Musharraf claimed that those fighting in Indian-held Kashmir are 'Mujahideen' and freedom fighters. ─ AFP/File
Musharraf claimed that those fighting in Indian-held Kashmir are 'Mujahideen' and freedom fighters. ─ AFP/File

KARACHI: Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday said those fighting in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) were 'mujahideen' and 'freedom fighters' and not terrorists, BBC Urdu reported..

“Considering the atrocities and the treatment meted out to the Muslim majority in IHK, several groups such as Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Muhammad emerged. They were ready to lay down their lives for their Kashmiri brethren, we call them freedom fighters, not Taliban or terrorist,” Musharraf told BBC.

The former army chief also claimed that there was no 'Taliban presence' in Kashmir.

Related: US, India vow to disrupt Lashkar-i-Taiba, Al Qaeda

Musharraf elaborated that the ‘Kashmiri mujahideen’ allied with the Taliban after the 9/11 tragedy.

The former army chief also stated that he had warned the Kashmiri 'freedom fighters' about what he called an alliance with the ‘extremists’, but they joined hands with Taliban which led to the ‘mess’.

Related: ISI cultivated Taliban to counter Indian action against Pakistan: Musharraf

Elaborating on his government’s stance and development towards resolving the Kashmir issue with India, Musharraf claimed he and the Indian head of state at that time Atal Bihari Vajpayee were heading towards a workable solution.

The former president said that he and Vajpayee had similar views over Kashmir as they both were in agreement over ending the bloodshed in the scenic valley.

"Now Modi does not share the same view, he wants to intimidate Pakistan and put Pakistan on the back foot; things cannot go forward if he does not change his stance," said Musharraf.

Answering a question regarding the Lal Masjid operation during his tenure, he said whatever he did at the time was justified and all ‘terrorists’ should be treated in a similar manner.

“Now these terrorists are again raising their heads, the government should take action before it is too late,” said the former army chief.

He also defended the establishment of the National Security Council (NSC) during his tenure saying the institution could prove useful as the army was a part of it.

“When a civilian government performs poorly, people look towards army, which is not a part of any governing institution. The vacuum was filled in the form of the NSC and it stopped the threat of any army takeover in the future,” opined Musharraf.

Answering a question regarding Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, he said he will term the man’s presence on Pakistani soil an ‘intelligence failure’ and not an indicator of some kind of a ‘reconciliation’ with terrorists.

He added that the Al Qaeda chief did not stay in Abbottabad permanently.

Related: Pakistan had no prior knowledge of Bin Laden, US raid: Foreign Office

When asked about the pending cases against him and his refusal to go to the courts, Musharraf said his health problems, particularly a backbone fracture, did not allow him to attend the court hearings.

Related: Musharraf threatened Benazir before her return to Pakistan: Mark Siegel

Musharraf's interview comes at a time when Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is in Islamabad to partake in the Heart of Asia Conference and hold talks with the Pakistani leadership on multiple issues.

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Comments (62) Closed

Philosopher (from Japan)
Dec 09, 2015 01:15pm

Oh man you are very outspoken guy. We love you and miss you Musharraf sir.

Kadva Sach
Dec 09, 2015 01:15pm

Good way to stay in the news.

Dec 09, 2015 01:19pm

Great leader. Hats off to you!

Dec 09, 2015 01:19pm

That armed fighters in Kashmir are freedom fighters is not debatable.

Dr. Farooq Khan
Dec 09, 2015 01:58pm

India must give right to Kashmeer like UK gave right to Scotland.

Dec 09, 2015 02:12pm

I see a lot of lies in his interview.

Amir Shahzad
Dec 09, 2015 02:20pm

I never been a fan of Musharref but this person has at least courage to say the things unlike our PM.

Dec 09, 2015 02:22pm

@sana bravoss :-/

Dec 09, 2015 02:25pm

Admire Musharraf to the core for having the courage to speak what masses in Pakistan believe and what world needs to realize about the dilemma the kashmiris are facing. Musharraf echoes the opinion of Kashmiris by making such statement, something that our present leaders are adamant to declare openly.

Plus, There wouldn't have been any guns if the right of self determination of Kashmiri people was given to Kashmiri people long ago.

Dec 09, 2015 02:26pm

@Kadva Sach Fact is Bitter(Karva Sach)

Muhammed Ali UK
Dec 09, 2015 03:28pm

A great man a true Pakistani...pity we cannot digest that fact that he would have made Pakistan great.

Dec 09, 2015 03:37pm

sana u are right

ashraf TO
Dec 09, 2015 04:02pm

The man to take Pakistan out of it's troubles. Miles ahead of all. Wish Imram had formed some kind of a union with him. Miss you Sir !!

Taimoor Khan
Dec 09, 2015 04:21pm

While agreeing to whatever you said, his actions during time in power however regarding Pakistan's Kashmir policy have always been exactly opposite. He let India consolidate its position in Indian held Kashmir, took a U-turn on Pakistan long standing Kashmir policy and made Pakistan Kashmir policy look very docile which historically has always been very aggressive and proactive.

Dec 09, 2015 04:35pm

A great leader.

Fried Chillies
Dec 09, 2015 04:38pm

If a process does not yield results after 50/60 years, it's time to change the process. Continuing to expect a f different outcome is fallacy of the mind

Just here
Dec 09, 2015 04:47pm

Also in Eastern India naxalis, maoists, Assamese ,khalistani are fighting Indian army but they are making indian people think Pakistan is sending terrorists. Indian media is a monster they created this hatred between Pakistan and India. Whereas Pakistan media is professional and never talk unnecessary only when Indians provoke Pakistan.

Dec 09, 2015 04:55pm

We don't really talk about the effect and the consequences of misleaders such as Musharraf and Reagan. And many in Pakistan believes Musharraf is the best Pakistan ever had bust like some in the US. But we all continue to suffer from thier actions. Even then they get plenty of media focus in and abroad.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad
Dec 09, 2015 05:47pm

Why didn't he say that boldly, unequivocally, loudly and clearly at national and global platforms when he was at the helm?

Why do fake leaders start telling the truth once they are thrown out of their offices?

I leave the answers to the enlightened, educated, enduring and excelling readers and writers of the this great DAWN forum.

Dec 09, 2015 06:15pm

this nation don't deserve a true leader like u, sir apko salute hai.

Dec 09, 2015 06:23pm

Bad timing for such talk.

Dec 09, 2015 06:28pm

The media should show the scale of the occupation in kashmir.

Dec 09, 2015 06:32pm

The real tiger of Asia

Dec 09, 2015 06:34pm

@sana - Easy to comment but name one lies!

Desi Dimag
Dec 09, 2015 06:58pm

World know the truth.

faisal ishaq
Dec 09, 2015 07:02pm

Why u forgot this while in power

Dec 09, 2015 07:19pm

100 % agreed. The freedom fighters of Kashmir are fighting the occupation forces in their own land and they can,t be labeled as terrorists. Terrorists are those who kill innocent people on the streets. Thanks to General Musharaf for speaking for the oppressed people of Kashmir.

Dec 09, 2015 07:23pm

Make the borders irrelevant and replace apathy between states with mutual concerns.

Dec 09, 2015 07:28pm

Absolutely correct! They are freedom fighters dealing against a forced occupation!

Dec 09, 2015 07:28pm

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad : His initiative failed to produce intended results in Agra and there is no fun in reporting failures at any forum. Now, it is right to remind about stumbling-blocks on way when efforts are being renewed.

Dec 09, 2015 07:32pm

We miss you sir. Look at the mess we are in.

Dec 09, 2015 07:40pm

President Musharaf, you always speak our sentiments. Wish you were at the helm.

Dec 09, 2015 08:47pm

Musharaf is a lion. Nawaz Sharif should take lessons. One mistake by musharaf was that he gave in to the Americans too easily after 911 (as per Colin Powell, but that's another story

Dec 09, 2015 09:04pm

There u go again. Trying to stay relevant even after the cases against him

rational mind
Dec 09, 2015 09:21pm

Mr Musharraf, freedom fighters dont kill innocent civilians. They also dont kill based on religion. Ever remember Kashmiri Pandits?

Dec 09, 2015 09:56pm

We love Gen Parvez Musharraf. Kashmir will be free from indian occupation inshallah.

ravi vancouver
Dec 09, 2015 10:04pm

@Amir Shahzad Of course Mr. Musharaf is liked because he speaks truth. He clearly puts it in one of his interview Osama, talibans and Hafiz Saeed are heroes for Pakistan. He only repeated this again nothing new.

Dec 09, 2015 10:06pm

This is the same person who completely capitulated to India when he was leader A paper tiger all bluster and no substance

Simranjit singh Mann
Dec 09, 2015 10:07pm

@Philosopher (from Japan) : But he cannot speak in Pak court of law, Outspoken!

Dec 09, 2015 10:38pm

Fighters in J&K are not terrorists but freedom fighters, and so, fighters in Baluchistan and Karachi are also not terrorists but freedom fighters?

T. M. Wazir
Dec 09, 2015 11:30pm

@Kadva Sach .. BBC approached Musharraf for interview, Musharraf didn't approach BBC. How does your comment make any sense?

T. M. Wazir
Dec 09, 2015 11:37pm

If imran Khan was any brighter he would have merge with Musharraf when he came back to Pakistan. Sorry, it's imran's and pakistan's loss. God bless Musharraf and pakistan.

Dec 09, 2015 11:44pm

Musharraf always hits the bulls eye that's why it of the general i admire!

Dec 10, 2015 12:23am

@Dr. Farooq Khan First you need to get Pakistan out of 'Azad Kashmi'; get part ceded illegally to China back , get Kashmiri Pandits back in valley and then talk about referendum.

Dec 10, 2015 12:50am

The best president of all time. We miss you Musharraf Sir.

Dec 10, 2015 01:40am

What a game? The freedom fighters get their guns & training from whom? please explain.

Dec 10, 2015 03:00am

Back Bone fracture as excuse for not facing the court is lame excuse specifically when he is appearing everywhere else in the news.. All he has to do is to reach the court and sit there and tell the truth

Dec 10, 2015 06:26am

@Amir Shahzad - If you agree that he is a courageous leader, then come forward become his loyal fan like most of us.

Dec 10, 2015 08:02am

@Zainkhan The ' Real Tiger ' is tamed and put in a cage. Now it has become toothless. He roars to prove his existence but can not bite.

Dec 10, 2015 08:03pm

India is fine with the status quo. Indians are doing well and growing strong economically. With time the terrorists will be destroyed and the few troublesome Kashmiris will see the advantage of being with a strong economy like India.

Mustafa R.
Dec 10, 2015 09:03pm

Despite his honesty and sincerity, Musharraf is not the man Pakistan needs at this hour. Thirty years ago Henry Kissinger said about about West's adversaries 'they can feel our superiority in their bones', Musharraf certainly did. Musharraf had a fear of 'Farangi' and the Farangi used this fear to overthrow him. Listening to several of his interviews I have reached the conclusion that Musharraf still does not know who overthrew him.

Dec 11, 2015 02:54am

As the freedom fighters in Baluchistan.

Dec 11, 2015 08:38am

For this cruel dictator, the terrorists in Kashmir, Balochistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria are all freedom fighters. Which country is peaceful after ruled by dictators.

Dec 11, 2015 09:07am

As long as Kashmir remains an obsession among Pakistanis there will be no peace between India and Pakistan. This status quo seems more to the detriment of Pakistan than India.

The only way forward is to invest in bi-lateral trade relations and leave territorial disputes for some time in the future when there is a more amenable climate.

Dec 11, 2015 10:39am

You are always Right.. But what is your View about struggle in Baluchistan...... Is it Terrorism or freedom explain.......

Dec 11, 2015 02:14pm

@Rick_james keep dreaming .... It does not cost anything..

Dec 11, 2015 02:19pm

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad I completely agree with you..... Easy to blabble when out of power...

Kavita J
Dec 11, 2015 03:54pm

@Just here: come out of ur dreamland!

Mustafa R.
Dec 11, 2015 08:07pm


'Indians are doing well and growing strong economically.'

India has the largest number of people living below the poverty line.

Mustafa R.
Dec 11, 2015 08:08pm

@Kavita J;

You come out of your dreamland of rivaling China, China is an old civilization, India is just an old country.

Sonny Afridi
Dec 12, 2015 10:30am

@Mustafa R. India isn't even an old country it came into being in 1947.

Sonny Afridi
Dec 12, 2015 10:36am

@KN delusions