Former Pakistan president Musharraf questions Modi's will to resolve Kashmir issue
Pervez Musharraf. (File photo) Photograph: (Zee News Network)
Pervez Musharraf, the tenth President of Pakistan who was forced to tender his resignation in 2008, said India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the mandate to resolve the Kashmir issue but questioned his political will to do so.
Musharraf, who spearheaded the Kargil infiltration that sparked a full-blown war in 1998 between the two South Asian countries, told WION's Palki Sharma that he believes Modi is best placed to end the decades-long conflict due to his international standing and overwhelming domestic mandate that he has in India.
"Unfortunately, he needs to have the will himself (to resolve the Kashmir issue)," Musharraf said.
"He is extremely offensively. Look at the statements against Pakistan. India talks of destabilsing Pakistan," he further said.
Musharraf also advocated the current US administration to solve the bilateral issue involving the restive state of Kashmir.
Admitting that United States President Donald Trump did not have a comprehensive grasp of the riven state, Musharraf gave his own example, saying: "If the man is prepared to learn and he is intelligent enough to grasp essentials, he is the best. I mean, I compare myself. When I came (to power) in 1999, I didn’t know much about running a country... I didn't know anything about the economy...I learnt it on the job because I was prepared to be silent and listen."
When asked if Trump had the capability to understand the nuances of the conflict, he said: "Trump has developed a multi-billion dollar empire for himself. He must be having some grey matter."
Speaking as part of the network’s World Is One Global Leadership Series which brings viewers the best political minds from all over the globe, Musharraf shot down allegations of human rights violation in the restive province of Balochistan.
The 73-year-old former Pakistani premier accused New Delhi of stoking unrest in Pakistan's internal affairs, especially in Balochistan: "You (New Delhi) are assisting separatists who are in the minority. You are helping them internationally to project this."
It has long been assumed that New Delhi has tried to inflame the insurgency in Balochistan.
Islamabad has long blamed India for stoking insurgency in Balochistan and funding the Balochistan Liberation Army as part of a retaliation for Pakistan's alleged support for Lashkar -e-Taiba (LeT).
Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least developed province, has been battling a years-long separatist insurgency which the army has repeatedly characterised as "terrorism" promoted by hostile states such as India.
In return, the LeT has been blamed by India for carrying out the coordinated attacks in India's financial capital Mumbai in 2008, which left over 160 dead and over dozens wounded.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full.
The neighbours have fought three wars since independence from Britain seven decades ago, two of them over Kashmir.
Musharraf, who took over the reins of Pakistan following a coup in 1999, was in a self-imposed exile since 2008. He returned to Pakistan in 2013 to contest the general elections, following which the government initiated a trial against him for treason.
Watch WION's two-part interview with former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.