'Pak trained militant underground groups to fight in Kashmir against India': Musharraf

Berlin, Oct 5 (ANI): In a startling revelation that would vindicate India's stand, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that Pakistan trained underground militant groups to fight against India in Kashmir, because it felt that was the only way to bring India to address the issue.

In an interview to der Spiegel, Musharraf admitted that Pakistan had "indeed formed" militant underground groups to fight India in Kashmir, adding, "The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir."

"The West was ignoring the resolution of the Kashmir issue, which is the core issue of Pakistan. We expected the West-especially the United States and important countries like Germany -- to resolve the Kashmir issue. Has Germany done that?" he added.

When asked if that (the West ignoring the Kashmir issue) gave Pakistan the right to train underground fighters, Musharraf said, "Yes, it is the right of any country to promote its own interests when India is not prepared to discuss Kashmir at the United Nations, and is not prepared to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner."

In reply to another question whether he regretted anything, like his secret Kargil Operation, which led to an armed conflict with India in 1999, his arbitrary changes to Pakistan's constitution, or his oft-criticized mild treatment of religious militants, he replied that the West blamed Pakistan for everything.

"Nobody asks the Indian prime minister, Why did you arm your country with a nuclear weapon? Why are you killing innocent civilians in Kashmir? Nobody was bothered that Pakistan got split in 1971 because of India's military backing for Bangladesh (which declared independence from Pakistan that year)," he said, adding, "The United States and Germany gave statements, but they didn't mean anything. Everybody is interested in strategic deals with India, but Pakistan is always seen as the rogue."

He dismissed Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's claims that the Pakistani army monitored and organized deals with countries like North Korea and Iran.

"That is wrong, absolutely wrong. Mr. Khan is a characterless man," he said. (ANI)

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