Karachi: Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Wedneseday denied handing over Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to the United States calling whoever did so a traitor.
Addressing a proper press conference for the first time since his return, Musharraf started off by speaking about his party and moved on to let the media ask questions.
On questions about the military operation in 2006 that led to the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Musharraf said that: “Bugti challenged the government and on the basis of that a subsequent action was taken by the army.” In the same vein he said that he was not the one who took the “final decision” on Bugti and was informed “when he was killed.”
He also pointed out that the cave, in which Bugti was residing, “was not attacked,” instead “explosives went off from inside the cave, bringing it down.”
Speaking about the Lal Masjid operation, he said that media forgets easily. These people were challenging the writ of the government by creating a state within a state in the heart of Islamabad, he added.
Quoting an incident from Saudi Arabia in 1988 where a man who called himself a prophet and tried to take over Makkah, he said that guns and tanks were used to pull him out of the area. It is lawful to use force when people are creating fasaad in the name of religion, he said adding that in the Lal Masjid operation, “no women and children were killed. Instead when one of our colonels was killed by a gun toting man, who was trying to save the children.”
“We sent everyone for negotiations, even Imam e Qaaba was asked to instill some sense in to them. But they didn’t listen to anyone,” he explained in his defense.
“I am among those people who think of the country and (its) people,” Musharraf told reporters during his first press conference after returning to Pakistan from a self-imposed exile.
When asked about the Kargil issue, the former president replied that he was proud of the Kargil operation. Muhsarraf.
Musharraf said that he cannot say how many constituencies he will be able to win but that he will run for elections from Karachi, adding that he has old relations with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The former President said his supporters had recommended he run for elections from NA-250 Defence constituency in Karachi.