Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that some elements within the incumbent government are ideologically associated with extremists. “This is the reason the National Action Plan against terrorism is not being implemented with the purest of intentions,” he said in an interview to the BBC Urdu. “The government and the bureaucracy are not extending the help to the army that it deserves.”
The NAP was devised to fight terrorists after the Taliban methodically killed over 150 pupils and staff at Peshawar’s Army Public School on December 16 last year.
Defending his decision of the Lal Masjid operation, he said: “They are terrorists. They believe in terrorism. They deserved what I did to them. They are rising again. The government should take action without delay. Any lull will allow them to get stronger, which in turn would require a bigger operation.”
The former president said people seek the army’s help because they hope this powerful institution would be able to rescue them.
Regarding the high treason case for which he is on trial, the former president said: “These are politically motivated cases.”
Musharraf, who now heads the All Pakistan Muslim League, said those fighting Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir state are not terrorists. “They should be called freedom fighters.”
He denied presence of Taliban militants in Kashmir. “We call them mujahideen. They have a vast support in Kashmir and Pakistan.”
Musharraf said that many organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad came into being “as a response to atrocities in Kashmir”.