Posted by: Administrator | 13 August, 2010

General Musharraf on KAL TAK Express News

26 April 2011

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf denied he had cut an overt or covert deal with the United States, allowing CIA drone attacks against so-called Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Read below….

 

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf denied he had cut an overt or covert deal with the United States, allowing CIA drone attacks against so-called Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

However, he admitted that he had allowed the US to use pilot-less aircraft for surveillance purpose in the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan where US-led Nato forces have been fighting a deadly Taliban insurgency for over nine years now.

“I don’t know if the incumbent government has allowed a combat role for the US drones,” Musharraf told the Daily Express in an exclusive interview on Monday.

The former military ruler, who had joined the US-led war against terrorism, also denied allowing American private security firms, like Blackwater (now Xe Worldwide), to maintain a presence in Pakistan. “Blackwater had come to Pakistan after 2008. And I heard this name for the first time in 2009,” he added.

Musharraf’s revelation is likely to embarrass the PPP-led coalition government which has been claiming all along that it was Musharraf who had allowed presence of Xe Worldwide and US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Musharraf also said that graft cases against his successor Asif Ali Zardari and his slain spouse Benazir Bhutto were not concocted but still courts had not ruled against them. Therefore, he promulgated the now-defunct National Reconciliation Ordinance to drop these cases.

About the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Musharraf said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told the Central Executive Committee in its last meeting in Larkana that “the general was not involved” in the conspiracy.

About the 1999 coup d’état, Musharraf claimed that the Sharif brothers were in contact with his government through intelligence agencies and had expressed their willingness to go into exile.

Musharraf, who formed the All Pakistan Muslim League to contest the 2013 elections, believes that if Sharif’s party is again voted into power, extremism will increase in the country because, according to him, “Sharif is not against extremist elements.”

The APML chief said he would return to Pakistan to lead his party in the next election even if there was a mid-term election.

The general revealed that he had met Asif Zardari at the residence of a common friend. He refused to name the friend.

Musharraf defended his controversial decisions of storming Islamabad’s Lal Masjid and killing Baloch chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti. “I’ve no regrets on these decisions,” he said. However, he added that Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and his cousin Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had endorsed these decisions. The two Chaudhrys have always denied any role in both operations.

Musharraf, the former benefactor of the Chaudhrys, said that the PML-Q was negotiating a power-sharing deal with the ruling PPP only to secure the release of Moonis Elahi, who is currently in jail for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion rupee National Insurance Company scam.  However, he predicted that such a deal would only damage their party.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2011

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