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‘Musharraf ran proxy J-K war’

world Updated: Oct 30, 2007 02:19 IST
HS Rao

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, commander of 4 Corps (Lahore), Lt Gen Mohammed Aziz, and Chief of General Staff, Gen Mohammed Yusuf, had run the proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s, a new book has claimed.

“Musharraf and Aziz had trained together as commandos in the 1960s and, together with Yusuf, had played critical roles in the training of the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s under the tutelage of General Hamid Gul,” the book Deception: Pakistan, the United States and the Global Nuclear Weapons Conspiracy stated.

“Musharraf, Aziz and Yusuf had run the proxy war in Kashmir in the early 1990s, and Aziz, a Kashmiri by birth, had been on the ground handling Musharraf’s disastrous Kargil operation in 1999,” the book by investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherin Scott-Clark said.

The authors are internationally renowned and award winning investigative journalists who worked as staff writers and foreign correspondents for the Sunday Times before joining the Guardian.

Aziz was so close to Pakistan’s sponsored ‘jihadi’ organisations that when Musharraf had tried to promote him to commander

of 10 Corps (Rawalpindi) in October 1999 as a precursor to

making him army chief, a job that would have brought him back to the capital, Jamaat-e-Islami and Maulana Fazlur Rahman of the Jamiat Ulema Islam protested, warning it would weaken the ‘jihad’ in Kashmir.

Musharraf subsequently backed down, the authors said.

Aziz exercised tremendous influence over Pakistan’s president. He persuaded Musharraf against clamping down on the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as a result of the then

US President Bill Clinton’s visit to Islamabad in 2000. He also vetoed US demands for action against Pakistan-based activities of outfits such as the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Aziz was promoted to chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a position that till then, Musharraf had retained for himself. Yusaf was promoted to vice chief of army staff, the second most important job in the Pakistan army.