Saturday December 02, 2023

Rout of religious extremists in polls good omen: Musharraf

July 31, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf says besides the defeat of Sharifs and Zardaris, the rout of all religious extremists in general elections is very significant development for Pakistan.

In an interview with ‘India Today’, Musharraf said Imran Khan was not a religious extremist at all. He said the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) was routed in the elections, which is the achievement of the people of Pakistan. “It is not one man… it is his party which has come (to power). And they are all against religious extremism that has been proven in the election year.

“The PPP and PML-N have been tried and tested four times and they both failed Pakistan, so therefore, we are very happy that a new face of Pakistan has come up and Insha-Allah they will do well for the future, they will bring about change in Pakistan,” he said.

To a question that India expects Imran to work under the dictates of the Army, Musharraf said the judiciary is independent and the Army does not interfere. “It is the PTI on its own force, they gained popularity and we must give credit to them on that issue, now the judiciary was impartial.

“And judiciary has been with justice and on PanamaLeaks and many other issues, they punish… Nawaz Sharif was punished as he deserved,” he said. Over allegations of rigging in the elections by Shahbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto, the former president said: “Do you know about his (Bilawal’s) father? What has he done? What kind of corrupt man he is? He is Mr 90%, he corrupted the whole, he looted and plundered Pakistan, and we are giving him as the example, I do not want to take that as an example at all.”

Musharraf said Shahbaz Sharif’s brother has told lies in the assembly and he told lies in the Supreme Court. “He (Nawaz Sharif) has done money-laundering of billions of rupees and dollars and taken them here to Dubai and London.

“And we are putting him… so what should I talk about that? I think they have done something very wrong, they need to be punished,” Musharraf said. The former president claimed that during his rule, Pakistan was on the upswing and the economy was doing very well.

He said times have changed now. “And you are talking about sectarian hatred and sectarian conflict, what about the genocide against Muslims in India? So please do not talk about it,” he told the anchor when he asked about Imran Khan’s capabilities to counter sectarian issues in Pakistan.

About Imran Khan’s statement on Pak-India relations in his victory speech, Musharraf emphasised the need for carrying forward the four-point formula on Kashmir. He said no one has presented a better formula than that. He said both sides should overcome the atmosphere of mistrust.

The former president said the Modi government in India doesn’t want peace and it has confrontational attitude against Pakistan, its Army and the government. “I personally know what you are doing in Balochistan from Afghanistan. I personally know what is RAW’s involvement in Balochistan,” he told the anchor. He said Indian spy Kalbhushan Jadhav, who is under arrest in Pakistan, has admitted that he carried out so many terrorist attacks in Pakistan. To a question about the role of the Army in the elections, Musharraf said it played the role of a neutral umpire.

He said the PTI won on its own. When asked will the hatred against India end simply because of government change in Pakistan, Musharraf said: “Your problem is that you always think that there is rhetoric on this side against India.

“That is not the case, as it is always by you, by your politicians, by your military, by your leaders who spit venom against Pakistan, not Pakistanis. Pakistanis don’t do that.”

About a question of Hafiz Saeed’s participation in the elections, the former military ruler said Hafiz Saeed was a popular person in Pakistan and people follow him. Musharraf said he believes in Imran Khan as he has good intensions for Pakistan.

“He wants to serve the people, he wants to do welfare of the people, do good the people, I think he will achieve that,” he said.