Pakistan is doing enough against terrorism: Musharraf

Pak`s ex-military ruler insists that Army wants to defeat Qaeda and Taliban.

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2010, 10:05 AM IST

Washington: Pakistan`s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Sunday lashed out at the international community for endlessly blaming Islamabad for not doing enough against terrorists, saying the world should understand that his country was battling against many fronts, including the problem of extremism within the society.

"Pakistan has always been accused of not doing enough, but I totally disagree with this statement. Pakistan is doing enough," Musharraf said in an interview to the ABC news.

Insisting that the Pakistan Army wants to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban, the former president questioned the allegation that the military was not doing enough, pointing out that it had suffered over 2,000 casualties.

"There are many, many fronts that we are battling against. I think we should be proud of that Army which is battling against al Qaeda, against Taliban, against Taliban spreading into settled districts," he said.

Defending the Army`s tactics in North Waziristan where the US is pushing Pakistan to launch an offensive, Musharraf said the fact that the military was going slow in the troubled region does not mean it was not doing enough on all fronts.

"Now how they intend doing it, what is their plan, as you are saying, that they are not doing enough in North Waziristan? To at least say that they are not doing enough in North Waziristan, but don`t generalise the statement that Pakistan army is not doing enough," he said.

He also took strong exception to reports that the ISI continues to give sustenance and support to the Taliban.

"I take very strong exception to these statements which have been going on may be since 2004 because of a misunderstanding of ground realities," he said.

Musharraf said he had always insisted that after defeating the Taliban after 9/11, a change in strategy was needed to bring peace, a stand that stands vindicated now.

"We need to go in for deals... So my strategy always was to strike a deal, strike a deal to win away Pashtun from the Taliban. This is, in my view, are vindicated now when everyone is talking of going into some political agreements with moderate Taliban," he said in an apparent reference to the latest round of peace talks between the representatives of the Taliban and the Hamid Karzai government.

Musharraf acknowledged that Pakistan was facing the problem of extremism in the society, and asserted that the need was to understand the causes behind terrorism.

"So we must understand problems, and they`re what hurts Pakistan, and every leader in Pakistan is certainly when they are blamed... Everyone in the world starts blaming them, while we are suffering casualties.”

"We are suffering hundreds of people dying from bomb blasts and suicide bombs, and yet we are the rogues.”

"Let Pakistan alone, and let us deal with the situation. It`s critical," he said.

He said the vast majority of Pakistanis would want the Taliban and al Qaeda defeated.

"But when you ask them about United States and the coalition forces in Afghanistan or the attacks across the border, certainly 100 per cent will oppose it.”

"This is because of what they have suffered historically and what is going on and a lack of understanding on both sides of the ground reality," Musharraf said.

PTI