As Pakistan continues to be hit by US drones, former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who is widely believed to have authorised the controversial drone programme during his time in office, on Tuesday clarified he only gave the green light for 'one' US drone strike.
“I only gave permission once after we were short on time and were shown evidence against a prominent militant group,” the former military ruler said in an interview to BBC Urdu.
Despite, claiming that he only gave the green signal once, Musharraf admitted nine drone strikes were carried out during his tenure.
Musharraf has largely been held responsible for allowing the US drone campaign in the country’s semi-autonomous tribal regions, an accusation he has often denied.
Shifting his focus to his treason trial which has taken a new turn as a special court directed the government to include the names of three senior ex-functionaries in the charge-sheet, Musharraf said the case was a ploy to avenge his overthrow of the Nawaz-led government.
“The charges are concocted and politicised,” he affirmed, expressing hope that in the end justice will prevail.
Further, the former military ruler claimed he was aware he would likely face a trial and still chose to return to the country.
Commenting on democracy in Pakistan, the former military ruler said, “We want to impose democracy in every country but that is not possible since every country has its own problems, according to which it has to mold its rule.”
“I believe in democracy but at the same time I believe that democratic rule similar to that in United Kingdom and the United States cannot be implemented in Pakistan,” Musharraf said.
Further, regarding Pakistan-India relations, the former ruler said that no Pakistani would accept India disgracing and insulting them even though there is a desire to maintain cordial relations.
“Neither of us are ready to bow down,” he said.
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