Times of Military Coups are Over in Pakistan: Musharraf
Former President Pervez Musharraf said that times of army coups have been passed as Supreme Court put a bar on military takeovers.
In an interview with German magazine Spiegel, Musharraf said, “Whenever the country is in turmoil, everybody looks to the army. But I would suggest that the times of military coups in Pakistan are over. The latest political developments have shown that the Supreme Court has set a bar on itself not to validate a military takeover.”
Replying a query on the performance of the incumbent government, he said, “I do not want to comment on the present government, but everybody can see what they are doing. Pakistan is experiencing a deep economic decline — in other areas, as well. Law and order are in jeopardy, extremism is on the rise and there is political turmoil. The non-performance of an elected government is the issue.”
He said that Gen. Kayani was the best man for the post of the Army Chief. He said that his political opponents, especially Nawaz Sharif, tried to create cases against him. “They do their best to achieve that, but they haven’t succeeded. Even if they did, I would reply in court. Risks need to be taken,” he added. He said that hundreds of Pakistanis called into a TV show in which he collected $3.5 million for the flood victims.
He said, “The West blames Pakistan for everything. Nobody asks the Indian prime minister, Why did you arm your country with a nuclear weapon? Why are you killing innocent civilians in Kashmir? Nobody was bothered that Pakistan got split in 1971 because of India’s military backing for Bangladesh (which declared independence from Pakistan that year). The United States and Germany gave statements, but they didn’t mean anything. Everybody is interested in strategic deals with India, but Pakistan is always seen as the rogue.”
Musharraf admitted that Pakistan trained militant underground groups to fight against India in Kashmir. He said, “They were indeed formed. The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir. The West was ignoring the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is the core issue of Pakistan. We expected the West — especially the United States and important countries like Germany — to resolve the Kashmir issue.”
He said, “The West made three blunders so far: After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, they abandoned the region in 1989. Then, after 9/11, they fought the Taliban instead of strengthening the Pashtuns who could have taken on the radical Taliban. Now you try to negotiate with so-called “moderate Taliban,” but there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban. There are Taliban and Pashtuns. But as I have always said: All Taliban are Pashtun, but not all Pashtun people are Taliban. Again, you should reinforce the ancient Pashtun clans who are not ideologically aligned with the Taliban to govern Afghanistan and to fight the Taliban. That’s my strong advice. The fourth and worst blunder would be to quit without winning. Then militancy will prevail not only in Pakistan, India and Kashmir, but perhaps also in Europe, the United Kingdom and in the United States. That’s my belief.”