Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were Pakistan’s heroes, said former President Pervez Musharraf. He also said Pakistan supported and trained terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba to carry out militancy in Kashmir in 1990s.
Musharraf was replying to a query on LeT’s Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. People like them enjoyed the status of heroes in Pakistan, he added.
“When the freedom struggle began in Jammu and Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Toiba and 11 or 12 other organisations were formed. We fully supported them and trained them as they were fighting at the cost of their lives,” said Musharraf.
“Freedom fighters such as Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were our heroes at that time. It is different matter that religious militancy turned into terrorism. Now they (terrorism in Pakistan) are killing their own people here and this should be stopped,” he said.
When asked if Saeed and Lakhvi should be stopped, he said, “No comments.” Musharraf said that religious militancy was started by Pakistan, which brought militants from all over the world to fight against Soviet forces. In 1979, Pakistan favoured religious militancy, Musharaf told CNN-IBN in an interview.
He equated Hafiz Saeed with RSS and Shiv Sena and said those demanding action against him in Pakistan toed the Indian line. Calling Thackeray a terrorist, he said, “We trained Taliban and sent them to fight against Russia. Taliban, Haqqani, Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were our heroes. It was only later that they Later they villains.”
Meanwhile, the Congress party said that now that the true face of Pakistan has come out, it is time that the United Nations and the US recognised Pakistan for what it was and acted against it. It is unfortunate that a former president should speak so highly of terrorists. All the time India has been saying that Pakistan supported and trained terrorists and was the face behind trouble, it added.