LAHORE, Oct 28:
In deeply embarrassing remarks for Pakistan, former President Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that his country supported and trained terror groups like the LeT in 1990s for fanning militancy in Kashmir.
The 72-year-old former military ruler also asserted that terror leaders like Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were Pakistan’s “heroes” but later became “villains”.
“In 1990s the freedom struggle began in Kashmir…At that time Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and 11 or 12 other organisations were formed. We supported them and trained them as they were fighting in Kashmir at the cost of their lives,” Musharraf said in a recent interview to Dunya News.
The former army chief’s remarks came while responding to a question about demand for action against LeT’s Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
He said Saeed and Lakhvi-type people enjoyed the status of heroes at that time.
“The Kashmiri freedom fighters including Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were our heroes at that time. Later on the religious militancy turned into terrorism. Now they (referring to militants in Pakistan) are killing their own people here and this should be controlled and stopped,” he said.
Asked whether Saeed and Lakhvi should also be “controlled and stopped”, Musharraf said, “No comments.”
Musharraf said that “religious militancy” was started by Pakistan which brought militants from all over the world to fight against Soviet forces.
He said in 1979 Pakistan was in favour of religious militancy.
“We trained Taliban and sent them to fight against Russia. Taliban, Haqqani, Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were our heroes then. Later they became villains,” he said, adding that people need to understand the whole environment at that time.
Musharraf’s admissions come as India has been repeatedly stating that Pakistan has a hand in fanning militancy in India and harbouring terrorists for anti-India activities.
Meanwhile, a “huge” transaction was made from the account of one of the seven accused in the 2008 Mumbai attack case, a banker today told a Pakistani anti- terrorism court holding the trial.
The banker, a Customs Department official and a magistrate recorded their statements before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad which is currently holding the in-camera hearing at the high-security Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.
“The banker testified in the court about the transaction involving huge money made from the account of Shahid Jamil. He presented documentary proof in this regard in the court,” a court source said after the hearing.
Earlier, the prosecution had established that Jamil used the money for terror activity.
The Customs official of the port city of Karachi submitted evidence to the court about the boats the alleged terrorists used to reach Mumbai, the source said, adding that the magistrate told the court about recording the statement of a witness who testified against one of the accused.
The court adjourned the hearing till November 4.
Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi and LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Sadiq, Shahid Jamil, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum were arrested in 2009 for their alleged role in the attacks that left 166 people dead and over 300 injured.
Lakhvi, 55, secured bail last December and was subsequently released from the Adiala Jail on April 10 after the Lahore High Court set aside the Government’s order to detain him under a Public Security Act.
He is currently out on bail and living at an undisclosed location. (PTI)
LAHORE, Oct 28: