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RAW helping militants in Afghanistan, says Musharraf

Source: PTI
March 08, 2009 00:16 IST
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A combative audience at a conclave in New Delhi on Saturday night cornered former President Pervez Musharraf over terrorism emanating from Pakistan and the aggressive leader retaliated by accusing Indian agencies of fomenting trouble in his country.

He also asked India to 'overcome the burden of history' and not indulge in blaming each other but move forward with the peace process. Musharraf also evaded a direct reply to a query on shielding underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan as also the presence of terrorist camps in his country.

Speaking at the 'India Today Conclave', he claimed that India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing were helping militants based in Afghanistan spread trouble in Pakistan.

"We have to accept the reality. Your RAW does exactly what the Inter Services Intelligence does. My request is let us tackle the RAW and the ISI to stop this confrontation," he said.

He also claimed that the Kashmir issue was not created by Pakistan. "It started in 1947 as a peaceful struggle. It was not started by Pakistan in 1989," Musharraf claimed.

India and Pakistan should not harbour each other's terrorists, Musharraf said, when repeatedly asked about Dawood's presence in Karachi.

"I don't know whether he (Dawood) is in Pakistan at all," he said.

The former president also tried to deflect the attack on his country, claiming "he knew terrorists are welcomed by Indian intelligence agencies in Delhi".

The Pakistani leader also emphasised the need for a change in the public perception of Pakistan in India. "We see Pakistan bashing, ISI bashing and maligning of our society here. This has to change," he said. 

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