Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf said in an interview to a private television news channel that terrorism was prevalent in both India and Pakistan due to which incidents like Pathankot would keep happening.
He said that India should not ‘overreact’ to terror strike on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
Musharraf said that both the countries are victims of terrorism, and should not overreact when an attack like the one in Pathankot happened.
Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan for a decade, said that measures should be taken to control such incidents but one should not get hyper when such incidents happened.
“India’s first reaction to every terrorist attack is Pakistan but India is not free of terrorism or extremism themselves,” he said. Accusing New Delhi of creating pressure on Islamabad when it came to terror attacks, Musharraf alleged that extremism was quite growing and prevalent in India as well. He also stated that India cannot put pressure on Pakistan when it comes to terrorism. He said that Pakistan may be a small country, but they too have their self-respect and honour.
He mentioned that there are a lot of areas in India where extremism is growing. He also blamed India of treating terrorism as a one-sided issue, which he said infuriates him.
“They can’t just bulldoze us when something happens there,” he pointed out. He went on to say that there is a lot of ‘disgruntlement’ among the Muslim community in India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge. Appreciating the efforts of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said the relations between the two neighbours had flourished as Vajpayee was more sincere in his approach as compared to his present counterpart Narendra Modi. He recalled the times between Vajpayee and him, and said that during those times both the countries had good ties with each other. Stressing on the responsibility of the central leadership, he said that it comes down to leadership in the end on how they will deal with the situation.
Relations also moved forward with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, but it is not happening under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Musharraf said that PM Modi’s popularity has received a major set-back after the results of Bihar and Delhi elections. He said that Vajapayee and Manmohan were more sincere when it came to resolving dispute.“A good leader is always flexible. Things can’t work out if you are hell-bent on your own stand,” he pointed out.
Commenting on the surprise visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lahore recently, he said meeting was not so beneficial but it was a case of ‘showmanship.’