PM's Pak visit should be tied to results: Musharraf

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2012 01:25 IST

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should visit Pakistan only if it was going to yield some results, maintained he had no regrets for plotting Kargil and asked India to be vigilant against Muslim radicalism.

He was speaking in an interview to this paper and, before that, at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2012.

"He (Singh) should visit Pakistan only if there is going to be a solution to disputes. Otherwise, the visit will be flat and unproductive," Musharraf said. However, had a previously planned trip in 2007 by Singh gone through, there could have been some concrete agreements, he said.

Between India and Pakistan, India had to be the more accommodative one because it was the bigger country, the former Pakistani ruler told a packed house at the summit.

"India should have a big heart because it is the bigger country. When the smaller party makes the compromise, it can have negative connotations," he said, suggesting the latter scenario could be misconstrued as the "bigger party" dominating the other.

Musharraf said India-Pakistan relations took the biggest hits whenever the intelligence agencies of the two nations got into a confrontation and, according to him, sponsored proxy wars. "This led to a total breakdown of trust and, may I say, we became enemies."

He also harped on both sides displaying the right 'niyat' (intention), a word he mentioned 11 times.

When he was, therefore, asked to explain his "intent" behind sneaking Pakistani troops into Kargil on the Indian side in 1999, he said: "The same niyat that led India to the Bangladesh war. You divided half of our country. We are not talking about that. Why are we not talking about Siachen? I am not going to compromise on the honour and dignity of Pakistan. I have no regrets for Kargil." 

There were "three essential prerequisites", he said, to resolving Indo-Pak disputes - a "sincere niyat"; downsizing the role of bureaucrats and intelligence agencies, since they "usually find it difficult to break from the past"; and a "strong leadership function".

In a new prescription for the two neighbours that have fought three wars since 1947, he added: "A step-wise progress doesn't work because I may want a different step. Break away from the past and work on the disputes."

Musharraf also cautioned India on extremism, saying: "In India, one feels extremism among Muslim youth may be on the rise. Action would be required to neutralise it."

He rejected the view that his country's intelligence knew al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was in hiding in Pakistan. "There was no complicity. I am 500% sure. There was negligence."

So, was Pakistan's intelligence sleeping, he was asked by television personality Karan Thapar, who chaired the session. "You should allow the ISI to sleep once (in a while)," Musharraf replied in his wry humour.


also read

HT Leadership Summit

Compromise should come from bigger country: Musharraf

blog comments powered by Disqus