Former Pakistan President and army chief General Parvez Musharraf has confessed that his country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has associations with terrorist leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, the alleged mastermind of July 2008 attack on India embassy in Kabul.
In interview to a German newspaper Der Spiegel, Musharraf said that for release of Pakistan’s Afghanistan ambassador kidnapped by Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, ISI “used Haqqani’s influence”.
“Haqqani is the man who has influence over Baitullah Mehsud, a dangerous terrorist, the fiercest commander in South Waziristan and the murderer of Benazir Bhutto, as we know today,” Musharraf said.
“Mehsud kidnapped our Ambassador in Kabul, and our intelligence used Haqqani’s influence to get him released. Now that does not mean that Haqqani is supported by us. The intelligence service is using certain enemies against other enemies. And it is better to tackle them one by one than making them all enemies,” he said.
The former president also hinted at ISI having supported Taliban, saying, “intelligence always has access to other networks – that is what Americans did with KGB, that is what ISI also does.”
He accused India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of arming and financing rebels in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
He claimed there were “many Indian extremists who have extremists in Pakistan”. There is “an Indian element” behind the current situation in Pakistan.
Musharraf opposed US President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan policy and said that he disliked the term “Af-Pak”.
“I am totally against the term Af Pak. We are not. Afghanistan has no government and the country is completely destabilised. Pakistan is not.”
“Second, and this is much more important, is that there is an Indian element in the whole game. We have the Kashmir struggle, without which extremist elements like Lashkar-e-Taiba would not exist.”
The former president rejected fears for his country’s stability and was sure Pakistan won’t fall apart as long as Army and the intelligence were “intact and strong”.