Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (File pic)
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf (File pic)

Musharraf acknowledges Pakistani intelligence agencies used Jaish for terror attacks in India

ANI | Updated: Mar 07, 2019 20:46 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar 7 (ANI):  In a significant admission, former Pakistan President Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that his country’s intelligence agencies were using Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for carrying out terror attacks in India.
In an interview to a Pakistani TV channel, the former military ruler cited this as a reason for inaction against the terror outfit during his tenure even after it was found responsible an assassination bid on him in 2003.
“Action should be taken against them (JeM). I am happy that the government is taking a tough stand against them," he said.
"I have always said that JeM is a terror organisation and they tried to assassinate me in a suicide attack at Jhanda Chichi in Rawalpindi in 2003. The suicide bomber pressed a button a few seconds late and I had crossed the bridge by that time,” he added in the telephonic interview.
Musharraf, a former Army Chief who seized power in a coup on October 12, 1999 and ruled the country till 2008, said, "Our intelligence was involved in a tit-for-tat between India and Pakistan. They were carrying out bomb blasts in Pakistan and we were getting it done there (in India). This was going on and amidst this no action was taken against JeM. I also did not insist on taking action.”
Facing mounting international pressure, the Pakistan government on Tuesday said that the brother and son of JeM chief Masood Azhar and 42 other activists of various outfits have been taken into “preventive detention” as part of crackdown on terrorism.
Asked why he himself had not taken any action against the Masood Azhar-led outfit when he was in power, Musharraf acknowledged that he should have done so while claiming that "those were different times."
India recently shared a dossier with Pakistan and key foreign powers, specifying how JeM was involved in Pulwama and various other terror attacks in the country.
The Pakistan Army, however, claimed yesterday that JeM "does not exist" in the country.
"Jaish-e-Mohammad does not exist in Pakistan. It has been proscribed by the United Nations and Pakistan," Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Pakistani Army's spokesperson, told CNN on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that the Imran Khan-led government had contacted the Jaish leadership after the Pulwama terror attack and it had denied responsibility. He had also admitted that Azhar was in Pakistan and is "very unwell."
"He (Azhar) is in Pakistan. According to my information, he is very unwell. He's unwell to the extent that he cannot leave his house because he is really unwell. So, that's the information I have”, Qureshi told CNN in an interview.
There has been intense global pressure against Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists and terror outfits after India mounted a diplomatic campaign in this regard.
Tensions have been soaring between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, the responsibility of which has been taken by JeM. India lost 40 CRPF personnel when a suicide bomber targeted their convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14. (ANI)