ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf on Thursday sought “forgiveness” for any wrongs he may have committed during his nine-year rule.

“Whatever I did, I did it for the country. It could be wrong but there was no bad intention in it. Even then, if someone thinks that I have committed a mistake, I seek forgiveness for it,” said an emotional Musharraf in a TV interview with ARY News, which the channel claimed was his first interview after getting bail in all cases pending against him.

Wrapped in a shawl, Gen Musharraf termed revival of the economy and tackling extremism and terrorism as the most serious challenges the country is facing.

This is for the first time that the former army chief, who ruled the country from 1999 to 2008, has offered an apology for the actions and decisions he took as the country’s president.

The former military ruler, facing treason charges for the imposition of emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, said he wanted to clear himself in all cases he is facing and said that he is ready to face courts.

Gen Musharraf said that whatever he had done for the country he did it with good intentions and he was proud of that.

Gen Musharraf, who had overthrown the Nawaz Sharif government in Oct 1999, criticised the economic policies of the present PML-N government. “The beggars always get kicked wherever they go,” he said while criticising the government for approaching IMF and world donors for aid. He claimed that he had broken the begging bowl during his tenure and regretted that the present regime had once again started begging.

He asked the people to support the army and the ISI and said force should be used wherever it was needed. He also supported the idea of holding talks with Taliban.

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Comments (72)

December 20, 2013 7:30 am

It just shows the difference between him and people around him who are trying to send him to jail.

December 20, 2013 7:59 am

Well done Musharraf ... that's Mandela's legacy. You were better than present and past rulers.

December 20, 2013 8:09 am

Excellent interview by lucmaan, The above news clip does not do justice to the interview. Anywho, General Musharraf rocks and he is the real hero of the country. Even Imran Khan cant speak the way the Musharraf does. Brilliant.

December 20, 2013 8:36 am

I think Musharraf is in wrong country at wrong time.He is addressing the wrong audience.His voice will not be heard here at this time.Very unfortunate.He is talking to the Pakistan of probably 25th century.Go away and come back after 500 years,then probably ,you may get some support.Bye Bye

Boss ka banda
December 20, 2013 8:58 am

The BOSS is back! :)

December 20, 2013 9:00 am

Although i don't like Mush, i am impressed that he has guts to apologies.

Zur Khan
December 20, 2013 9:46 am

General Musharraf back on track, wish him good luck...

December 20, 2013 10:30 am

Thank you Musharraf for given us a prestige and many more thing in your tenure. In fact we've to excuse with you because of our bad deeds;
You're the one who can turn the country in good position!!! Musharraf is the best....

December 20, 2013 10:34 am

Prosecute this dictator to the max. of law/constitution. A army man has no right to rule any where. He broke the constitution and sold innocent Pakistanis for $5000 a piece and destroyed Pakistan and its institutions. He is a thug and a killer and he must be put to sleep.

December 20, 2013 10:50 am

Musharraf is the real leader and hero of the nation.

N K Ali
December 20, 2013 10:57 am

Shabash! Bravo! Viva! Musharraf stand your ground and present all facts before the judges. It is good if you refuse a deal. Honor, integrity, and faith in Allah are not up for compromise. Your era of governance was marked by some backward somersaults on women, energy, KSE, and police matters, but overall it was a propitious term. Salams

Ali Aminuddin
December 20, 2013 12:13 pm

I think the greatest problem Pakistan is now facing is the lack of "food"

Ishrat salim
December 20, 2013 1:15 pm

This is first time that a leader has apologised....what he did during his rule is for all to compare with what is today during democratic era.....may Allah swt protect him...

True Pakistani
December 20, 2013 1:27 pm

The only mistake Musharraf made was to give the media a free hand.

December 20, 2013 1:52 pm

Sorry does not make a dead man alive.

December 20, 2013 2:12 pm

A true and brave leader, Pakistan has seen in decades years. Bravo !

ali khan
December 20, 2013 3:08 pm

apologies accepted Sir

Sameer H.
December 20, 2013 3:55 pm

His only achievement was the freedom of the press. Other than that he destroyed all institutions including my beloved Air Force for choosing inept and corrupt Commanders.

Zur Khan
December 20, 2013 4:10 pm

@ahmed01: that's why people like him.

December 20, 2013 5:41 pm

I salute the great leader General (Retd.) Pervaiz Musharraf.

December 20, 2013 5:43 pm


December 20, 2013 7:06 pm

At least Musharraf (who is not corrupt) has apologized for his mistakes). How many politicians have done so. Most politicians portray as if they are angels. Just listen to them on TV shows. Look back at the history of this beautiful country. Jinnah lead Pakistan initially. Ayub Khan (who also made few mistakes) took Pakistan to heights. Zulfikhar Bhutto nationalized excellent education and industrial base in Pakistan only because he wanted to be the leader. He even did not care if Pakistan split, because he wanted to rule. Roti kapra and makan? Then Zia ul Haq who took Pakistan to the pits. Then PPP and PML-N further destroyed the country. Musharraf's times was the 2nd best in Pakistan I have seen in the last 60 years. Lets be fair and have the courage to list all the bad and good each leader has done for Pakistan rather than just putting down one person. No politician is an angel. Everyone has made mistakes.Lets see who is the least corrupt and who has improved the situation of ordinary Pakistanis. Forgive and move on. We cannot afford more dramas.We need politicians to improve the economy of the country, improve educational system and eliminate corruption.

December 20, 2013 7:13 pm

@jdshami: Backup you statement with facts and figures. People like you are the main contributor in country's destruction; propagating falsehood and creating mischief. The whole world plays double face politics and that's exactly what Musharraf was doing. He was the best leader Pakistan ever had. We in West actually kept our heads high during his tenure.

December 20, 2013 7:31 pm

It takes a great man to apologise for mistakes,if any.

A genuine leader that led this nation to a golden period of prosperity and success.

This man returned to Pakistan in a situation where if anyone else were in such a situation,they would think plenty of times of returning to Pakistan.

A biased judiciary,a biased media and the ones currently in power absolutely hungry for personal vendetta against this man.

Keeping all these things in mind,one cannot help but admire sir Pervez Musharraf's bravery and honesty. Whatever he did,he did for the well being of Pakistan.He doesn't have a single corruption charge against him and he served this nation with complete honesty.

His honesty,love for the country and belief in the almighty has brought him back in to an extremely volatile environment within Pakistan. All the charges against sir Pervez Musharraf have not only been proven wrong,they have proven to be fake and politicised.

Any public figure,leader and politician would think 10 times about returning in to such an environment where there are cases against them,even if they are fake and politicised.

Knowing the conditions and regardless of the risk,sir Pervez Musharraf came back.He left his comfortable life,where he was spending his good years of retirement and giving absolutely moving speeches all around the world to return to Pakistan.

This man has received countless of standing ovations globally,yet our own people seem to be against him due to the lies of the media and anti-Pakistan elements.

The achievements of sir Pervez Musharraf are evident,obvious and clear to any sensible and truly patriotic Pakistani.

Achieving all the great things for Pakistan and then seeing it fall apart in the new regime would crush the finest of men;but this statement is certainly not true for sir Pervez Musharraf,as he decided to return to Pakistan with the spirit of serving the nation once again and taking it to even greater heights than his previous rule.

The patriotism and love that this man has for Pakistan is unconditional and if someone cannot see that,then that is truly tragic. Sir Pervez Musharraf's mother is unwell;but sir Pervez Musharraf will only return to see her once his name is cleared from all the fake and politicised charges against him.

This is certainly unconditional and honest love for Pakistan.

A genuine leader,a visionary and a humble man.

Pervez Musharraf always meant it when he said, "Pakistan First!

Gerry D'Cunha
December 20, 2013 8:10 pm

a great honest leader who could have bought the country out of the present mess - it is sad the people of pakistan gave their fate in the hands of corrupt politicians - every words of his interview had a great meaning and he hold his head high with no corruption charges on him or any of his family members.

Naeem Syed
December 20, 2013 8:25 pm

Not only are you a great General, A brave man But a Decent Human being made of all the right stuff. Your apology was made from the heart and is accepted from the Heart. I am ready to vote for you in the next election.

Saad Ahmad Shaikh
December 20, 2013 8:39 pm

great leader

December 20, 2013 9:08 pm

Musharraf apologized for 'Unintended Mistakes or otherwise Human Error' I.e no delibeate attempt to sabotage.

Title of this news is giving the biased impression as if he has accepted some sort of crimnal guilt.

Amir Maqbool Butt
December 20, 2013 9:58 pm

There is no punishment for culprits in Pakistan. Musharaf never worry or care and even Judge award him punishment. The government will never dare to punish.

December 20, 2013 10:03 pm

Musharraf is the only honest and competent leader in Pakistan. I salute him for everything he as a president and COAS.

Khan Bhai
December 20, 2013 10:20 pm

@Sameer H.: What are you talking about? Musharraf selected Mushaf Ali Mir as the head of Air Force and he is the real brains behind JF-17 program. Mushaf Ali Mir was among a handful of people who worked tirelessly to bring domestic aircraft industry to Pakistan ever since the 70s.

My dear Sameer you're very naive.

Ayesha Khan
December 20, 2013 10:47 pm

Mr Musharaff is a fearless person, it is not easy to apologize in public, but he has the guts to say openly that he must be excused if he made any errors unwittingly. Mr Musharaff is the only one who can represent Pakistan with dignity on global level . God bless Musharaff.

December 20, 2013 11:18 pm

It is still time that Nawaz Sharif drop all vendetta and invite Musharraf to come and help the country. But alas, Nawaz is not that wise.

December 21, 2013 12:44 am

It seems the only leader who has made mistakes is Musharraf. What about Nawaz, Zardari, Benazir, ZiaulHaq and others - Are they angels?

December 21, 2013 12:47 am

Long Live Musharraf! A great visionary. I agree military has no place in politics, but when the country is not ready for one, then what do you do, who is going to run the country, somebody has to. Last time I recall nawaz and company was running the country and Pakistan was at the brink of becoming a banana republic as they had no funds left in the treasury. When Gen. Musharraf left he left $16 Billion in the treasury along with dozens of projects were either completed, or work in progress or were in pipeline. Now take a look at the whole country again on the same old track, almost bankrupt, reserves are dipping again no major projects in progress, only a slogan for youth program whatever that is and that only far and few in between will get mostly it will be a closed circle. What has Nawaz government and PPP ever did for Pakistan. We all know what they done for their personal pockets, families and friends. Musharraf was, is and will be a better leader than all of them combined.

Ahmad Munir
December 21, 2013 1:02 am

The comments on seem to be so out of sync with the majority-views in Pakistan. The military ruler Musharaff who has blood on his hands can barely win a councillor's election in Pakistan and here so many are hailing him as a great leader. needs to save itself from becoming a joke!

December 21, 2013 2:05 am

i salute him.

December 21, 2013 2:08 am

@jdshami: If the country is at disarray and there is no recourse for the substitute democracy and it is slipping into anarchy army has every right to step in and save the nation. Not necessarily good but second best . And sir, don't forget Musharaf's governance was much better than the previous and incumbent governments in terms of economic stability , social cohesion and political convergence. If not for few misguided political blunder he made , this nation owes him stability , progress and development, please don't forget democracy is good as far as it delivers the commons basic needs such as security, equal opportunity , and fair justice. For some nation where illiteracy is at magnanimous proportion democracy may not be a panacea .

December 21, 2013 3:35 am

Musharraf is an angle who came to save Pakistan in 1999 and in 2001. If Nawaz Sharif would have been the president, he would have sided with the Taliban and destroyed Pakistan!

Shahid Latif
December 21, 2013 4:28 am

A trial and punishment is becoming a reality for Musharraf. Hence a kind of apology. What happened to the commando" I am not afraid of any one"?

December 21, 2013 5:49 am

Mr. Musharraf, your misdeeds were not misdemeanors like minor traffic violation. You committed felony by over throwing an elected government though unpopular. You shredded the constitution and for 9 years you were a dictator to the core. To stay in the power, you aligned yourself with most despicable politicians who already have deserted you. Where is your new constituency ? If you are released, better catch the first flight to London.

Syed Ahmed
December 21, 2013 6:14 am

@Anwar: No doubt about it.

December 21, 2013 6:34 am

Unfortunately Pakistanis have never appreciated the good things Musharaf did for the country. They like corrupt politicians like Zardari and Nawaz.

December 21, 2013 6:36 am

Punjab hanged Zulfikhar Bhutto and now they are after Musharaf.

December 21, 2013 8:41 am

Musharraf was and is much much better than A A Z and N Z.

Long live Musharraf . He was /is a great leader and bold.

Shafique Rahib Khan
December 21, 2013 1:18 pm

To err is human and to apologize is the sign of a great man. Will Nawaz Sharif and company ever dare to apologize for supporting an army dictator Gen Ziaul Haq. (SRK, Jeddah)

Shafique Rahib Khan
December 21, 2013 3:10 pm

@ahmed01: To apologize is the sign of a great leader. Mr. Nawaz Sharif and company will never dare to apologize for supporting an army dictator Gen Ziaul Haq.

December 21, 2013 4:04 pm

people who are praising this dictator are either inservice or retired army servants who are the true rulers of this country.Pak army is has this unique achievement..conquoring its country 4 times in 60 years...well done

December 21, 2013 4:13 pm

"Even then, if someone thinks that I have committed a mistake, I seek forgiveness for it" Absolutely not! He did not say that... Wrong title. Great Musharraf Zindabad

December 21, 2013 5:06 pm

Man of dignity

December 21, 2013 5:41 pm

@Anonymous : """""Anonymous -----December 20, 2013 10:30 am---Thank you Musharraf for given us a prestige and many more thing in your tenure. In fact we've to excuse with you because of our bad deeds; You're the one who can turn the country in good position!!! Musharraf is the best....""""----------------- you may be right but after 11 years of rule in uniform he should serve Pakistan very very ANONYMOUSLY-------- for sure.

December 21, 2013 5:44 pm

@Zur Khan: """why people like him"""---- because he says very often """MAIN DARTA WARTA KISSAY SAY NAHIN"""----- but ask through his super defense legal team to UN for interceding in his case against PAKISTAN.

December 21, 2013 10:34 pm

Now that he is trapped from all sides, he gives a half hearted apology. Apologize to the mothers and fathers of children you are responsible for killing. Let justice be done. Apology is not enough. You have to pay for your crimes against humanity. If not in this world then in the hereafter, inshallah. Musharraf's Facebook fans are full force here.. That's where they exist only... Once a dictator, always a dictator.

December 21, 2013 11:07 pm

@Ahmad Munir: His party won two seats in the assembly. At least get your facts straight

December 21, 2013 11:15 pm

@Sameer H.:

1.Musharraf formed HEC which was named as the 8th most effective government organisation in the world by times magazine. 2.He introduced telecommunication in Pakistan especially electronic media which created thousands of jobs 3. In his tenure eight universities were formed in Baluchistan alone including an air force college. 4. He introduced the local body system in Pakistan, which is in fact true democracy. I can keep on going...

December 22, 2013 5:05 am

@Sarwat: Fully agree

December 22, 2013 5:35 am

Thats the difference between a leader and a politician. If at all mr mush was a politician he would have never said this. But he is a leader. Often talked about the way he supported US in fight against terrorism , but if he didnt pak wud have been in much worst shape.

December 22, 2013 5:35 am

Thats the difference between a leader and a politician. If at all mr mush was a politician he would have never said this. But he is a leader. Often talked about the way he supported US in fight against terrorism , but if he didnt pak wud have been in much worst shape.

December 22, 2013 6:41 am

""Musharraf apologises for any misdeeds"""--------------- to the nation.

And his team of lawyers ask for FORGIVENESS and Pardon from the UNITED NATIONS.

sabeeh omer
December 22, 2013 10:40 am

Indeed it takes a great man to apologize but this is not the case with Musharraf. Donned in his military uniform, with his clenched fist and arrogant voice he had in every way become a dictator. He had perhaps forgotten that "pride comes before a fall." Today he is ONLY apologetic because he sees the "loop" around his neck for all his misdeeds and if he is judged honestly. His apology clearly indicates how dear life is for him and it certainly should not be taken as repentance. Indeed if convicted, there should be no mercy!

December 22, 2013 11:10 am


December 22, 2013 1:06 pm

Politician and soldier are both ours. correct that democracy shouldn't be ever derailed for the continuation of the progress. But what to do when politicians become dictator and king shredding the laws into pieces themselves. Everybody remember well the way the then P.M moved to remove the army's CNC.

Keep praying that our judiciary always stay free, strong and active Pakistan shall surpass one day Turkey Malysia and other countries.

December 22, 2013 1:27 pm

@sabeeh omer: actuelly sharif should be charged for treason. he had the power to remove musharaf but there is a procedure which is connected with national security and if not respected (as sharif did not) then liable to be charged for treason.the security of the country has priority over other rights of power. difficut to understand why overlooking this side of the case.

December 22, 2013 1:32 pm

musharaf made many mistakes but he was always sincere, and this counts.

Imran Shah
December 22, 2013 8:41 pm

@Fareed: Your memory is very short. Musharraf was not in Pakistani soil when Nawaz government was overthrown. And he'll not leave Pakistan like Nawaz Sharif.

December 22, 2013 9:28 pm

Its clear that Musharaf is a good leader. He is not a politician like so many in our country. leader leads our politicians lie. It's unfortunate we do not appreciate sincere leaders. We only like our politicians. Wake up Pakistanis if we want to improve our future.

mohammed A. Sukhera (USA)
December 22, 2013 10:02 pm

Musharraf's case is being tried in the supreme court and the court will decide whether he has committed any crime by overthwing an elected cilvilian government. His apology to the nation for his misdeeds is due to the fear for his life and its too late. He ruined thousands of innocent peoples's lives by turning them over to the USA without proof of any crime for cash reward. Dr Aafia Siddiqui is one of them who was picked up by the Pakistan intelligence agency and turned over to the US. She is curently serving 86 years in US prison. It all happened during his watch.

December 23, 2013 6:32 am

Musharraf's biggest MISTAKE was overthrowing an elected -- will he specifically apologize for that?

December 23, 2013 1:23 pm

He failed on all fronts -Political,economical and foriegn relations. He supported killings in Karachi during lawyer movement .More than 50 people were killed and he said "dekhi hamari taqat" .A leader is like a father to nation who forgives his children unlike Musharraf who says "Agar koi hamari baart nahin manta to us ko mon tor jawab do". Did he give such an answer to India or America -- No- Only to poor old Akbar Bugti and now he is against talks with Talibaan. He is a selfish hypocrite willing to do every thing to save and promote himself. During his 9year rule the target killing, bhata khori increased in karachi, Through Kargil adventure he turned kashmiri freedom fight into a terrorist struggle and later on he backtracked on Pakistan long term policy, No single power generation project was started during his 9 year rule ,Pakistan biggest problem" power shortage" is because of his leadership. May Almighty Allah save us from him.

December 23, 2013 3:11 pm

The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practise compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish, but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile. (The Forty Rules of Love)

Something I liked in a book.

December 23, 2013 9:23 pm

@immortal_soloist: Don't expect fairness after media hype. We Pakistanis do not appreciate our benefactors.

Abdurrahman Khan
December 23, 2013 11:17 pm

Let the courts decide Mr Musharraf's verdict, what we must understand is that Mr.Musharraf's only apparent crime is his dictatorship rule that lasted 11 years.One man can not overshadow a country, a political system is solely created to avert such a scenario, If it is repeatedly abolished how can our nation ever gain a stable democratic system.For those who despise political systems and desire an army based rule , have they not seen how the world operates,have we forgotten the case with Egypt,should we still yearn for partial stability till a new phase of politics can once again begin(at a time in which the world rapidly progresses forward?), get a grip nation, your decision matters, make it matter the right way.

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