Islamabad: Former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf has admitted that the Pakistan state not only gave a “hero’s welcome” to terrorists like Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed but also trained and supported them to fight against India in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an undated video interview of Musharraf, uploaded by former senator Farhatullah Babar, the former Pakistan President also acknowledges that Pakistan “introduced religious militancy” in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and at the time terrorists like Osama bin-Laden, Jalaluddin Haqqani were “our heroes”.
“From 1979 we changed it (Pak policy) a lot, we introduced religious militancy in favour of Pakistan to oust the Soviets (from Afghanistan).
“We brought in the Mujahideen from across the world, we brought the Taliban, we trained them with weapons…
“The Haqqani, they are our heroes of the ’80s, Osama bin Laden was our hero, Zawahiri was our hero.. Then the situation was different,” Musharraf told his interviewer.
“Now the situation has changed, now the heroes have become villains.”
Going to Kashmir, he says: “Take the 1990s, in Kashmir, Hafiz Saeed. There was a freedom struggle that started in 1990. They were beaten by the Indian Army, and they ran to Pakistan. They were supported by Pakistan, they were given a hero’s reception.
“They were properly trained, and we were in support of them. They were Mujahideen who would fight against the Indian Army for their rights. Then the Lashkar-e-Taiba was created, and a dozen other outfits… They were our heroes.
“They were fighting for their brothers and sisters in Kashmir, risking their lives.
“The whole thing should be understood. Now the situation has changed, and they have become villains, and people are asking for them to be caught and punished.
“Now it has been converted to terrorism. This religious mujahideen that was earlier a positive impact has turned into a negative activity,” he said.
Babar, attaching the video, wrote on twitter: “When Musharraf blurts that militants were nurtured and touted as ‘heroes’ to fight in Kashmir. If it resulted in destruction of two generations of Pashtuns, it didn’t matter. Is it wrong to demand Truth Commission to find out who devised self-serving policies that destroyed Pashtuns?”