Musharraf's U-turn, says Pak did not create militant groups



London: In a volte-face, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said that all terror outfits in his country came into existence on their own, days after admitting that Islamabad had trained underground militant groups to fight in Kashmir.

"All these 'Mujahideen' groups got created on their own. I've never said that and there was a little misunderstanding in what I was saying, that got politicised in Pakistan and then people writing in India. But that's not the case," Musharraf told an Indian TV channel.

His remarks came in response to a question on his interview to German magazine Der Spiegel during which he said that Pakistan had created the underground militant groups to fight against India in Kashmir.

"I'm not that naive to pass such a comment. There is no question of the army, intelligence or the ISI creating 'Mujahideen' groups, training them and sending them in. That's not the case and it does not require to be done.

"There is a huge public sympathy in Pakistan and there are thousands of people who are volunteers to go to Kashmir and to fight for their Kashmiri brothers. I would say the Indian government should realise that they must stop atrocities in Kashmir," Musharraf told CNN-IBN.

The former President, who has been living in London in self-imposed exile for nearly two years, said all the 'Mujahideen' groups get strengthened because "people want to go to Kashmir themselves."

"It does not require the army or the intelligence to do anything. Therefore what I said was that happening in the past and I did not at all said about the army and ISI. Hizbul Mujahideen group was created in your part of Kashmir and then they ran away from there," he said.

To a question on the Kashmir issue, Musharraf said it was a "tough nut" to crack because it needs courage on both sides.

"I've been saying it needs sincerity on both sides by leaders and government on both sides. It needs flexibility by both sides, because never neither of sides can think of giving everything or taking everything. It has to be give and take," he said, adding "boldness" is required to settle the issue.

"They will have obviously to give something to the other side. Both the sides should give something to the other to meet in the middle somewhere," Musharraf said.

PTI