Former President Pervaiz Musharraf has said that Afghan Intelligence Agency the National Directorate of Security (NDS) is playing in Indian hands, and is being used as a tool for facilitating and promoting groups involved in terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
In an interview with a TV channel, the former military chief said that operation Zarb-e-Azb had no shortcomings as it was specifically for North Waziristan.
“This operation cleaned up all the camps and launching pads of terrorist, who were supported by the Indian spy agency with the collaboration of NDS, to destabilise the tribal areas.”
The former president said that a holistic approach and planning is very crucial at the moment to curb terrorism in the country. “Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has always been a sectarian outfit and is extensively involved in killing minorities in Quetta,” he said. He added that this sectarian outfit’s masterminds were based in Punjab and actively running sleeper cells.
“What steps are being taken to eliminate these sleeper cells? Punjab has become the stronghold of militancy,” he said, adding, “In my tenure as a military chief and president of the country, we were succeeding. We were able to bring India to the negotiating table and to sort out issues that India was not ready to discuss.”
Answering a question that why he did not wipe out these outfits during his tenure, Musharraf refuted that these terrorist incidents and groups existed during his tenure.
“This all started after I stepped down, we had carved out an effective strategy vis-à-vis Kashmir, we were near resolving Kashmir issue with India on a four-point agenda, our policies were successful; America and China were aligning with us.”
He added that his government was managing freedom fighters in Kashmir, and later it was realised that a political process was required to negotiate further with India.
On the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed, the former military ruler strongly criticised the house arrest of the JuD head.
“Hafiz Saeed is not a terrorist, it should be established as he runs a very large charity; they contributed to relief activities in post-earthquake and post-flood periods in Pakistan.”
He said that Hafiz Saeed is against Taliban and Al-Qaeda and that the nation should not be confused and that India is against them because their supporters go voluntarily to Jammu Kashmir to fight Indian army.
Commenting on his earlier statements on Masood Azhar, he said that no comparison can be done between Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed. “Masood Azhar is a terrorist, who is fighting the state of Pakistan.”
On the issue of Panama, Musharraf questioned the legitimacy of Nawaz Sharif as a premier, and declared it a serious issue.