The Gen­eral Speaks

Southasia - - Briefing -

While talk­ing to an In­dian news chan­nel, former Pres­i­dent of Pak­istan, Gen­eral (Retd.) Pervez Mushar­raf ve­he­mently re­sponded to tough ques­tions re­gard­ing the Pak­istani mil­i­tary. Speak­ing live from Lon­don, Mushar­raf as­serted that the In­dian me­dia was fabri­cat­ing sto­ries against Pak­istan’s armed forces to tar­nish the im­age of the coun­try. The in­ter­view heated up when Mushar­raf was asked about the lack of ef­forts by Pak­istan to con­tain Lashkar-eTaiba and other ex­trem­ist fac­tions. The former Pres­i­dent shot back by ask­ing why the In­dian government had failed to do the same against Shiv Sena.

The in­ter­view was aired at a time when the ten­sion be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan had es­ca­lated fol­low­ing In­dia’s vi­o­la­tion of the Line of Con­trol (LoC). On the pur­ported al­le­ga­tion of the Pak­istani army mu­ti­lat­ing bod­ies of In­dian sol­diers, the ex-army chief opened all can­nons to de­fend the army he once led. Fur­ther­more, he as­serted that the Pak­istan army would never con­duct such a bar­baric act. Mushar­raf con­fi­dently re­it­er­ated that the Pak­istan army be­lieves in set­tling all dis­putes with In­dia, which in­cludes the Kash­mir is­sue.

The former pres­i­dent, known for his pres­ence of mind and as­sertive­ness, did not evade any ques­tion. How­ever, he chose not to dis­cuss Hafiz Saeed, the al­leged mas­ter­mind be­hind the Mum­bai at­tacks. Mushar­raf has given tele­vised in­ter­views be­fore but this par­tic­u­lar heated in­ter­ac­tion with an In­dian tele­vi­sion chan­nel caught at­ten­tion and the an­chor­per­son, hav­ing been ren­dered al­most speech­less by the gen­eral’s ver­bal bar­rage, de­cided to end the pro­gram be­fore time.

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