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Musharraf terms Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a terrorist. ─screengrab
Musharraf terms Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a terrorist. ─screengrab

Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Thursday said Pakistan's military and civilian leadership are on the same page regarding peace initiatives with India, but added that he does not see any progress in dialogue on core issues as India is only interested in discussing their own problems.

Giving an interview to an Indian news channel, India Today, the former military ruler asserted that military is "200 per-cent" on board regarding the peace process with India but "India only wants to talk about its own issues like Mumbai and Pathankot. It wants to dominate and bully Pakistan".

"India derailed the peace process every time and it only wants to discuss terrorism," Musharraf said.

Answering a question about Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Masood Azhar, Musharraf termed Azhar a terrorist because he is "involved in terrorist activities across Pakistan", but repeated his stance that whoever is fighting in Kashmir is a freedom fighter.

Related: 'Freedom fighters' fighting in Kashmir, not terrorists, says Musharraf

When asked about the revelations of David Coleman Headley, a Pakistani-American who allegedly helped plan 2008 Mumbai attacks, the former president said he cannot comment on any of Headley's statements until he is in Indian intelligence's custody because "he can be manipulated and can be forced to say anything".

"I don't believe what he's saying unless our investigation and intelligence says the same," Musharraf maintained.

It is pertinent to note here that in December last year Musharraf had told BBC Urdu that those fighting in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) were 'mujahideen' and 'freedom fighters' and not terrorists as India calls them.

“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 had said.

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

Headley's statement

Earlier this week, David Headley gave an Indian court in Mumbai the details of his role in planning the Mumbai attack, in which more than 160 people were killed over three days when a group of 10 men rampaged across the city.

Related: Visited India 7 times before Mumbai attack, convict testifies before court

Headley repeated the statements he had made earlier, blaming Pakistan's main spy agency of its alleged involvement in planning the attack's preparations and execution.

Headley said he supplied his handlers in the Lashkar-i-Taiba with videos and maps of luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and the city's main railway station that were attacked, Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam told reporters after Monday's five hours of testimony.

Comments (74) Closed

UMAIR Feb 11, 2016 11:59pm

He is always precise and blunt.

Adnan Feb 12, 2016 12:11am

But his words carry little weight, himself being the architect of Kargil, just when the Pakistan Govt. was nearing a solution with the Indians.

Dandy Feb 12, 2016 12:14am

General Pervez Musharaf, we miss you on Kashmir stance as well as on International issues...

KN Feb 12, 2016 12:22am

He put pakistan in a tough spot internationally through his words and actions.

Ghaznavi Feb 12, 2016 12:23am

@Adnan "But his words carry little weight, himself being the architect of Kargil, just when the Pakistan Govt. was nearing a solution with the Indians."

Under Nawaz Shareef's terms Pakistan government has been never near to any solution on Kashmir. This is because NS always talks from weak position. In fact it was in Mussharaf's tenure that progress was made using back channel diplomacy. At that time we had an honest man leading the charge and Indians complied.

Zak Feb 12, 2016 12:23am

Gen Musharaf has given India the direction for perpetual peace. It's up to india to listen to him, otherwise it will be left in poverty by unnecessary arms spend.bhe was a great progressive leader. He knew how to teach the enemy a lesson.

Arif Feb 12, 2016 12:27am

Not true. He a brave man and also a good analyst. He knows what he is taking about.

M.Saeed Feb 12, 2016 12:31am

What is wrong if if an ex-dictator talks sense and be patriotic? Wisdom demands to learn even from your staunchest enemy for, its was and is your lost property.

M.Saeed Feb 12, 2016 12:35am

@Adnan : Never forget that, it was he who went to Agra and was through with an agreement with Indian PM for solving all problems. The draft agreement was finalized and sent for printing but, something behind the scene happened in India that left him waiting for 2 days and then return frustrated.

M.Saeed Feb 12, 2016 12:44am

@KN : But he was unequivocally classified as the "Good Dictator" worth rubbing shoulders with the helmsmen of the world's top-most leaders.

Atif Khan Feb 12, 2016 12:56am

Authentic. That is what I like about Musharraf.

BRILLIANT LOGIC Feb 12, 2016 12:58am

Pakistan is NOT an opposite of whatever India is. Just let go of the India obsession, root out terrorism and make economic progress which can be much faster than India anyway. Kashmir will go nowhere. You can always take it up later. Right now, it looks like you are making that issue into a punching bag for the other issues facing the country.

truthspeaker Feb 12, 2016 01:07am

Anything can be said to deflect attention from his case and show that he is 'patriot'. Endorsing violence and violent people and is called a 'lion'. The lions must be very offended.

Truth Feb 12, 2016 01:08am

I don't know what's his problem.

Sunil Feb 12, 2016 01:15am

@Zak Was he able to take Pak out of poverty ???

Sunil Feb 12, 2016 01:19am

Why should be talking to Dictator !!!

Malik USA Feb 12, 2016 01:22am

@M.Saeed You are right. Sir we all Pakistani will miss you everywhere. He was one of the best politician we got in the form of Army Head. Even now we could not recognise him.

sachin Arora Feb 12, 2016 01:27am

he is a great leader.I strongly believe India and Pak do have great things to complete rather than just fighting and disturbing their GDP.The benefit pf this hatred is realised by the west which our politician will never realise

Valar Morgulis Feb 12, 2016 01:32am

@M.Saeed that 'something' behind the door was result of that morning press meet by Gen. Musharraf. He was astute and factual in his approach h their and put Indian propaganda press back into their place. I've never seen a Pakistani leader showing that much spine in front of India before. The world later saw how India backed out of commitment as it always has been in history.

M Jamal Feb 12, 2016 01:36am

Musharraf is the most successful leader of Pakistan as the country progressed in his tenure.Being honest with no corruption charges as well as no family members or any of his friends or near ones taking any benefit from his position,he is the best man to deal with India for settlement of Kashmir or any other issue.Since he is honest as well as learned, he know how to deal with India and rest of the world for safeguarding Pakistan's interest.

Muhammed ali Feb 12, 2016 02:02am

Musharraf we love you and miss you. You were the only one that could have sorted out kashmir.These current leaders just don't care.

Syed Chishti Feb 12, 2016 02:08am

General(RtdMusharraf's stance on Kashmir issue is valid and he missed his opportunity of solving the Kashmir issue when he was in power. His interviews are very much recalling all that can be done or could have been done. But not done or accomplished yet.

Pakistan & India will have this Indian-held Kashmir issue as a thorny issue until it's resolved. Hard to resolve it amicably in the near future.

I presume that General(Rtd) Musharraf's point that India and Pakistan are on the same page within the Army circle is not misplaced. But that doesn't solve the soreness between the two states that has been there for almost 7 decades, hurting both sides economically and in maintaining good bilateral relations.

I see bigger trouble on horizon for both India&Pakistan above and beyond Kashmir issue,for all to understand what's coming to the region as spillover from Middle East ongoing war.Afghanistan,Pakistan, &India are going to see much higher intensity of terrorism issues in coming months.

Vikram Sood Feb 12, 2016 02:11am

I would rather have Pakistan focus on its economic situation, a bad turn can sink things, and render all causes that Musharraf espouses redundant, a economically powerful Pakistan will get parity from India and respect from the world, something it no longer possesses, I hope people see sense in the time tested view that you need to be economically strong to solve issues!

Yawar Feb 12, 2016 02:35am

Musharraf is absolutely correct in that India is only interested in discussing its own problem. If India cared even a little bit about the Kashmiris it would have held a plebiscite a long time ago to let the Kashmiris decide whether they want to go with India, Pakistan or be independent.

Maulik Feb 12, 2016 02:42am

Musharraf's time has come and gone. Why are we still paying attention to what he is saying? He thinks only in military terms. He could care less what the people of Pakistan is paying for his 'vision' of Pakistan. If he is so proud Pakistani and want to be treated as equal to India why has he never rejected aid from US which India is not asking? You can't be begging for aid and then ask to be treated with respect.

Malik USA Feb 12, 2016 03:01am

@Sunil I think you did not read or do not know about Pakistan. His tenure was one of the best tenure from all aspect. Economy, Education, Stability, Law and order and Pakistan was going best direction. And so on relation with India was also going towards in best direction. I think you forgot the statement of Mr. Jethmalani who said in one of the interview that Kashmir solution was the best which Parvez Musharraf gave and even he was so soften because when we sent suggestion/request to change something, he was so happy to change, just to come on the table to solve.

Arslan Feb 12, 2016 03:18am

@Sunil Unemployment under his tenure was the lowest compared to any democratic government. If Unemployment rate is anything to measure poverty by.

easytowriteonline Feb 12, 2016 04:49am

@Muhammed ali nor do we!

BNS Feb 12, 2016 04:54am

Great Gen. Musharraf, always great. You always Know what to say and never mince words.

iffi Feb 12, 2016 05:02am

Nawaz could never be like Musharraf

schal Feb 12, 2016 05:18am

@Ghaznavi and then the Mumbai terrorist attack happened. Nobody in Pakistan is responsible for that. How can this cycle lead to any progress for peace between the two nations?

VINOD Feb 12, 2016 05:53am

"he does not see any progress in dialogue on core issues as India is only interested in discussing their own problems." How come India's' problems are problems and Pakistan's problems are core issues? Secondly, Is the General sincere and truthful when he says that "Terrorism" is NOT a core issue for Pakistan? With Pakistan going around the world and speaking about their sufferings and destructions due to terrorism, being a partner in fight against terror and after launching a great operation like Zarb E-Azb how can he say that Terror is Not core issue for Pakistan. In fact TERROR is number one core issue for Pakistan and India both.

Madhan Feb 12, 2016 05:58am

Headley in Indian custody??? Musharraf doesn't know that Headley is serving a 35-year jail term in US.

Saleem USA Feb 12, 2016 06:16am

What a great soldier and general Pakistan Army has produced. This is the caliber of training pakistani soldiers receive.

Changez_Khan Feb 12, 2016 06:16am

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is telling the truth whether anybody believes him or not. He has never been afraid of speaking the truth and never will. He is a brave General and soldier and always will be. The Pakistani people love him.

rama Feb 12, 2016 06:28am


Do you think Pakistan is developed country, Read your country newspaper , more than 100 child died in past few days in Thar out of starvation.

T. M. Wazir Feb 12, 2016 06:37am

@KN .. really? Almost the entire Pakistan thinks otherwise. He is much better leader than 2-1/2 leaders put together( zardari+ nawaz+ Bilawal)

ysk Feb 12, 2016 07:32am

As usual, Musharraf doing great on handling Media. And Pakistanis just miss their showman.

pk Feb 12, 2016 08:07am

@Zak What about Pakistan?

Jamil Feb 12, 2016 08:11am

Thats why I love him. A leader has to be precise and to the point.

Valar Morgulis Feb 12, 2016 08:23am

@iffi great comment. agreed '200%' !

shehzad Feb 12, 2016 09:01am

Still remember Musharraf's media coup in Agra.

Good leader.

Azhar jamil Feb 12, 2016 09:02am

Musharraf is right, but what he has done during his regime? Leadership on either sides is not concerned to ground realities. No one is sincere here for solving issues for a better future of Sub-continent people.

whats in a name Feb 12, 2016 09:10am

@Zak First see who is suffering due to this conflict. It is the kashmiris and Pakistanis. India is mostly focussing on development and economic progress. If we were suffering due to this conflict, then there was no possibility of India growing at more than 7% growth. Can the same be said to Pakistan. Think before you come to conclusions.

india_first Feb 12, 2016 09:12am

In the today's contest General Musharraf is irrelevant.

Shahid Feb 12, 2016 09:17am

@Vikram Sood , ya sure thats why China has solved her issues with Japan, Taiwan and India.

Sunil Feb 12, 2016 09:50am

@Shahid China solved issues with Japan, Taiwan and India? When?

Sridhar Raghunatha Rao Feb 12, 2016 10:02am

I personally admire Gen Musharraf for his intelligence, shrewdness and statesmanship. But, some of his statement here is really embarrassing not only for his admirers but also perhaps to his Government even. Wish to decline further comments.

schal Feb 12, 2016 10:28am

@Saleem USA I agree. Dictatorship is always greater than democracy. Owner's pride and neighbors' envy!!

AW Feb 12, 2016 10:29am

Musharraf retired from the Army several years ago. He should not be making any statements on behalf of either the army or the government. He had a great opportunity to change the course of Pakistan by reforming our judicial and government systems, introducing free market economy in the country, elimination of extremism, building our education system, building dams and power plants, implementing across the board accountability etc., but he wasted it. He compromised on every national priority to keep himself in power in the name of sham democracy. He proved that he was no different from others before him and after him.

zakir proud Indian kasmiri Feb 12, 2016 10:29am

Indias strength is its muslim population & its rich Islamic heritage. Our constitution gives rights to all faiths & muslims be it in kasmir, mumbai, delhi or any parts in India are proud of it.

rana fareed Feb 12, 2016 10:30am

@Ghaznavi. it was vajpaee who visited pakistan for friendship after pakistan,s six nuclear tests on 28th May 1999. so u r with malafide underrating the most powerful elected pm of pakistan.

Kadva Sach Feb 12, 2016 10:56am

This is how you stay in the news!

Udayakumar Feb 12, 2016 10:59am

Going by the comments one can see where Pakistan is headed to.

k p rao Feb 12, 2016 11:02am

And why not? Is Pakistan not interested to put forth its own agenda?

obivankanobi Feb 12, 2016 11:23am

Cant fathom why the army has to discuss peace in a country with a democratically elected govt. It goes to show who runs the nation.

Kedar Feb 12, 2016 11:26am

He is always precise BUT blunt.

rajesh Feb 12, 2016 11:49am

@Zak but what result ?

BK Feb 12, 2016 11:56am

Majority people of Pakistan here like Mr. Mushraff. Is it means, general opinion of Pakistan is in favour of Military rule/Dictatorship ? People praises the present General also.

obivankanobi Feb 12, 2016 11:59am

@M Jamal why cant you guys think of a person other than an army officer to lead you out of economic stagnation and political isolation?

Shankar Feb 12, 2016 12:14pm

Musharaf is a great Pakistani, a great Pakistani soldier and a very shrewd Pakistani politician. While we in India admire him, we do not trust a bit. From our point of view he is a wily fox.

sourav Ghosh Feb 12, 2016 12:25pm

@Zak ..Our arms spend we can handle considering our economy..

Abid Feb 12, 2016 12:32pm

True patriotic brave solder honest spokesperson and visionary greatest leader in the world. Sir. president Musharaff the nation miss you badly.

AIZ Feb 12, 2016 02:13pm

I saw this on tele and he rightfully tackle this host .... infact a very very much biased host.

Indian justice Feb 12, 2016 02:33pm

@zakir proud Indian kasmiri YOU are right brother.Our constitution gives rights to all faiths & no power on earth can destabilise it.

GAK Wazir Feb 12, 2016 05:02pm

Dear Musharraf! No doubt, you are a brave military commander, but you also put Pakistani nation in myriad difficulties which they are facing even today.

Abdul Karim Feb 12, 2016 05:55pm

If there is no mutual goal to achieve for Pakistan and India then 'meetings' will only be walks of talks, otherwise it could be talks about walks. Under the circumstances, it is better to agree on mutual goals first.

XPakistani Feb 12, 2016 05:59pm

Hatred for Pakistan will never let India prosper. They have made it a cornerstone of their policy to have bad relations with Pakistan, and oppose it from sports to all other arenas. They have become a dumping ground for the world's arms manufacturers. It is simply laughable that they could make such a fool of themselves.

M.Saeed Feb 12, 2016 07:10pm

@XPakistani : The dumping ground of world's arms manufacturers can also become Ojheri Camp, India chapter, if they do not act as required.

Truth Feb 12, 2016 07:56pm

This is probably the best time to resolve issues with India in a generation. It is headed by a rightist govt which has a huge mandate and trust of people. Show some genuine interest and just once jail the culprits of atleast one attack (Mumbai or Pathankot or others) and see how fast the ground situation will change. Just once try this.

M.Saeed Feb 12, 2016 08:17pm

@Truth : You are right here but, who can convince the blind to try see light?

Truth Feb 12, 2016 08:18pm

@BRILLIANT LOGIC Agree....for any negotiation to succeed you need to be in a position of strength.

jamshed Feb 13, 2016 08:52am

@Sunil I agree but Musharraf or Modi alone cannot bring subcontinent out of poverty. For every Modi or Musharraf there are millions of crooks deeply entrenched and hunkered down to sabotage their efforts. Poverty is a condition and our societies (Both in India and Pakistan) have been overrun by this malice becuase of us collectively. The way poverty has "flourished" it will be several generations before we read as footnote in history books.

Sonny Afridi Feb 14, 2016 02:24am

Talks and talks about talks are just purely cosmetic gesture. Until Kashnir issue is resolved and Kashmiri brothers get their nationhood then it's pointless.