Am Lashkar’s ‘biggest supporter’, says Pervez Musharraf; lauds Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in Kashmir
In a rare admission, former Pakistan President and military chief Pervez Musharraf has said that he is the biggest supporter of banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and that he appreciates UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed for his involvement in Kashmir.
The former Pakistan military dictator’s comments came during an interview to Pakistan-based news channel ARY TV. Admitting that he was aware that the LeT “liked him too”, Musharraf said he has always been a supporter of action in Kashmir and that explains his support to the LeT and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah.
“I am the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s biggest supporter and I know they like me too.. as do the JuD,” said Musharraf, who was declared a fugitive from justice by Pakistan in August this year.
When asked categorically if he also liked LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, Musharraf responded in the affirmative. “Yes. I like him, and I have met him a couple of times, even recently.”
Justifying his support to the militant outfit and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind, Musharraf said, “I have always been in favour of action in Kashmir and I support what they (LeT) are doing to suppress the Indian Army there. They are our biggest force,” Musharraf said.
“Yes, they are involved in Kashmir and Kashmir is between us and India.”
Saeed, a United Nations-designated terrorist was freed from house arrest last week on an order from the Lahore high court. The US has also branded Saeed a terrorist and put a $10 million bounty on his head after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Musharraf, however, said it was India in connivance with the US that had got Saeed proscribed as a terrorist at the UN.
He also denied Saeed’s involvement in the Mumbai 26/11 attacks and insinuated that if Kulbhushan Jadhav, whom Pakistan Army has held on charges of espionage, hasn’t admitted to the charges, even the LeT has not.
“They (LeT) have not admitted it. They were not (involved) in Mumbai,” he said.
The former President, who is hoping for a return to politics in the country, was reminded by the interviewer that he calls himself a liberal and a moderate and whether it was at odds with his admiration for LeT.
“Yes I am liberal and moderate… these are my thoughts but that doesn’t mean I am against all religious leaders,” said Musharraf.