'India wants to pump in terrorists into Pakistan'
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has alleged that it is not Pakistan that is carrying out a proxy war against India in Afghanistan, but the other way around, with the Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad, veritable offices of the Indian intelligence, the Research and Analysis Wing, to foment terrorism in Pakistan.
During an interaction at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs in the Clinton administration Karl Inderfurth asked Musharraf as to why both Pakistan and India -- that have interests in Afghanistan -- cannot eschew fighting proxy wars and endeavour toward proxy peace.
Musharraf immediately shot back, "But who is initiating the proxy war is the first question. I am for Pakistan obviously, but please don't think that I am saying all this to protect Pakistan."
"I know there are many Indians sitting here, but unless we face facts and we fight this terrorism, this unity of thought and action, we will fail," he said.
Musharraf said, "There is an Indian consulate in Kandahar and in Jalalabad. Why are these two there on the Pakistan border? Is there an Indian community there? Is India doing some trade there?
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Image: Pervez Musharraf
'Why does India need 2 consulates near Pak border?'
"What is the interest of India in these two consulates," he asked, and answering his rhetorical question himself, said, "Nothing other than carrying out, aiding, abetting terrorism in Pakistan -- stabbing Pakistan in the back."
Musharraf said, "I have documentary evidence of this. I know Indian intelligence, RAW is coming into these consulates, I know the construction activity of roads that they are doing, and I have been telling President (Hamid) Karzai, don't give construction activities for Indians on our border. They could go anywhere in the interior or in the West or anywhere. We will build the roads for your."
But he said Karzai was adamant that the India should build there, and according to Musharraf, this facilitated RAW agents to operate from there 'because they want to pump in terrorists into Pakistan'.
'We are being stabbed in the back'
The erstwhile military dictator alleged that 'all training of Afghan diplomats, police, military, intelligence, takes place in India. I have been offering everything to Karzai', but the Afghan president would always say he wants nothing from Pakistan, but only from India.
Thus, Musharraf reiterated, "What is happening is, we are being stabbed in the back. So what does Pakistan do? What should the ISI do? ISI is supposed to protect Pakistan's interests."
For all of Musharraf's assertions, there has been credible evidence -- confirmed by the CIA -- that it was the ISI that was behind the suicide bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul a few years ago, and other attacks aimed against Indian personnel and property in Afghanistan.
But Musharraf said it was imperative that 'the United States must understand what is happening. And, let me say -- and I have said this openly to everyone -- help Pakistan in stopping all this. There must not be a proxy war here. I totally agree, but please understand who's doing it and why it's done'.
'US needs to develop a better understanding of ISI and Pakistani army'
Musharraf also said, "The United States needs to develop a better understanding of the ISI and (Pakistani) army, instead of blaming the army and the ISI for collaborating with the Taliban. I don't understand why this is done."
"On one side, the army has suffered 2,500 dead at the hands of the same Taliban. So, they are killing the army men and you are blaming the army," he lamented. "So, I don't understand this. They are killing the ISI personnel -- about 300 dead and out of about eight or 10 bomb attacks on ISI offices all over Pakistan. Yet, you are blaming that they are collaborating with the Taliban."
Musharraf urged the US not to engage in micro-management and to leave this to Pakistan.
"Be concerned with their intentions that they don't want Taliban and Al Qaeda. And, be concerned with their strategic delivery."
"But don't micromanage policy. They understand who to talk to, how to talk," he added.