In an interview with the Guardian, former Dictator of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has admitted that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) helped cultivate the Taliban to counter then Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai’s government, for harbouring officials thought to favour India.
“Obviously we were looking for some groups to counter this Indian action against Pakistan,” Musharraf said. “That is where the intelligence work comes in. Intelligence being in contact with Taliban groups. Definitely, they were in contact, and they should be.”
Musharraf also said that his government had tried to undermine the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan as the latter had helped “India stab Pakistan in the back.” The former dictator, Musharraf, said “In President Karzai’s times, yes, indeed, he was damaging Pakistan and therefore we were working against his interest. Obviously, we had to protect our own interest.” However, he has urged the Pakistan Government to mend ties with now Afghan President Ashrad Ghani Ahmedzai who he believes is the last hope for peace in the region.
Pakistan has been wary of the growing ties between India and Afghanistan which would shift the balance of power further towards India. Last year, India had sent its first wheat shipment to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port. The Chabahar port would allow India to bypass Pakistan for its trade with Afghanistan and enable Delhi greater access to Central Asia. Pakistanis see the Chabahar port as detrimental to their interests with some even calling it a security threat.
Musharraf also displayed his hate towards India although he claimed otherwise. He was also contemptuous of the favourable opinion towards India in western countries.
“India is the greatest democracy, promoter of human rights and democratic culture’? All bullshit,” he said. “There is no human rights. The religion itself is anti-human rights. In the rural areas, if even the shadow of an untouchable goes on a pandit, that man can be killed.”
Musharraf is convinced that India is trying to break up Pakistan again, reflective of the fact that the Pakistani establishment still has not recovered from the defeat inflicted on them by India in 1971. He accused Indian intelligence agencies of fomenting separatism in Pakistani soil. But after admitting that the ISI “should be” in touch with terrorists, he insists that peace should prevail. “The RAW of India, the ISI of Pakistan has always been fighting against each other since our independence. That is how it continued, it continues now also. It must stop, but it can only stop when leadership on both sides show the will to resolve disputes and stop confrontation in favour of compromise and accommodation.”
“Peace talks” coming from the man accused of murdering his own country’s former Prime Ministers and the man who ‘mulled deploying nukes’ after the Indian Parliament was attacked in 2001 by the very people he espouses, of course, is amusing.