NEW DELHI: Taking a jibe at former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for his praise of Osama Bin Laden, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Wednesday said ‘like hero, like people’.
Musharraf admitted nurturing militancy and supporting extremist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in the 1990s to carry out terrorist activities in Kashmir.
During an interview to Duniya Tv, Musharraf branded Jama'at-ud-Da'wah chief Hafiz Saeed and LeT leader Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as Pakistani 'heroes' during their alleged freedom struggle in Kashmir.
“In 1990s, the freedom struggle began in Kashmir. At that time Lashkar-e-Taiba and 11 or 12 other organisations were formed. We supported them and trained them as they were fighting in Kashmir at the cost of their lives. Hafiz Saeed was our hero, as so were the Kashmiris who crossed over to this side of the border to wage Jihad,” he added.
Musharraf also branded Osama Bin Laden, Jalaluddin Haqqani, Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as Pakistan's heroes during 1980s.
He also added that Pakistan had trained, funded and supported militancy to carry out its own interest in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.
He acknowledged that Pakistan trained jihadists from all over the world and sent them to fight against Russia in Afghanistan. He said that Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Taliban and the Haqqani network were also Pakistan heroes.
However, religious militancy, which had a positive impact, has now converted into terrorism, the former president added.
He said that action should now be taken to stop and control these extremist groups as they are attacking and killing Pakistani people.
However, Musharraf refused to comment on whether action should be taken against Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi, the masterminds of 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Commenting on India's demand for action against the two terrorists, he said that Pakistan is following what India is doing.
Citing examples of Shiv Sena's recent protest against Pakistani leaders and artistes performing in India, he asked why no action was taken against the party.
If India is talking about Saeed then they should give us Colonel who was involved in Samjautha blast in which many Pakistanis were killed, he added.