Former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. — File photo
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.