India and Pakistan were close to a Kashmir solution, said former President Pervez Musharraf to Indian TV channel NDTV in London today.
Asked about how close India and Pakistan came during his Presidency, in signing a Kashmir solution, Musharraf said, “We were as close as drafting a final pact for a solution. Final drafts were exchanged through the back channel and Manmohan Singh agreed with my four-point formula.” Watch video of his interview below.
Musharraf last week launched his new political party, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), and continues to attract global headlines including interviews with major media.
A day earlier, Musharraf said the Kashmir issue was a “tough nut” to crack because it requires ‘sincerity’, “boldness” and ‘flexibility’ from both India and Pakistan to amicably reach a solution.
While speaking on Kashmir, Musharraf told NDTV today the militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) – and Hizb ul Mujahedeen, Jaish Muhammad were not raised during his tenure, but much earlier in the 90s when Mujahideen from Afghanistan had achieved their objectives diverted to the Valley. When he came to power, these groups even turned against him, Musharraf told the interviewer, adding however, “One man’s terrorist is other man’s Freedom Fighter.”
While denying the involvement of Pakistan’s security establishment in sending Mujahedeen across the Line of Control (LOC), he said that from Pakistan’s point of view, the Lashkar was a Mujahideen group, fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri people in Kashmir.
“..there is great public support in Pakistan for groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba,” Musharraf said clarifying that the establishment never provided covert support to these fighters. In fact, every Pakistani was supporting them, he added.
Meanwhile, news reports reaching here say Brigadier Masood Malik (retd), an ex-officer of a security agency, has agreed to become approver against the former president in Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case.
Geo News reported Saturday that Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) President Talal Bugti was of the view that Musharraf has strengthened the case against himself by declaring Baloch leader Akbar Bugti a traitor.
Whether the establishment will allow its former army chief to go through legal challenges is open to question, some analysts say. But one analyst says it is a matter of saving Balochistan or Musharraf. Given the odds, the dice may have been loaded against Musharraf whom Nawaz Sharif made his COAS because he thought the former commando lacked constituency and therefore may be a better choice. Sharif’s theorem backfired – the rest is history!