Pakistan's former military ruler and former President Pervez Musharraf admitted on Thursday that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar is a terrorist and is behind all the bomb blasts that have been occurred in Pak. However, he did not give a clear reply as to why Pakistan has not been asking China to get Masood declared as an International terrorist. "Why should China be involved when it has nothing to do with him," he said. While talking to News Nation, Musharraf also said Pakistan has always progressed under the military rule.
Here are the top quotes from Musharraf's interview on News Nation-
# If you do an 'East Pakistan', attacks like Pathankot will continue to happen. Such acts are a fallout of that.
# China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be beneficial to Pakistan's growth.
# Pakistan is a nuclear state with a strong army. It can't be bullied through 'surgical strikes'.
# My deliberation with former Indian prime minister AB Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh and we had mutually agreed upon the issue of Sir Creek and Siachen. Navies of both the countries had demarcated the boundaries. The army too had mutually agreed upon their controlled areas. A formal pact in this regards is yet to be inked.
# A four-point agenda suggested by me on the Kashmir issue is still relevant. Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh had agreed that Kashmir is a disputed territory. Being a big country, India should also show a big heart.
# PM Modi's impromptu visit to Pakistan to wish Nawaz Sharif on his birthday is just an artificial gesture. Some concrete steps are needed to improve ties between the two countries.
# On detention of Pak high commission staffer on espionage charges: These things happen. We also nab Indian spies.
# Pakistan is not Bhutan. It has to be dealt with priority.
# Due to the diplomatic failure of the incumbent government, Pakistan has been isolated.
# On straining Pak-US ties: There are certain contentious issues the Pakistan Army is dealing with and it will be solved amicably.
# There is no your terrorist and my terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist. Those fighting in Kashmir are not terrorists. Pakistan calls them mujahideen.
# Burhan Wani was a young leader not a terrorist.
# Masood Azhar and those who were hiding in Lal Masjid were terrorists but Hafiz Saeed and Syyed Salahuddin are not.
# Musharraf refuses to comment on Gen Raheel Sharif taking over as a military ruler but says Pakistan had better growth trajectory under military rule.
#India must not behave as a ' big brother ' and force the smaller nations in the region to support its agenda.
#When asked about the ongoing unrest in Balochistan, Sindh and PoK, he tried to turn the focus of his reply by referring to Kashmir and the slain terrorist Burhan Wani.
#When asked on the 'surgical strike' and military might of India he said, Pakistan is a nuke power with a strong army which can’t be bullied.
Who is Pervez Musharraf?
Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani military ruler, also governed the country as a President from 2001 until tendering resignation to avoid impeachment in 2008. Musharraf then remained in self-imposed exile for several years and returned to his homeland in 2013 to participate in the general elections
Considering Pakistan's foreign policy, Musharraf is the most outspoken leader of the lot and has spoken on various topics in the past 10 months.
No stranger to controversies
The controversial leader had recently stated that democracy was not tailored to his country’s environment and the army has always had a role since independence mainly because of misgovernance by all the so-called democratically-elected governments.
Hardline stand on Balochistan
Musharraf doesn't seem to favour a softened approach when it comes to the unrest in Balochistan. Recently, Musharraf even asked the Indian government not to provide asylum to Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti calling him a terrorist.
“I totally condemn it, he shouldn’t be given any asylum. He’s a terrorist. You can’t demand that your terrorists are our terrorists but our terrorists are not your terrorists,” Musharraf had said in an interview in September.
Bugti had approached the Permanent Mission of India in Geneva for filing asylum papers.
In January, Musharraf was acquitted by an anti-terrorism court in the 2006 murder case of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the first major relief to the ex-army chief entangled in several high-profile cases.