LONDON/KARACHI: Former President of Pakistan and former Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf on Sunday said that the foremost responsibility of the army is the defence of the nation.
Musharraf, while speaking to ARY News Program ‘Sawal Yeh Hai’, when asked about advice he would like to give to the Army Chief-deignate General Qamar Javed Bajwa, said that it was an enormous responsibility to command the armed forces and also the defence of the country.
“As long as he keeps Pakistan first, he will never make a mistake,” he advised. Musharraf said that the Army should assess their readiness across the border against Indian aggression and act whenever necessary.
He further said that the new Army Chief should deal with terrorism and take a holistic view of the issue, which is not limited to FATA or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but also the prevalence of extremism and sectarianism in the province of Punjab and Balochistan.
He was of the opinion that Pakistan faces more serious internal than external problems, as India cannot dare think of any adventurism, but internal problems are more pressing and need to be addressed.
When asked that about the comments of former Indian army chief Bikram Singh that he had worked with General Bajwa during a UN mission, Musharraf said that he also worked with Indian officers but it was necessary that the information be utilised properly.
Bikram Singh had said that India should be careful with Gen. Bajwa and watch his approach, as strategies change when in command of the armed forces as compared to a UN mission.
Musharraf agreed and said that the policies of the Army and their strategies do not change with the change of command.He said that army had smooth transitions including when he handed over the command to Gen. Kiyani in 2007.
He said that he does not remember working personally with Gen. Bajwa who was a junior brigadier during his tenure, but the Rawalpindi Corps is a powerful one which was responsible for his security as well.
‘Modi’s plan against Pakistan will backfire’
The former President said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants but to pressurise Pakistan, but his plans will backfire. “Modi is not sincere and had struck himself in the back,” he said.
He said that the threats to block the water to Pakistan are mere hollow slogans. but the water issue is a serious one and Pakistan should seriously consider it. However it was not easy for India to violate the treaties and build dams to block the water to Pakistan.
“If India wants war then we are ready for it, and if they want peace then we should reconsider it,” he said. However, he said that India is presently not in a mood for reconciliation but rather confrontation.
He revealed that that both countries came very close to war in 2002, but now it was time to give a befitting reply and then speak with them.
‘Will not lead any ethnic party’
Musharaff said that there was no doubts over the Panama Papers against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and the Sharif brothers were being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau during his tenure and came close to it. Musharraf said that he thinks that whatever happened in Qatar and Saudi Arabia took place between 2001 and 2016.
He admitted that he was still not fully recovered and was facing recurring chronic back pain issues, and had been recommended medical advice by doctors, and if someone has any doubts then he will present his medical reports.
Lastly, he said that he was not in favour of joining or leading any ethnic political party, but wanted to unite those divided by ethnicity under one single banner. However, he said that they should make the efforts and he will play his role in this regard.