Mullah Omar beyond Pak control: Mush

Last Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 - 00:54

London: Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar
is beyond Pakistani control, former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf has claimed, describing him as "absolutely
obstinate" and semi-literate.

Claiming that Pakistan should tell US that it has
compulsions of "national interest" in not cracking down on the
Haqqani network, Musharraf told Telegraph that Omar was
semi-literate and not aware of issues of the world.

Apparently indicating that Haqqani terror outfit was
Pakistan`s safe bet in Afghanistan, the former Pakistan
president claimed that Haqqanis were source of terrible lack
of trust and confidence.

Asked if Pakistan needed the support of the powerful
insurgent family led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, he said, "If I was
in government I would certainly be thinking how best to defend
Pakistan`s interest.
National interest compulsion for backing Haqqani

Musharraf said that Pakistan has compulsion of "national
interest" in backing the Haqqani terror network as it fears
intense "exterior maneuvering" in Afghanistan once the US
withdraws from the war-torn country in 2014.

"When the coalition talk of leaving in 2014, Pakistan has
to really think, what will be the environment and fend for
itself against all the exterior pressures, all the exterior
manoeuvrings and political manoeuvrings against Pakistan,"
Musharraf was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph
newspaper.

While backing Pakistan Army`s inaction in moving against
the Haqqani network havens in north Waziristan, Musharraf
claimed that the "United States doesn?t understand the
sensitivities of Pakistan - that the United States is in
league with India, that Indians are allowed to do whatever
they are doing in Afghanistan.

Visualising the possibility of a free for all mayhem in
Afghanistan post-US forces withdrawal, the former Pakistani
military ruler indicated that the Haqqani faction was
Islamabad`s best bet, as he revealed for the first time that
the Taliban chief Mullah Omar was "beyond Pakistani control".

"The United States must accept the compulsions of
Pakistan," Musharraf, who has plans to make a political
comeback in his country said, while admitting that the
relations between US and Pakistan was now "very poor" and
suffered from "lack of trust and confidence" with ?faults on
both sides".

His comments comes in the wake of charges made by topmost
American military commander Mike Mullen that Haqqani network
was the "veritable arm" of Pakistan`s military intelligence
ISI, which was using it as a "proxy" in Afghanistan.

Musharraf said Pakistan must "talk straight" about what
their national interest is viz a viz, why are they not acting
against Haqqani in North Waziristan [his stronghold], viz a
viz was there any complicity in Osama bin Laden being found in
Abbottabad."

Asked about post-US forces withdrawal scenario in
Afghanistan, the former Pakistan military ruler said, one in
which there was total mayhem and a free for all with ?every
ethnic group fighting each other.

On the other hand, if the Taliban managed to unite under
one leader, civil war could ensue.

But he proposed that a best solution for the waring
nation would be to have ethnically representative,
proportionally balanced, national government that recognised
the strength of the Pashtuns.

"If I was in government I would certainly be thinking how
best to defend Pakistan`s interests. Certainly, if Afghanistan
is being used by India to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan,
we would like to prevent that," the former Pakistan president
said when asked if Islamabad needed the support of the
powerful insurgent family led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and linked
to the Taliban.

"The United States must understand Pakistan has its own
national interest. The United States must accept the
compulsions of Pakistan and give assurances," Musharraf told
the The Telegraph.

He said Pakistan must spell out to the world why it’s not
acting against the Haqqani group as it is in its national
interest.

According to the report, Musharraf dismissed suggestions
that the Pakistani military had colluded in hiding al Qaeda
leader Osama bin Laden, but said the incident was "most
embarrassing and negligence of a shameful order".

The former president said that if he was in power he
believed the Americans would have told him about their plans
to carry out the covert operation against bin Laden in
advance.

"I`m a straight talker and I accept straight talk,"
he said.

He said the distrust between the US and Pakistan has
increased by drone attacks on the tribal areas, the killing of
bin Laden and tensions over Raymond Davis, the CIA agent who
shot dead two alleged robbers in Lahore earlier this year.

"Are we some jungle people that you can do anything with?
This is the feeling of the people of Pakistan. Are we some
animal that they are treating us like this? We are a sovereign
country and we have our own human rights."

He said the relationship with Britain was "a little
better but not good".

He said Prime Minister David Cameron`s comments about
Pakistan`s failure to take on terrorism during a visit to
India were "very, very negative".

"Isn`t it naive that if you are going to India and you
are supposed to be a world power, you are lecturing Pakistan
that Pakistan needs to do more on terror. This is terrible,
this is not good diplomacy at all. Britain we know to be very
good diplomats but this is not good diplomacy," the former
Pakistani strongman said.

Musharraf admitted he had had an almost openly hostile
relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"As time passed I realised that President Hamid Karzai is
playing more in the hands of Indians who were trying to create
an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan," he said.

PTI




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