Pakistan supported groups fighting for Kashmir freedom struggle in '90s: Musharraf

Pakistan supported groups fighting for Kashmir freedom struggle in '90s: Musharraf

He said Saeed and Lakhvi-type people enjoyed the status of heroes as they "fought at the cost of their lives".

Former president Pervez Musharraf has said that Pakistan supported and trained groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba in 1990s as they “fought in Kashmir at the cost of their lives”.

"In 1990s the freedom struggle began in Kashmir…At that time Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) 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," Musharraf said in an interview to Dunya News on Sunday.

The former army chief was responding to a question about action against LeT’s Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

He said Saeed and Lakhvi-type people enjoyed the status of heroes at that time.

"The Kashmiri freedom fighters including Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were our heroes at that time. Later on the religious militancy turned into terrorism. Now they (referring to militants in Pakistan) are killing their own people here and this should be controlled and stopped," he said.

Musharraf said that "religious militancy" was started by Pakistan which brought militants from all over the world to fight against Soviet forces.

He said in 1979 Pakistan was in favour of religious militancy.

"We trained Taliban and sent them to fight against Russia. Taliban, Haqqani, Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were our heroes then. Later they became villains," he said, adding that people need to understand the whole environment at that time.