15 March 2013
New Delhi/Dubai: In an exclusive interview to NDTV’s Group Editor Barkha Dutt, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he “won’t deny” reports that he crossed into Indian territory ahead of the Kargil War in 1999 to spend some time with his troops.
This is the transcript of the interview:
NDTV: For the first time in Pakistan’s history a civilian government is all set to complete 5 years in Parliament, in the country’s Parliament, making it a historic record of sorts. In the midst of all this as Pakistan looks towards fresh elections and before that an interim government to lead it towards these fresh elections, one of the men, a high-profile ex-leader of Pakistan who served Pakistan both as its Army chief and as its President is all set to return back and jump into the electoral fray. That’s right, we are talking about Pakistan’s former Army Chief and President General Pervez Musharraf who says that by next week, this time, he will be back in Pakistan come what may. What role will he play in Pakistan’s politics? Is democracy really, in a sense, taking route in Pakistan in a meaningful way and also will General Musharraf’s history continue to tail him? To answer this and much more, we are joined from Dubai by General Pervez Musharraf himself.
Welcome to The Buck Stops Here General Musharraf, I want to start by asking you that when I interviewed you last which was in 2011 in London, at that time you were hopeful that by March 2012 you will be able to go back home. You later said that the circumstances in the country did not permit that. I want to ask you now, that are you absolutely categorical that on 24th of March, come what may you will board back the flight back to Pakistan?
General Musharraf: Yes, I am absolutely categorical and there is logic behind it. When you are talking of 2012, the elections were not in sight. I was going because of the certain environment and I was then advised that the environment is not correct. Now the elections are in sight, they are going to be held, if I create a political party for the purpose of going for the elections. So, if I don’t go now, then when will I go? So it is now or never. So it’s absolutely categorical that I have to go.