Musharraf backtracks on home-grown Kashmir militants

Published: October 8, 2010
Musharraf says the army or ISI did not train or send militants to Kashmir. PHOTO: AFP

Musharraf says the army or ISI did not train or send militants to Kashmir. PHOTO: AFP

Taking a 180-degree turn from his earlier statements, former president Pervez Musharraf says there is no question of the army, intelligence groups or ISI creating Mujahideen groups, training them or sending them in to Kashmir.

Just recently, when Musharraf was asked in an interview with Der Spiegel why he had formed militant underground groups to fight India in Kashmir, he had replied that “they were indeed formed. The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.”

However, in his latest interview with CNN-IBN, Musharraf said the ISI did not train Kashmiri militants, but admits they got shelter in Pakistan.

“There is no question of the army, intelligence or the ISI creating Mujahideen groups, training them and sending them in… Hizbul Mujahideen group was created in your (Indian) part of Kashmir and then they ran away from there after military atrocities.”

He also claimed that half of Pakistan wants him to return to politics. When asked by CNN-IBN how confident he is about being able to return to Pakistan and standing for an election he replied “I give it more than 50 per cent chance, that’s why I’m entering into politics. Otherwise why would I do it? If there is no chance it would be very wrong decision on my part to enter into politics. It’s only that I believe that there is a more than even chance of returning. I can’t be hundred percent sure certainly. Nobody is 100% sure”

With additional reporting by Hassan Asif

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Reader Comments (28)

  • zafer
    Oct 8, 2010 - 6:17PM

    Backtracks. what are you talking about. Read his old interview he said and i quote ” they were indeed formed” Now where did he say that the government formed them. He just said ” government turned a blind eye”. Now turning a blind eye and creating are VERY different things. Take time and read his old interview first.Recommend

  • M. Ali
    Oct 8, 2010 - 6:27PM

    Musharaf should not allow to come pakistan or practice politics.Recommend

  • siddiqui
    Oct 8, 2010 - 6:27PM

    “they were indeed formed. The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.”

    The Kashmir’s armed struggle started inside Kashmir in 89 or 90. This struggle had a popular support among Pakistani masses and government did turned blind towards it. Neither ISI owned them earlier nor Mushi owned them in the spiegel interview. However, its not secret that they did enjoy the covert support from both military and intelligence agencies.

    I don’t get the backtracking bit?
    Are guys newsmen or propaganda-men? creating sensation out of thin air…Recommend

  • Tahera
    Oct 8, 2010 - 6:35PM

    Dear Mr. Ex-prez…please practise the art of thinking before speaking. Making ridiculous remaks and then backtracking on them will surely keep you in the news, but do nothing to aid you in your future aspirations. Your previous remarks about rape and Pakistani women are still fresh in our minds. It will take a lot more than your smart-wit statements and personal charm to impress your now-enlightened prospective electorate. Recommend

  • Ali Mohammad
    Oct 8, 2010 - 7:26PM

    Musharaf welcome back. SHO RawalpindiRecommend

  • Oct 8, 2010 - 7:31PM

    Must have got a scolding from someone.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Oct 8, 2010 - 8:42PM

    Another blunder from Mush!

    Mush was suggesting Mr Nawaz to first think and then open mouth….What you see Mr General?

    It is no secret that Jihadis have always been supported by Generals but accepting this fact…..i seriously think that Mr Mush is not using his common sense….

    generals are mainly responsible for the Jihadis evil we see today in Pakistan….Recommend

  • hassan
    Oct 8, 2010 - 8:56PM

    It seems Express is being Biased.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Oct 8, 2010 - 9:13PM

    Expected. Then, who trained LeJ, LeT and Jaish’s? Who gave them bombs and AK-47?

    OK, lets suppose in today’s electronic world you can learn them through Google. But, all that was in the beginning of 1990. Dont tell me they had access to Google or Internet back then..Recommend

  • M
    Oct 8, 2010 - 9:45PM

    Lol, Mushie stay wherever you are.. Half of country does not want you back, only people on your facebook page do.. :)Recommend

  • romm
    Oct 8, 2010 - 9:55PM

    Police could not even Touch him when he resigned. Yes, SHO Rawalpindi will be there but to Escort him.Recommend

  • Copper
    Oct 8, 2010 - 10:11PM

    The dictator told us the uniform is his (second) skin. Apparently he meant that I am the wolf in sheep’s the wolf is emerging out of it slowlyRecommend

  • Asad Baig
    Oct 8, 2010 - 10:57PM

    I agree with the comments of Mr.Zafer and Mr.Siddiqui,General Musharraf never named anybody in the interview. Those interested may read this,1518,721110-2,00.htmlRecommend

  • parvez
    Oct 8, 2010 - 11:27PM

    I disagree with Mr.Zafar and Mr.Siddiqui as it was the impression given by Musharraf during his interview that was damaging. As you are aware perception is everything in the media.Recommend

  • Ali Akbar Khan
    Oct 8, 2010 - 11:31PM

    @Asad Baig.
    When people are ignorant you can show the truth but what can you do when its willful ignorance. that is called munafqat. I am sure most of our friends here have not and WILL not click on the link you put here.Recommend

  • Oct 8, 2010 - 11:42PM

    Lit the match as you are. It is winning you free advertisement which is good…REALLY GOODRecommend

  • faiza
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:18AM

    from his interview I got the impression that he was very tough on india and very very pro kashmiri. BTW I AM FROM KASHMIRRecommend

  • hassan
    Oct 9, 2010 - 1:41AM

    Welcome Musharraf!Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Oct 9, 2010 - 3:56AM

    What a big-mouth.Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 4:57AM

    Now he is grooming himself as politician by modifying his earlier statements.Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2010 - 8:05AM

    I fully agree with Asad Baig and also thank him providing the Interview Link. It is west media and including indian media which played the interview and tried to implicate Musharaf into a controversy which is advocated by India.

    Without going into fact, the distorted part of the interview was also picked up by Pakistani media and played to the advantage of Indian Government.

    It seems opposition parties who fear a LARGE opponent in the shape of Musharaf made sure that all newspaper and electronic media to have an adverse publicity distorting the actual interview.

    Musharaf is a patriotic Pakistani and is and always defended Pakistan in local and overseas forums. Some times he is blunt but not un-patriotic. By his coming to politics, he will learn also to give political statements.

    With the original interview text now available and moreover his clear and straightforward clearance of his position, we must give him full marks.

    Media including TRIBUNE should also behave un-biased and should not put headlines like “BACKTRACKING”. In my opinion the heading of this News should have been “MUSHARAF CORRECTLY AND CATEGORICALLY DENIES FINGER POINTING ISI CREATING MUJAHEDEEN GROUPS”.

    Our Media should be un-biased for a pleasant political atmosphere which is already charged with Vendetta and Revenged politics.


    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

  • Emmad
    Oct 9, 2010 - 9:09AM

    Lair of the highest order……Recommend

  • Girish
    Oct 9, 2010 - 11:51AM

    “Asked why Pakistan trained militant underground groups to fight India in Kashmir, the former president said Nawaz Sharif’s apathy to the Kashmir issue was one of the reasons, so was the fact that the world had turned a blind eye to the dispute.”

    This is part of the interview..He was asked why Pakistan trained and he accepted that. He didn’t correct the question. Now you see who is biased. Recommend

  • Asad Baig
    Oct 9, 2010 - 10:33PM

    @ Ali Akbar Khan
    Thank you for your comments.I agree with you.Recommend

  • Asad Baig
    Oct 9, 2010 - 10:39PM

    @ Dr.Saleem Siddiqi
    Thank you for your comments.I agree with you.Recommend

  • ali
    Oct 12, 2010 - 1:38PM

    I agree with Zafar, stop putting your own statement into what he said. Mushrraf is a real patriotic person.Recommend

  • Abulfazl Mahmud
    Oct 27, 2010 - 3:27AM

    Girish seems to be flogging a dead horse.
    I agree with Dr. Siddiqi. It was Pakistani media who put words in the General’s mouth and the latter should be on his guard in future against such distortion.
    One thing very few people might know or remember is that late Maulana Syed Maudoodi termed Pakistani interference in Kashmir as illegitimate. Later he did soft-pedal his statement for political considerations because it embarrassed his Jamaat Islami no end. Recommend

  • K.Haider
    Nov 10, 2010 - 7:02AM

    The funny thing is that most Pakistanis think that by fomenting trouble in Kashmir, it has somehow helped Pakistan. It has destroyed Pakistan. Now we are the ones stuck with the virus called terrorism. It does not seem to have affected India at all. It is growing at 8-9% per year. A figure Pakistan can only dream of. No matter how clever we try to be with this, the price will only be paid by Pakistan. How is Kashmir going to change any of the issues Pakistan has? Recommend

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