Action against Haqqani network may not be in Pakistan's interest: Musharraf

Published: October 23, 2011
The former President did not rule out future action against the Haqqanis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The former President did not rule out future action against the Haqqanis. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LONDON: Former president Pervez Musharraf said that Pakistan has “definite reasons” for not acting against the Haqqani Network, as such action may not be in Pakistan’s current interest. 

The former President did not rule out future action against the Haqqanis, but said that he was not privy to any information in this regard.

Musharraf was speaking at a question and answer session organised at the University of London by the School of Oriental and African Studies and hosted by Express News host of Frontline, Kamran Shahid.

Musharraf faced an intense question and answer session in London, being grilled by an audience comprising both south asian and international students.

Answering a question on drone strikes and the attached collateral damage, the former President of Pakistan said it was a “catch 22” situation, saying on the one hand, Pakistan wants to defeat al-Qaeda and Taliban since that they are terrorists trying to destabilize the region but at the same time they had to avoid talibanisation of Pakistan. He added that militants are being killed in drone strikes, but at the cost of collateral damage, which is why he never drone strikes during his term. He admitted that handling this situation was a problem area.

Answering a question from an Afghan student on Pakistan’s dual policy of initially backing the Taliban when they took over in Afghanistan and now talking about avoiding talibanisation of Pakistan, Musharraf said that he had no part to play in recognizing the Afghan Taliban government in 1996 but supported the government’s decision. He added that at the time, the Afghan Taliban were fighting against an Indian and Russian backed Northern Alliance. He said that the world had abandoned Afghanistan between 1989 and 2001, and that Pakistan alone was not to blame for what happened in Afghanistan during that time.

Answering a question on not taking former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into confidence on Kargil, the retired general said he had briefed Sharif on the issue. He cited pictures of Sharif at the briefing which “had been circulating over the internet for some time”.

“Was Nawaz Sharif at the briefing for sightseeing?” queried Musharraf.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:16PM

    Dear General P Musharraf,

    One Haqqani network is of Hussain Haqqani who is the Ambassador of Pakistan in United States of America.

    The other Haqqani network is the one about which United States of America is talking with the government of Pakistan.

    Can you please clarify as to which Haqqani network you are talking about?


  • Hamid
    Oct 23, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Mr. Musharraf if you had sealed the Pak-Afghan border soon after 9/11 there would not have been a war with Taliban which was not in ‘our interest’, now you tell us not to attack when we are in the middle of a war which was started by you.


  • Hunterminator
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:03AM

    Finally some thing good is coming from this human. In fact this war on terror was not in the interest of Pakistan in which u jumped without thinking. Recommend

  • Terrorising and true
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Musharaff is a sincere man because it will be in his favour. He can then get back into politics with this very reason….


  • Gahratmand
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:11AM

    GENERAL P. Musharaf – Should return to Pakistan and face trial regarding BenazirBhutto’s murder- for the Cimmando London is a safe Heaven :)


  • Arindom
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Is he a ‘shadow President’? Funny so many Pakistanis listen to people who don’t even dare set foot in the country!!


  • Noor Nabi
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:39AM

    Whether Nawaz Sharif was briefed on Kargil or not is less important than the fact that it was an utterly foolish adventure.


  • Aamer Khawaja
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:59AM

    Is anyone even listening to this dude?


  • cautious
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:05AM

    a question from an Afghan student on Pakistan’s dual policy of initially backing the Taliban when they took over in Afghanistan and now talking about avoiding talibanisation of Pakistan,
    Great question which everyone seems to avoid answering.


  • SaudiRules
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:20AM

    As a Pakistani. I request the government UK and USA to please cancel Mr. Musharraf’s visa and tell him to come to his motherland Pakistan. We really need him. Why does he stay away from Pakistan? Please,please come back ex-commando,ex-president mr. Musharraf!
    You must not love Pakistan or you are not a patriot!


  • Oct 24, 2011 - 1:32AM

    Yes I am. Any problem with this form of democracy? :D


  • Babloo
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:33AM

    Osama is gone. Now if Haqannis go too Pakistan will lose a very big strategic asset that has earned billions from USA. Pakistan may get abandoned again. Does Nepal, located strategically between India and China, get paid billions ? No. They have no strategic assets like Pakistan has. So Musharraf is right. The strategic assets must be protected thats the main purpose of the Pakistan state.


  • Maqbool
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:03AM

    What did kargil give us? More isolation? US and China didn’t support even. We celebrated his coup as our personal victory. Why cry now when we were dancing then?


  • Dr. Who!
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:06AM

    @Arindom: “Is he a ‘shadow President’? Funny so many Pakistanis listen to people who don’t even dare set foot in the country!!”

    Do you mean like Altaf “Bhai?”


  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:09AM

    .This cop cum politician knows well how to fool the illiterate mass. Was it in favor of Pakistan when he raided Lal masjid. Now he wants to get sympathy of Mullah minded people.”BAHTI GANGA HEY TUM BHI HAATH DHOLO”


  • hamza khan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:44AM


    the GOP offered that solution several times, and did in fact seal several hundred kilometers of the border. but its a very rugged area and pakistan cannot expect to do it alone. president musharraf consistenly told this to the americans when they complained of cross border raids. however, they never offered to help and never took his advice that both afghanistan and pakistan should fence and mine the border.


  • sher e punjab
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:49AM

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa…johnny english reborn.


  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 24, 2011 - 4:31AM

    He doesn’t know politics, at least Pakistani politics.We may call him a naive of politics .Politics needs shrewdness cunningness,deftness and meanness and he is far from these”QUALITIES”.In fact it was his wrong decision to plunge into the sordid politics of Pakistan . He should better try to gain his prowesses as a soldier of PakistanRecommend

  • Arindom
    Oct 24, 2011 - 6:39AM

    @Dr. Who!:
    yeah – he’s another! and there’s the other propensity of ‘leaders’ parachuting directly from US into Govt. and then going back to US once the damage is done!!


  • Salar Mainwand
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:13AM

    please don’t call him ‘former president’ because he was not. you can say ‘former military dictator-cum-president’ or military dictator who elected himself as president.
    Don’t give him an aura of respectability which he does not deserve. and treating past dictators like this would encourage other generals drooling to topple democratic governments.
    He is also treated in your news as the expert on foreign policy and militancy. He was privy to a lot of confidential stuff but that does not mean that he is an expert. Expert has solutions, who knows how to fix things, who has plan b if plan a doesn’t work. and Musharraf is far from that.


  • zalim singh
    Oct 24, 2011 - 8:46AM

    In Musharaff’s interest to be exact.


  • Just an analysis
    Oct 24, 2011 - 8:56AM

    Musharaff never ruled like a dictator, even though he could have. It is agreed he was not perfect and did make some mistakes but nevetheless, during his leadership, Pakistan made great progress and was much safer.


  • Thurstan the III
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:24AM

    Musharraf may well have been a dictator…no doubt…but he is trying it the right way this time….just remember all of these leaders have sinned in the past (i.e. nepotism, corruption or pure stupidity)
    Looking at it from an outsider perspective he was much better than all the corrupt and inept leaders and wanna be leaders of Pakistan.
    Most of the comments here just seem purely driven by ethnic biase ….
    Time to grow up and come into the 21st centuryRecommend

  • sher e punjab
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:35AM

    pakistan may not have ability to afford people like musharraf again… whatever he was but he failed to solve the problems of a common man in pakistan..he just solved the problems of politicians and the west… flash back and see how chief justice of pakistan supreme court was humiliated in his rule… then think how a common man can axpect justice in the state when required… think who is bearing the aftermaths of all this… you and me(a common man).


  • Cheeko Beeko
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:44AM

    A failed dictator, who has been put on political ventilator, after he ran away from Pakistan and took refuge in Great Britain.

    The ventilator will be removed after the 2013 general elections.

    What Pakistan need is new blood to change its destiny to put the country on the right track.

    Pakistan cannot afford to bring the old hawk back into power. Recommend

  • grinz09
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:30PM

    To some folks above. How about action against politicians created by none other than the worst dictator Zia ul Haq. Are’nt they accountable under the constitution?? And how about Hamid Gul and Faiz Ali Chishti. I guess not!

    @Thurstan the III:

    Indeed worst kind of ethinic bias


    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:35PM

    What Pakistan needs is a strong and honest Prime Minister who should have a perfect equation with military, control militancy and religious intolerance and take strong measures to boost it sagging economy. I dont know whether Musharraf has the potential to handle all these problems.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:48PM

    Hamid is 100 % correct & it is on record….even boimetric system introduced in 2007 was abandoned because of US / Aghan govt pressure & protest by the Agfhan civilians on the border… the intentions are very clear….Recommend

  • grinz09
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:10PM

    He had proposed fencing of the border but the Afgans opposed this suggestion and there was also uproar from our side of the border.


  • grinz09
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:14PM

    @Ikramuddin Akbar:
    Lal Masjid was a nest of Al Quaeda. Read Saleem Shahzad’s (an eminent journalist who was brutally murdered recently) to get facts on Lal Masjid terrorists.


  • honkkerk
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:10PM

    hey, “challenged” people of Pakistan, the Taliban are now asking Rs 400 million or they will attack your Oil installations…. good luck with that…

    if you had instead, finished the job, and wiped out the Taliban of NWA, you wouldn’t have to worry about attacks on your Oil installations….

    I hope they cripple your Oil installations to show you how stupid you really are… and that they then they go on to extort your airlines, and then your taxi cabs, and then your importers of grain, and importers of raw materials…

    until you have nothing left, so you finally wake up to what the people in NWA are really doing…

    you all deserve what you have done to yourselves.


  • Z Khan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:52PM

    Musharraf ruled much better than the previous and the present rulers. Common man was happeir in his tenure. All who are asking him to come should note that Musharraf is coming back on March 23, 2012, if not earlier. Poor people remember him and waiting for him as their Masiha, who used to get sugar @Rs. 22/kg, which has gone out of common man’s reach now.

    Musharraf is coming to get the nation rid of corrupt and hypocrite rulers. InshallahRecommend

  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:43PM

    You are right but can you say they haven’t brought shame for Muslims all over the world?.Whatever have been the reasons of their grievances ,are they justified in their doings.are not they the same product of a company with same effect with different names? their names are different but their intentions have no direction both killing innocent people even in sacred places.What will anyone do reading a report or book when the characters are playing on a stage unfolding the whole story in act before the audiences.


  • Fasih Ali Khan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:48PM

    Dear Supporters Please Join the Page to Pay Tribute to the Leader … Thanks.!/pages/Tribute-Pervez-Musharraf/152233128206524


  • Oct 24, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Honesty + Vision + Courage + Patriotism = Pervez Musharraf


  • ukmuslim
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:00PM

    @Dr. Who!
    pakistan is the only nation in the world having history of leaders who either exiled or lead the nation as foreigners.

    benazir bhutto
    nawaz sharif
    pervez musharaf
    altaf hussain
    shaukat aziz

    do you have any names to add in the list.


  • Zafar
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Dear Musharraf you are our hero. Indians talking against you makes sense, since you care Pakistan first, but if any Pakistani talks against you that means he/she does not want to see Pakistan progressing.


  • Salahuddin
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:59PM

    “Commando” needs BB’s heart to come back home. Now “commando” doesn’t have his 2nd skin so coming back home with a human’s skin looks like an uphill task. General is looking towards establishment to borrow a “life jacket” and come back again to play the same old games and to perform u-turns.


  • Zee from USA
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Pervez Musharraf’s time: Poverty down several points, best education program in Pakistan’s history, world’s best performing stock market (KSE) and Pakistan named by Goldman Sachs as one of Next Eleven fastest growing economies (after 4 BRIC countries), freedom and expansion of media like never before, respected around the world, got rid of IMF dependence – just to name a few achievements. Reverse all of the above and you will get the current “democratic” government’s achivements. Musharraf SHOULD come back and get Pakistan back on the same track.


  • Oct 24, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Same old narrow-minded jingoist thinking. The Northern Alliance was backed by India and Russia, therefore we backed the Taliban. No thought at all of moral consequences.

    By refusing to go after, and even supporting Haqqani ‘Sahib’ and other Af-Pak Talibans, over anti-Taliban Pakistani tribes in Kurram (the Pak army literally sabotaged the Turi tribes to force them into negotiations with the Taliban so that they could have easy access in and out of Afghanistan), the Pak government cannot deny being a militant and terrorist safe haven, and indeed even colluding with them.

    Even after all the extremist terrorist blow-back, they still don’t seem to understand the need to have a zero-tolerance policy. It is evil, besides stupid and suicidal, cultivating some preferred terrorists as foreign policy tools in your neighbouring countries.


  • Oct 25, 2011 - 12:56AM

    You all know who Haqqani ‘Sahib’ will be rooting for to come into power….

    Nope, there’s absolutely, definitely no militant or terrorist safe haven in Pakistan…./sarc


  • Fasih Ali Khan
    Oct 25, 2011 - 9:37AM

    @Zee from USA:
    Excellent Comment Zee. Thanks for sharing your Thoughts.


  • u_too
    Nov 9, 2011 - 12:08AM

    Mr. Musharraf, your opinions hold no value.
    Out if sight, out of mind.


  • Tony C.
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:48AM

    I do not trust President Musharraf. However, in this particular case I think he has a point, and he should be listened to regardless of whether you like him or not. Most of Pakistan’s so-called problems with the Haqqani have arisen because the U.S. objects to them, and the U.S. object because the Haqqani are, quite rightly, resisting them. The Pakistan Government have to make a decision. Who do they trust the least, and who has the best interests of Pakistan at heart? To my mind their is no contest in the matter. Anybody with an I.Q. above low functioning knows that the Americans are only interested in themselves.


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