WASHINGTON: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Sunday rejected the idea that his country’s intelligence was supporting the Taliban, but stressed the need for a negotiated end to conflict in the region.
“I was always of the view that we need to change strategy,” he told the ABC programme, ‘This Week.’ “We need to go in for deals. So my strategy always was to strike a deal.”
He said his position has been “vindicated now when everyone is talking of going into some political agreements with moderate Talibans.”
However, Musharraf refuted the suggestion that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight extremists. “Pakistan has always been accused of not doing enough. But I totally disagree with this statement – Pakistan is doing enough,” he said.
He acknowledged that Pakistani forces were struggling in North Waziristan, but said “Don’t generalise the statement that Pakistan army is not doing enough. They have suffered over 2,000 casualties. What do we mean by ‘not doing enough’?” he said.
Musharraf, 67, currently in self-imposed exile London, vowed to return to Pakistan before elections set for 2013. Despite facing arrest if he lands in Pakistan, he has been trying to build a Facebook following and cultivating media attention in hopes of staging a comeback.
“I have to create an environment of popularity, of political clout, and then I will go. I will be there before the elections,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2010.