SPIEGEL Interview with Pervez Musharraf

  • SPIEGEL Interview with Pervez Musharraf

    'Pakistan is Always Seen as the Rogue'

    Pervez Musharraf: "We poisoned Pakistani civil society for 10 years."

    Pakistan trained militant underground groups to fight against India in Kashmir, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf admitted in an interview with SPIEGEL. In addition, the 67-year-old explains why he wants to leave his exile in London and return to his country.

    SPIEGEL: Pakistanis have been left bewildered by the incompetence of the government led by President Asif Ali Zardari in dealing with the consequences of the disastrous floods. Do you expect another military coup soon?

    Musharraf: Whenever the country is in turmoil, everybody looks to the army. But I would suggest that the times of military coups in Pakistan are over. The latest political developments have shown that the Supreme Court has set a bar on itself not to validate a military takeover.

    SPIEGEL: How would you judge the performance of your successor, Zardari, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani?

    Musharraf: I do not want to comment on the present government, but everybody can see what they are doing. Pakistan is experiencing a deep economic decline -- in other areas, as well. Law and order are in jeopardy, extremism is on the rise and there is political turmoil. The non-performance of an elected government is the issue.

    SPIEGEL: How do you view the role of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the man considered to be pulling the strings in Pakistan?

    Musharraf: I made him chief of the army, because I thought that he was the best man for the job.

    SPIEGEL: When Pakistan's rulers lose power, they traditionally get imprisoned or murdered by their rivals. Why are you founding a party to, once again, get involved in politics instead of enjoying retirement in London, which is at least a safe place?

    Musharraf: No risk, no gain. We unfortunately have a culture of vendetta and vindictiveness in Pakistan. But there is no case of corruption or fraud or anything against me at the moment. My political opponents, especially Nawaz Sharif, would love to create a case against me -- that I am corrupt or have committed fraud or some such. They do their best to achieve that, but they haven't succeeded. Even if they did, I would reply in court. Risks need to be taken.

    SPIEGEL: Why do you believe that Pakistanis are keenly awaiting your political comeback?

    Musharraf: I am not living a hermit's life, I meet people here and in Dubai and receive accurate feedback. I launched my Facebook page eight months ago and today I have more than 315,000 fans. And hundreds of Pakistanis called into a TV show in which I collected money for the flood victims. They donated $3.5 million. Do you think they are doing this because they hate me?

    SPIEGEL: Is there anything that you regret -- for example, your secret Kargil Operation, which led to an armed conflict with India in 1999, your arbitrary changes to Pakistan's constitution, your dismissal of the country's highest judge, the lack of concern for Benazir Bhutto's life after her return or your oft-criticized mild treatment of religious militants?

    Musharraf: The West blames Pakistan for everything. Nobody asks the Indian prime minister, Why did you arm your country with a nuclear weapon? Why are you killing innocent civilians in Kashmir? Nobody was bothered that Pakistan got split in 1971 because of India's military backing for Bangladesh (which declared independence from Pakistan that year). The United States and Germany gave statements, but they didn't mean anything. Everybody is interested in strategic deals with India, but Pakistan is always seen as the rogue.

    SPIEGEL: Why did you form militant underground groups to fight India in Kashmir?

    Musharraf: They were indeed formed. The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.

    SPIEGEL: It was the Pakistani security forces that trained them.

    Musharraf: The West was ignoring the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is the core issue of Pakistan. We expected the West -- especially the United States and important countries like Germany -- to resolve the Kashmir issue. Has Germany done that?

    Part 2: 'I'm Earning Good Money Here in London, But Pakistan Is My Country'

    SPIEGEL: Does that give Pakistan the right to train underground fighters?

    Musharraf: Yes, it is the right of any country to promote its own interests when India is not prepared to discuss Kashmir at the United Nations and is not prepared to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner.

    SPIEGEL: And how can a nuclear arsenal be safe when high-ranking officers support proliferation or even personally profit from it, as has been alleged? The nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan claims that the Pakistani army monitored and organized deals with countries like North Korea and Iran.

    Musharraf: That is wrong, absolutely wrong. Mr. Khan is a characterless man.

    SPIEGEL: What did the United States offer you in exchange for getting control of the nuclear weapons in Pakistan?

    Musharraf: I would be a traitor if I had ever given our nuclear weapons to the United States. This capability is our pride and it will never be compromised.

    SPIEGEL: A German member of the militant Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, 36-year-old Ahmad Sidiqi, who has been held by US forces in Afghanistan since July, allegedly told his American interrogators that he was trained in Pakistan and confessed there were plans to attack Europe. Why, nine years after 9/11, does Pakistan remain a breeding ground for international terrorism?

    Musharraf: We poisoned Pakistani civil society for 10 years when we fought the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It was jihad and we brought in militants from all over the world, with the West and Pakistan together in the lead role. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the West left Pakistan with 25,000 mujahedeen and al-Qaida fighters, without any plan for rehabilitation or resettlement. While you were mostly concerned with the reunification of Germany, we had to cope with this. Now you expect Pakistan to pull out a magic wand and make all of this suddenly disappear? That is not doable -- this will take time.

    SPIEGEL: How can the problem be solved?

    Musharraf: The West made three blunders so far: After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, they abandoned the region in 1989. Then, after 9/11, they fought the Taliban instead of strengthening the Pashtuns who could have taken on the radical Taliban. Now you try to negotiate with so-called "moderate Taliban," but there is no such thing as a moderate Taliban. There are Taliban and Pashtuns. But as I have always said: All Taliban are Pashtun, but not all Pashtun people are Taliban. Again, you should reinforce the ancient Pashtun clans who are not ideologically aligned with the Taliban to govern Afghanistan and to fight the Taliban. That's my strong advice. The fourth and worst blunder would be to quit without winning. Then militancy will prevail not only in Pakistan, India and Kashmir, but perhaps also in Europe, the United Kingdom and in the United States. That's my belief.

    SPIEGEL: The al-Qaida chief in Pakistan, Sheikh Fateh al Masri, was recently killed in a US drone attack in North Waziristan. Many al-Qaida leaders are sheltered by the Haqqani network (of warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani). How serious is Pakistan about fighting a former mujahedeen heroes like Haqqani and his son Siraj?

    Musharraf: If you hear the new statements from the West that they plan to withdraw their troops and leave Afghanistan in 2011, then Pakistan should think of how to handle the withdrawal scenario. Pakistan needs to find a strategy for its existence, how to tackle the situation with Seraj Haqqani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Pakistani Taliban and Mullah Omar. When the West quits, we will be on our own with them.

    SPIEGEL: Do you not fear that when you return to Pakistan, you might face the same fate as Benazir Bhutto, who was murdered in a suicide attack?

    Musharraf: Yes, that is a risk, but it won't stop me. I am happy here in London. I am earning good money, but Pakistan is my country.

    Interview conducted by Susanne Koelbl,1518,721110-2,00.html

  • Some harsh realities that only Generals can say. Security establishment will not tolerate any politician saying we formed, backed and trained jihadis in Kashmir. It was our right to promote militancy in Kashmir to force Indians to negotiate.

    Dr. A.Q. Khan perhaps rightly said proliferation was monitored by military and I was just made the escape goat. What could have Musharaaf said he is right. Of course he gave the simplest possible answer AQ Khan is characterless man.

    I am not surprised by the interview all these Generals re-invent themselves after retirement. He is not the first one speaking truths after shedding the uniform.

  • After reading the first two replies I couldn't take it any more. I almost threw up in my mouth.

  • @shirazi

    Looks to me his Kashmir statement was a BLACKMAILER for our Military Establishment that he is ready and if anything could have happened then he will EXPOSE each and every role of our Military establishment in front of the World which could lead to damage of reputation of Pakistani military.....Nawaz and Zaradri were trying to keep Military Establishment happy by doing what they said but Musharraf is different as he is offering something more to military Establishment then both Zardari and Nawaz so I think he has got a SLOT in Pakistan available for him......

  • We do know mushraf isn't intelligent,...but he's smart in the most despicable evil way you can imagine.

    But the utter and absolute lack of shame, honor or any other attribute thee of in this bloody bastard is still appalling.

    The mother frakker keeps on surprising us.

  • @VOX

    That is the difference between DUMB Zardari and Nawaz and Smart Musharraf that if he use his Brain for Pakistan then he can do Wonders for the people one of the example of that is he while sitting in his house for few hours made something like Local bodies system while our democrats are still not able to made a system which could compete his system in 2 1/2 years of continues brainstorming which Musharraf able to make in Few hours of Brainstorming.....

  • @gazi23

    Do you or anyone disagrees that Pakistan's security establishment is behind Kashmir Jihad. Who believes in Hamid Gul's statements that we are providing moral support to Jihadis, it's an indigenous movement. My cousins from JI were trained by ISI trainers and sent to Kashmir. One of them got killed or as they say embraced shahadut.

    Our security establishment has played and is still playing notorious role under the pretext of national interest, be it proxy wars in Khalistan and Kashmir, making money through proliferation or by providing tactical and logistical support to NATO forces in our region.

    Let's stop fooling ourselves. If anyone claims these things were done to enhance our security and beef up economy he ought to wake up and see the reality. These are inexcusable blunders and our security establishment should step back and readjust their priorities and direction.

    Musharaaf can not endorse Hamid Gul or vice versa but I hope their back and forth and truths after retirement may nudge security establishment to sanity.

  • @shirazi

    I totally agree with Kashmir Jihad and Pakistan Army support in that even I would agree with the Most dirtiest stuff done by Pakistan in 1990s which Musharraf would have been hiding inside his brain but I was commenting about his CLEVERNESS when he expose this reality as I dont believe he is FOOL to do that their must be some kind of Plan for doing that cause this is very sensitive information.....

  • @gazi23

    What is sensitive information?

    1. Pakistan Army supporting Kashmiri militants to bring India back to negotiations?

    2. AQ Khan and proliferation?

    I am glad he is saying what he is saying. Our media and politicians won't dare to speak these undeniable truths.

    AQ Khan and some Generals accumulated personal wealth through proliferation.

    From Kashmir to Proliferation he is standing by security establishment, defending them and projecting their point of view. I will be very surprised if he is rebuked by in-service security establishment.

  • mushy is of course a coward and a liar, he can't confess that only reason he hit AQ Khan was based on CIA's orders-

    back when AQ Khan delivered the successful project and made pakistan nuclear state, mushy was a little major rank officer and used to open door for AQ Khan-

  • @Gazi, no by the yard stick I used the word smart, zaleeldari is as smart if not smarter than murahsf.

  • Just look this pudgy frakker "disclose" "state secrets". oooh

    Wasn't he the coward and traitor responsible for Kargil misadventure and coward enough not to claim the bodies of the fallen soldiers?

    The guy would sell his mother's milk for a little spot light and bakhsheesh.

  • @VOX

    Zardari is nothing compare to Musharraf as Zardari cant be able to handle people for at least two years while Musharraf was able to handle things for 9 years.....

  • And yeah it is no secret that Pakistan supports the militancy in Kashmir, just like it is no big secret that India supports terrorism in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc...(although. they don't admit it, nor have been blamed and scrutinized and villified fo it by international community nor has Pakistan bothered to make that case, but that's for another day).

    Neither am I against him admitting that, but for this mass murdering traitor to talk about it as if he were some nonparticipating scholarly observer is nauseating.

    ANd of course Kashmiri jihad does not need Pakistan. Their struggle for freedom is sacred, just, and justified by any and all standards of human conduct. Had there been no ISI or no intervention, the Kashmir freedom movement would've been equally honorable armed struggle full of zest and righteous rage and probably more effective.

    And I pray they continue shaking off the yoke of a brutally imposed identity on them by a brutal state.

  • If the current state of afairs stay, zdadrdi would easily stay in office for another 7.

    It's not that hard.

    Pakistani lives and honor are cheap..hell the later is already long long gone. But the former are millions more to brutalize.

    All these slaves have to do is lick the an*s of their masters. And god knows how masterfully they have mastered the act of Kama Sutra #420: Brown Nosing.

  • @ghazi23,

    Buddy, don't know about Zardari handling other people but he sure as heck got MQM's number; he has literally put a noose in the nose of Altaf Hussain.

  • Both beghairath admi hay, apni garr gi bathay gar may he reny chai. These media people are so manipulative and never show the truth about they own beloved CIA, Mosad, MI6 or RAW, do they believe that these agencies are setup to play marbles and they don't arm and finance groups all over the world. Pakistan only does what they themselves do but because they get a taste of it they don't like it.

  • @doctor,

    Musharraf ko baighairat kahna aik baighairat kee tauheen hai!

  • He is simply a sadist, liar and ghaddar. He should have been kicked on his ass by Pak Army.

    Whatsoever we did in Kashmir, Indian also done the same before in East Pakistan and now doing in Baluchistan & Fata. These are global intelligence operations and done by every country for own benefit. Whether that approach was correct or not, this is not a matter of discussion.

    He is just trying to blackmail PA to ensure gurantees which he feels may be drawn back in near future.

    A Real BASTARD

  • in world no any place as pakistan the land of heaven of corruption illegal activities.

    musharaff know as other leader pakistan is money making machine all world having check and balance money making not easy but everybody can do fastest grow of money if they have lot of money not for common citizen of pakistan, leader know if he do corruption he known as a top leader any thing can do here