We don't need your advice: Muslim leader to Musharraf
"Indian Muslims are capable of solving their problems... We don't need your advice.. Don't try to alienate Indian Muslims by your remarks, here or in Pakistan."
This blunt message was conveyed to former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf by a prominent Muslim leader Mehmood Madani at the India Today conclave in New Delhi on Saturday night.
Madani, member of Rajya Sabha and leader of Jamat-e-Ulema-i-Hind, made it clear to the Pakistani leader that he or his country need not bother about the condition of Muslims in India.
"Don't start your politics of Pakistan from here," Madani told Musharraf after the latter claimed that Muslims in India were alienated and suggested that this was one of the reasons for terrorism here.
Virtually retorting the former Pakistani military ruler, Madani said, "Pakistan ki jitni total population hai, us se zyada population hai Indian Muslims ki. (Population of Muslims in India is more than that total population of Pakistan). You should be knowing this."
When Musharraf said he was aware of it, Madani said "If you know this, then you should also know that Indian muslims have the capability to solve their problems. We don't need your advise. Don't try to alienate Indian muslims by your remarks, here or in Pakistan." The Muslim leader told Musharraf that "India's 70 per cent of population, a conservative estimate as it is actually 90 per cent, stands by Muslims to solve their problems."
Visibly taken aback, Musharraf replied "I am very happy if what you are saying is right. I would be happy if your conditions are better and your problems will be solved."
"...You be happy in your conditions and if what you are saying is true, then there is nobody happier than me," he said.
Madani also referred to Musharraf's earlier suggestion that both ISI and RAW were fomenting terrorism in each other's countries and told him that it amounts to admission that Pakistan is behind terror attacks in India.
"You ruled Pakistan for so long and you agree that this happens from both sides. We don't know about both sides but you have admitted that it (fomenting terrorism) is happening from your side," he told Musharraf.
Apparently agitated by Madani's comments, Musharraf said "I believe in presenting my opinion openly. You should also have the courage to listen as much as I have to speak it. If you don't have it, then I will take my words back."