Ex-Pak Army Gen for making an example of Musharraf as dictator

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Islamabad, Jun 3 (UNI) A retired Pakistan army General has stressed the need for making an example of President Pervez Musharraf to block the emergence of future dictators in the country.

Musharraf had committed basic mistakes such as the Kargil debacle, surrender to the US threat of pushing Pakistan into the stone age and the Lal Masjid destruction, retired Lt Gen (retd) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani told a television channel yesterday.

No power could stay in the face of the power of the people, said Gen (retd) Kiyani during a late evening talk show on Geo TV.

Once a close aide of President Musharraf, he said he had seen the period of (Field Marshal) Ayub Khan, who could not face the wrath of the people.

When asked whether the Army was with Musharraf, he replied the armymen would never say anything about it and such things were never discussed in the Army.

Gen (retd) Kiyani said the referendum Musharraf held for himself in 2002 was a fake exercise as General Zia-ul-Haq did the same during his rule.

He added Musharraf was clearly told about this mistake and afterwards he accepted it.

Regarding the 1971 war, the former Corps Commander of Rawalpindi said, he was on the eastern border but never became a prisoner of war.

He said there was no doubt that excesses were committed against the people of Bengal. The retired General held the then General Yahya Khan responsible for the same.

''General A K Niazi totally failed in East Pakistan and his role was very embarrassing, which is a matter of regret,'' Geo TV quoted him as saying.

He claimed according to his information, the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not knew anything about the Kargil episode. He was never thoroughly briefed on the same.

Gen Kiyani supported holding of a probe into the Kargil fiasco, adding factors behind the scene, about which people do not know, would also come into the limelight.

Asked what was his plan, General Kiyani said he had briefed Nawaz Sharif and told him that it was a very sensitive issue and he could not unveil all the details to him. He was only apprised of the ongoing situation.

Mr Sharif time and again asked about the truth from senior officials including the then foreign minister Sartaj Aziz and also tried to persuade the Chief of the Army staff.

Gen Kiyani said, ''Our Jawans (soldiers) bravely fought the Kargil War. I think they revived the memories of the 1965 war. Our officers fought more fiercely than in the 1965 War and repulsed enemy attacks time and again.'' ''Despite the fact that supplies were disrupted due to extreme cold, the Jawans continued the war. The arguments will come up when there will be a probe,'' he added.

The retired General termed Sharif's travel to the US a bid to save the prestige of the Pakistan Army.

He said in the meeting of May 17, 1999 Nawaz gave a green signal to the operation. He assured conditional support to General Musharraf that the government would back the operation when he successfully moved forward.

If unfortunately the same failed, he (Sharif) would not be in a position to support him (Musharraf). When the army was caught in an awkward situation, he again travelled to the US to save the symbol of the country, the Pakistan Army, he added.

To a question about the use of nuclear weapons in the war, General Kiyani said the war could have not been kept limited to the Kargil sector or a particular front particularly when the two countries possessed nuclear weapons.

UNI XC RJ NS1517

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