KARACHI:(APS) Former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Thursday termed recognition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan a blunder on part of Pakistan but blamed the West and United States for the birth of Al Qaeda and leaving Pakistan high and dry after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Speaking at the Youth Parliament Convention here, he said Pakistan suffered due to wrong policies of the US as the country had to fight on two fronts simultaneously in 1979, which led to an increase in the size of the armed forces.
Musharraf said efforts have been made to destabilise Pakistan right from 50s and 60s era.
“Some say Taliban are our children and we created them… but it’s not true,” said the former president.
Union in 1979 and subsequently the Soviets were defeated and evacuated Afghanistan in 1989.
Musharraf regretted that Mujahideen were not looked after following their ‘utilisation’ against the Soviets. He said Taliban who were fighting in Afghanistan were ethnic Pakhtuns and that identity was given to them by Pakistan.
He, however, admitted that recognising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was a blunder on Pakistan’s part.
‘Constitutional role for Army’
Commenting on prevailing political situation, the former military dictator said that Army must have a constitutional role in Pakistan. Political parties do not take better decisions in the greater interest of the nation and democratic governments have never performed well in Pakistan, he claimed.
“Progress was only made during Ayub Khan’s regime besides mine.”
Musharraf claimed that military governments in Pakistan have always worked for the progress of the country. He said policies evolve according to changing environment and country’s interest comes first.
“Protests and sit-ins start when justice is not delivered to the masses,” said the ex-army chief.
“Without accountability, no political system can sustain. When the country is in turmoil then there should be a check and balance system in place for the government.”
“No one knows what real democracy means,” the former military ruler said.
Musharraf also said that sectarianism and separatism should be dealt separately in the country. He vowed to rid the nation from corruption if he comes into power.