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HomeSpecialsPervez Musharraf and his role in increasing Pakistan’s terror activities and hostility toward India

Pervez Musharraf and his role in increasing Pakistan’s terror activities and hostility toward India

From March 1999 to May 1999, Musharraf ordered the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and terrorists in the Kargil district.

On February 5 (local time), former President and military dictator of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf died due to a heart attack while receiving treatment for his prolonged illness. Musharraf, who is infamously known for his role in instigating the Kargil war and the increase in terror activities in India, was suffering from amyloidosis. It is a rare disease that affects the connective tissues and organs in the body. Musharraf, who was 79 at the time of death, was suffering from abnormal functioning of multiple organs due to the build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid.

The early life of Musharraf

Parvez Musharraf was born in August 1943 in Delhi, India. Following the partition at the end of British Rule, his family moved to Pakistan. For seven years, Musharraf was in Turkey as his father was posted as a civil servant in Ankara. In 1956, his family moved to Karachi. For his education, Musharraf attended Christian schools, before moving to the Royal College of Defence Studies in London for higher studies.

At the age of 18, Musharraf joined the Pakistan Military Academy. When war broke out between India and Pakistan in 1965, Musharraf was already a part of the Pakistan Army. He also participated in the 1971 war that led to Pakistan’s partition and the formation of Bangladesh.

Musharraf also served in the special service commando group of Pakistan’s armed forces. In October 1998, he was promoted to the rank of General and named Army Chief by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the dismissal of General Jehangir Karamat.

Musharraf’s role in the Kargil war

Though the infiltration of Kargil started in 1999, it was not the first time Musharraf had floated the idea. When Musharraf was a Brigadier, he proposed the Kargil infiltration to then-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, she refuted the plans and things did not go the way Musharraf wanted. It is believed that a decade later, he played a key role in the 1999 Kashmir infiltration. The infiltration started early in 1999, however, it turned into a wrong strategic move for Pakistan leading to the Kargil war from May to July 1999.

The initial plan of the Pakistani Army was to capture as many posts as possible on the heights across LOC vacated by the Indian Army during the winter. Not to forget, the Kargil war started only a few months after the historic bilateral peace declaration between Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif.

From March 1999 to May 1999, Musharraf ordered the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and terrorists in the Kargil district. When India discovered the infiltration, a full-scale war broke out in the region. Soon after the war began, Sharif decided to withdraw the support of the terrorists in July. It is believed that the pressure from the international community had become unbearable for the Pakistani government.

Sharif’s decision did not go well with the Pakistan Army and it is rumoured that the decision led to the coup soon after. The war officially ended on July 26, 1999.

On October 12, 1999, Mushraff was scheduled to return to Pakistan but Sharif attempted to prevent the plane carrying him from landing at Karachi airport. The attempts were foiled by the Pakistani Army which seized control of the airport. Sharif’s actions led to the forceful removal of his government by Musharraf. The Pakistan Army, under his leadership, seized control of the civilian government and on October 14, Musharraf passed an ordinance suspending the Constitution of Pakistan while serving as the Chief Executive of the country.

Musharraf’s role in terrorist activities in India

The Kargil war was not the only occasion when Musharraf played a role against India. In an interview in 2019, he admitted to training Kashmiris to wage a war against the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir, taking pride in these ‘Mujahideens’, touting them to be “Pakistan’s heroes’.

Terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and others were always considered to be “Pakistan’s heroes”, Musharraf confessed.

In the interview, he said, “In 1979, we had introduced religious militancy in Afghanistan to benefit Pakistan and to push the Soviets out of the country. We brought Mujahideen from all over the world, trained them, and supplied weapons. They were our heroes. Haqqani was our hero. Osama bin Laden was our hero. Then the environment was different but now it is different. Heroes have turned to villains.”

He added, “Kashmiris who came to Pakistan received a hero’s reception here. We used to train them and support them. We considered them Mujahideen who will fight with the Indian Army then various terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba rose in this period. They were our heroes.”

Later, Musharraf said that the assassination attempt on his life back in 2003 on the Jhanda Chichi bridge was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad and hence, he always considered them as terrorists. He said that because of the terrain of the area back then, they had pressed the button late, and hence their assassination attempt had failed.

In 2018, in an interview with The Guardian, Musharraf 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. “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. They were in contact, and they should be.”

Musharraf always 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 are 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.”

The political life and death

In 2001, a referendum was held in Pakistan to determine if Musharraf can continue ruling the country. He won and his term was extended for five years. There were allegations that he got the voting rigged in his favour. In August 2008, he lost the elections and the ruling coalition agreed to launch impeachment proceedings against him.

In 2012, Musharraf tried to make a political comeback but got disqualified. He was then arrested and put under house arrest. He faced treason charges for an attempt to fire Supreme Court judges. In 2016, he was allowed to leave Pakistan on bail for medical treatment. After that, he did not return to Pakistan and died while receiving treatment for his ailment.

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Searched termsMusharraf Kargil
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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