the western tribal areas; the Pakistani Taliban, who are getting bolder and spreading their brand of militancy beyond the frontier; and growing numbers of ex-mujahideen traveling to Kashmir to fight the Indian army. He also expressed concern about growing Islamic extremism among the youth in India. “The Indian government needs to look into that,” he said.

He voiced concern that the United States would withdraw from Afghanistan before a stable government was in place.

“Quitting without doing that is not an option,” he said. “This is my conclusion, this is what needs to be understood, so that we don’t go and commit a fourth blunder which will cost our region and the world very heavily.”

Reported by Fritz Lanham

Watch the video of President Musharraf’s address at Asia Society Texas by clicking here.

Source: Asia Society

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Interview with Pervez Musharraf

November 1, 2009

Read the Transcript
This text below is a phonetic transcript of a radio story broadcast by PRI’s THE WORLD. It has been created on deadline by a contractor for PRI. The transcript is included here to facilitate internet searches for audio content. Please report any transcribing errors to theworld@pri.org. This transcript may not be in its final form, and it may be updated. Please be aware that the authoritative record of material distributed by PRI’s THE WORLD is the program audio.

Pervez MusharrafMARCO WERMAN: Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan, is in the middle of a major military offensive against the Taliban. The Pakistani army is trying to take control of the militant stronghold of South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Army officials say 16 soldiers have died so far while more than 100 militants have been killed. Pakistan’s former president, General Pervez Musharraf is visiting the US right now and came to our studio. I asked him if the offensive in South Waziristan is the solution to Pakistan’s problems with the Taliban.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: It’s not the solution but it’s one part of the solution. I’ve always said that solution lies in a triple directional strategy – military, political, and socio-economic. So the military part is being executed well after having dealt with Swat and [INDISCERNIBLE] they’ve now gone to South Waziristan. So I think it’s good – the using of concentrated force in a peace [INDISCERNIBLE] objective.

WERMAN: And do you think the operation Swat was effective?

MUSHARRAF: Yes I think it was successful.

WERMAN: But recently there were 40 killed in a suicide attack and so it raises the issue, it’s one thing to take a region; it’s another thing to hold it.

MUSHARRAF: Well even if you hold it that doesn’t mean that you can guarantee that no suicide attack will take place. I know that the law enforcement agency, the army’s opening a [INDISCERNIBLE] there. It will be there. So it will be held. But that doesn’t mean that no bullet will be fired by any terrorist. Because if a person is there to carry out a suicide attack it’s really very difficult to avoid it.

WERMAN: There’s been a slow steady drumbeat of Afghan officials along with NATO accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to stem the movement of militants sympathetic to al-Qaeda and the Taliban across the border into Afghanistan. Why has this offensive in South Waziristan taken so long and why didn’t you engage in an equally forceful offensive in the same area?

MUSHARRAF: It was I who moved the two divisions in North and South Waziristan back and I think immediately up to [INDISCERNIBLE]. Who has been catching all these al-Qaeda people? Who did that? It was in my time. Hundreds of them have been caught. So how do you say that we hadn’t operated? They are there since long and they have been operating there.

WERMAN: So why, again, why the need for another offensive? Why this upsurge in violence?

MUSHARRAF: Yeah it’s because all these eight years there has been an upsurge of Taliban activity. A Taliban who were finished after 9/11. They had an upsurge in Afghanistan. [PH] Mula Omar and all his [INDISCERNIBLE] are reestablished in Afghanistan in the same region from where they dominated or they controlled 90 percent of Afghanistan. So after 2004 – 05 there was an upsurge. We saw the downward trend in al-Qaeda because of Pakistan’s actions and an upward trend, swing, in the Taliban support. And therefore now the situation is al-Qaeda is down. Who did this? Obviously Pakistan forces operating in Pakistan, in [INDISCERNIBLE] and mountains. But the Taliban upsurge has come about in Afghanistan and that has a great impact in Pakistan because there are now Pakistani Taliban in South and North Waziristan much stronger links with across the border and they are acting. So this is now a different ballgame all together.

WERMAN: Now as a former military leader – I mean you were a military leader who came to power in a coup. You stepped down as head of the army in 2007. You recognized at the time the merit of a civilian government in Pakistan. Now in Afghanistan yesterday a runoff election was announced to take place on November 7th. What is at stake for Pakistan with this vote in Afghanistan?

MUSHARRAF: Well I don’t think it directly affects Pakistan.

WERMAN: You don’t?

MUSHARRAF: It does affect Afghanistan.

WERMAN: But what affects Afghanistan, affects Pakistan ultimately.

MUSHARRAF: Well yes indirectly, indirectly. I think one would require if we are to win in Afghanistan we have to have a credible, legitimate government in Afghanistan. And that is not the case. But Pakistan’s interest is in a legitimate, acceptable government to all the ethnic minorities of Afghanistan for the sake of Afghanistan because if we can have better peace in Afghanistan it will be of advantage to Pakistan certainly.

WERMAN: You’ve been quite critical of President Hamid Karzai. What happens, in your opinion, to the region if he is president again? If he wins this runoff election.

MUSHARRAF: Well I think I’ve been critical, yes, because of certain observations that I had in his criticizing Pakistan, in his supporting elements who are instrumental in carrying out terrorism in Baltistan. So there are certain things that I disagree with him. These were my observations and my accusations against him. So I used to criticize him on that. The other thing is that he used to throw the entire blame on Pakistan – that whatever is happening in Afghanistan is because of Pakistan. And I think the world must understand that this is absolutely the opposite. Whatever is happening in Pakistan is because of Afghanistan. The same [INDISCERNIBLE], the same Taliban, resurgence of that force in Afghanistan.

WERMAN: But in fact it’s very hard to say where these militants are coming from. They could be coming form Pakistan as well as Afghansitan. So both countries are in fact … .

MUSHARRAF: No they are coming … . No actually there’s no doubt at all. Absolutely. I have no doubt at all. Taliban under [INDISCERNIBLE] control 90% of Afghanistan. There is support to them in Pakistan. There are safe havens in Pakistan. And there are Taliban elements of Pakistan also. But if anyone thinks that they are all coming from Pakistan this is what the misperception that exists in Untied States and this misperception is fanned by people like President Karzai unfortunately. And this is misleading the world.

WERMAN: Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan. Thank you very much for your time.

MUSHARRAF: Thank you.

WERMAN: Hear more about Pervez Musharraf’s current US visit and about his plans for a return to Pakistan at our website. You’ll also find a link to the former Pakistani leader’s newly launched Facebook page. It’s all at http://www.theworld.org

Copyright ©2009 PRI’s THE WORLD. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to PRI’s THE WORLD. This transcript may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior written permission. For further information, please email The World’s Permissions Coordinator at theworld@pri.org

Source: The World

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