KARACHI: Defending 2007 Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad, Former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday said Lal Masjid operation and the incumbent government’s crackdown on participants of Islamabad sit-in had no comparison, ARY News reported.
“In Lal Masjid, terrorists had entered in diplomatic enclave. They had killed policemen and assaulted the then environmental minister. It was a completely different scenario,” he said talking to ARY News program 11th Hour host.
Lal Masjid operation was a proper action and if any government faced the same situation again they should deal it the same way, he said.
This should be noted that in clash between Islamabad sit-in protestors and police, one policeman was killed and dozens other injured, while one minister was also injured in a attack.
Musharraf said Lal Masjid operation was 200 percent correct. “If you want to turn Pakistan into a banana republic where anybody could distrub law and order situation then it was not my kind of person. I would not have allowed such a thing to take place. I had to preserve Pakistan’s respect,” he said.
To a query, the former army chief conceded that Lal Masjid operation had a serious fallout on his political career. But, he said, it was motivated out of misleading speeches of Moulvis who blamed that a large number of casualties had taken place in the operation and many women and children were shot dead.
It is pertinent here to mention that more than 100 people were killed and over 200 injured as a result of the Lal Masjid operation.
To another query, Musharraf was of the opinion that Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan had bleak chance of success in the coming elections. He said Imran was under the same illusion in 2002 that he would secure 100 seats in elections and when elections took place he won only one seat of the National Assembly from his hometown, Mianwali.
“He had said ‘there is a groundswell in my favor’. These are not my words. These were said by the PTI leader,” he said.