Tuesday, March 21, 2023

‘Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were 80’s heroes’


General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Friday said that the founder of Al-Qaeda  Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were heroes of 1980s when they were fighting against the then Soviet Union in Afghanistan, ARY News reported.


Speaking exclusively to ARY News, Musharraf said that Pakistan supported the jihadis in Afghanistan in 80’s because of its own interest and not to serve US interests.

“Russia (Soviet Union) and Afghan forces were trying to get access to warm waters and it was in our own interest to defeat  Russian forces then. Osama Bin Laden was 80’s hero, Zawahiri was 80’s hero, now the situation is different… they (the militants) turned towards international terrorism, should we support them now?” Musharraf said while answering a question.

The interviewer had asked him about Pakistan’s policy shift in dealing with the militants as Pakistan supported them in war against Soviets while has launched an operation against them after 9/11 when Musharraf was heading the army and the state.

“We must understand that policies are never constant, only a failed state has a constant policy, a state (whose policy makers are) aware of the circumstances surrounding it changes its policy according to changing circumstances and environment, only interest remains constant,” explained Musharraf.

The former president maintained that the US forces left Afghanistan for militants to “prepare for 9/11”.

He added that after 9/11 the whole world wanted action against the Taliban but even after a “military victory” in the state, the lack of political solution is a major hurdle in the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

“They (US ) should analyze why they’ve failed in Afghanistan, if US leaves Afghanistan today, Taliban will take over,” said Musharraf.

Jhadav a bigger terrorist than Ajmal Kasab

Speaking about the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav’s matter and the International Court of Justice order, Musharraf opined that Pakistan should not have even appeared in the court as its a matter of national security.

“None has the right to dictate us about our security,” said Musharraf.

The former COAS maintained that Kulbhushan Jhadav was involved in espionage and sabotage activities and was a bigger criminal than Ajmal Kasab (the suspect India executed in 2008 Mumbai attacks case).

“Kasab was just a pawn but Jhadav was fueling terrorism and may have killed a number of people in sabotage activities,” said Musharraf.


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