LAHORE - Former president and army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf on Sunday demanded action against Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz under the Official Secrets Act.
Gen Shahid has recently written a book in which he has strongly criticised Gen Musharraf for not taking other relevant military leaders into confidence while launching the Kargil conflict.
Gen Musharraf said Gen Shahid had become very unpopular after writing the book.
Confidentiality and secrecy, he said, should be maintained at all costs, implying that Gen Shahid had failed to do so.
Replying to a question about the Kargil conflict, Gen Musharraf said initially it was a localised operation because of which not everybody was supposed to be in the loop. But as the operation spread, all the relevant people were taken on board.
Rejecting the assertion that even the DG Military Operations was unaware of the Kargil episode, Gen Musharraf said this was the key post, aware of all small or big operations. According to him, the army chief could be unaware of an operation, not the DGMO. He said it was the DGMO who is supposed to inform other relevant authorities about any military activity. As for the casualties suffered by Pakistan, he said they did not exceed 300 while India had lost 1,700 troops. So serious was the situation for the Indian army that enough wood was not available for the coffins of those killed in Kargil, he said.
He reiterated his claim that Kargil conflict was a great victory for Pakistan as it had occupied five important positions of Indians. It was because of Pakistan’s dominant position that India had approached the US for pressure on Pakistan to withdraw.
In response to a question about the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan, Gen Musharraf said Pakistan should devise a policy to cope with the situation after the US pullout in 2014.
At present, he said, India was being given importance and efforts were being made to install a pro-India government there. He was critical of the shifty US policy about Pakistan.
He recalled that the US had abandoned Pakistan in 1989 and subjected it to severest sanctions for about 12 years, despite the fact that Pakistan had stood by US while the war against the Soviets was going on. It was because of Pakistan, he said, that the Cold War had come to an end.
In response to a question, he said he regretted for signing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which was subsequently annulled by the Supreme Court. He admitted that he did not anticipate the consequences which it had ultimately led to.
However, he said he did not feel sorry for the Lal Masjid Operation as it was the question of state’s writ.
About the elections, the former president said although they should be held – and perhaps would be held – but there were still doubts about them. He said he would come to Pakistan and play his due role in politics.