|HOME | NEWS | INTERVIEW|
|September 6, 2002||
The Rediff Interview/Pervez Musharraf
Though both Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will leave for New York next week for the United Nations General Assembly, the chances of their meeting each other are negligible.
India has stood firm on its stance of refusing a dialogue with Pakistan unless it halts cross-border terrorism, while General Musharraf has made it clear that he had given no timeframe to stop infiltration across the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.
Holding India responsible for the lack of movement on Kashmir, the military dictator maintains that he expects some reciprocation from New Delhi to resolve the issue.
In an interview with Suzzana Price for BBC World, Gen Musharraf said the involvement of Al Qaeda and the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, was not ruled out in the recent attacks on Christians in Pakistan.
Aren't you just trying to strengthen your powers before the October election?
Not at all. This is a total misperception of whatever I am trying to do. I know the politicians say that and the media but they couldn't be further from the truth. If I was to take power into myself as a person I would not make the national security council. I would just remove the 13th amendment and I have the power to dismiss the assembly. Why would I want 12 more people to sit with me to decide this?
This was futuristic because I am not a permanent feature of this country somebody else is going to be president. As I said he can be a docile man, not acting when things are going wrong, he may be an impulsive man, over reacting when things are not going wrong. We are addressing all these issues. So it is tailor made for the Pakistani environment. Democracy does not have a set formula, the democracy in Britain is not the same as here. We need to adapt it [to] our own requirements.
Former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto are still the most talked about -- wouldn't it be best to let them come back and contest the election and to let people decide on the basis of their records?
Yes they are talked about -- but when you are talking about their coming back and the people deciding. People have already decided. How much experimentation should we go along with? This nation has had these two for 11 years and the proof of these 11 years -- all facts and figures are right in front of us. Why should any sane person -- why should one allow them to participate in these elections? Why should we even take a chance that they should come back and again one of them becomes the PM?
You've given your assurances that militants are no longer crossing over the dividing Line of Control in Kashmir. But given the current stalemate between India and Pakistan is that an assurance that will last or is there a time limit on it?
Well we haven't given any time limits, I've said nothing is happening across the Line of Control, but, of course, one can imagine that unless there is some progress, some movement on Kashmir, some response, some reciprocation from the Indian side how long can -- we know there is a lot of sympathy for Kashmiris here, lot of support for the Kashmiris here, -- how long will all this remain quiet for no movement on Kashmir?
How worried are you about reports that Al Qaeda are now crossing into Pakistan and do you believe they could be behind these attacks on foreigners and Christians here?
As far as their coming into Pakistan, yes to a degree it causes anxiety, especially their coming in and getting into the cities like we caught some of them from Faislabad and Lahore. That is bad because they carry out destabilisation within the cities so that is a worrisome act.
But I don't think this is widespread. I think they are more on the borders, if at all they are there. They are there, yes in a certain number which I can't specify. Their involvement in the terrorist acts here, there is no surety as yet. There are some indication that maybe in one of the acts there was some foreign involvement. But when we talk of foreign element there is possibility of Al Qaeda, possibility of RAW involvement, India involvement also is there.We are trying to examine, but this is more our own extremists I think.
The extremists are very unhappy about you abandoning the Taliban. Do you think they pose a threat to your government still?
They don't pose any threat to the government. They are just extremists, they can undertake extremists acts but you will see in these elections that they have no place in the politics. They are not supported by the public at large.
Kind courtesy: BBC World
Design: Dominic Xavier
|Tell us what you think of this interview|
HOME | NEWS | CRICKET | MONEY | SPORTS | MOVIES | CHAT | BROADBAND | TRAVEL
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS | SEARCH
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK