The first was why Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan, which he claimed was a case of negligence. Musharraf disputed that he did not even believe Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan for a total period of 5 years, and said that he was 500 percent sure that he did not know.
Secondly, Musharraf said, Pakistan must explain to the world why they’re not acting against the Haqqani group.
He was addressing an audience at the think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. He recapped the events in the region since 1979.
The former military chief said that the Soviet Union wanted to get “to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean through Balkanisation of Pakistan.” Musharraf said that Pakistan and the United States, after 1979, did jihad in the region and trained mujahideen to fight against the Soviet Union.
Faulting the US for abandoning the region in the early 90s, Musharraf said that the mujahideen later went on to form al Qaeda.
He said that aspersions were being cast on the top leadership of the Pakistan Army and the ISI. He said that the ISI, which is “so maligned now”, had lost 350 personnel in terrorist attacks, and had helped save a lot of lives around the world by being instrumental in disrupting global terror plots.
Accusing ISI of supporting the Haqqani network, Musharraf said that there may be a difference in tactical handling and opinion in the ISI, but that cannot be used to cast aspersions against the Army and the ISI that they were arming the Haqqani network to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Musharraf also took the speech as an opportunity to lambast the current leadership of Pakistan, saying, “No government elected through elections has done good governance in Pakistan.” He added that Pakistan has a dysfunctional government and was facing economic collapse.
Highlighting the civilian casualties in Pakistan over the years in terror attacks, Musharraf said that the United States’ refrain to “do more” was “very annoying for people in Pakistan”. He added that relations between the United States and Pakistan were at its lowest ebb, which was unfortunate.
He said that the United States must also make clear as to what kind of Afghanistan they’re leaving behind when the withdrawal takes place from the region in 2014.
The event was not without its lighter moments. As Musharraf was about to launch into a tirade against India wanting to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan, Musharraf said, “I know there are Indians in the audience, but…” – an Indian reporter sitting in the audience called out, “Sir, you were born in India, you have Indian blood too.”
In another part of the speech, Musharraf said, “what the hell is happening”, when he was trying to clear his thoughts on the losses the Pakistan Army has suffered at the hands of terrorists and the allegations on their support to the Haqqani network.