Militants In Kashmir Have Links With Taliban: Musharraf

9 December 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Jammu: Former military ruler of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has confirmed that the militant outfits operating in Kashmir have joined hands with the Taliban, a terrorist group that has its operational area both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Musharraf, the architect of Kargil war in 1999 had staged a coup in October that year and had become the military ruler of Pakistan. He was engaged in promoting terrorism in Kashmir and Afghanistan. The attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 took place when he was the ruler of Pakistan. It is for the first time that any Pakistani leader has admitted a direct link between the Taliban and militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad of Pakistani origin. Musharraf made this revelation in an interview to the Urdu service of the BBC on Tuesday, excerpts of which were published in Dawn newspaper of Pakistan on Wednesday. He has been quoted as saying, 'Kashmiri Mujahideen allied with the Taliban after the 9-11 tragedy,' a reference to the terror attack in New York and Washington DC by the Al-Qaida in which more than 3,000 people were killed. The newspaper goes on to say that Musharraf also stated that he had warned the Kashmiri 'freedom fighters' about what he called an alliance with 'extremists' but they joined hands with the Taliban which led to the 'mess'. The General did not elaborate on the mess. What Musharraf told the BBC was known to the world long ago. Former CIA official and expert on strategic affairs Bruce Riedel had observed that the IC 814 was hijacked by the Jaish-e-Mohammad with the active support of the Al-Qaida. The hijacked airport was parked in Kandahar, ruled by the Taliban. Musharraf has also proved himself as a master of doublespeak. After 9-11, he had made a fervent speech condemning the 9-11 attacks and offered his complete support to the US. He had claimed that Pakistan would help America destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan and its hideouts on its side of the Durand Line. This latest interview has come at a time when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is in Pakistan, attending the Heart of Asia conference to restore peace in the terrorism-plagued Afghanistan where Taliban factions have made much of the country ungovernable by the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah. Sushma has sought cooperation of all in ending the menace of terrorism.