New York—Former President Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday that India was trying to create a hostile state in Afghanistan as he hit back at criticism of his country’s role in fighting extremists.
Musharraf, who is touring the United States as part of a comeback bid, said he has seen photographs of Kabul-based “Pakistan terrorists” a likely reference to Balochistan separatists meeting in India with intelligence agents.
“If I’m allowed to be very, very frank, India’s role in Afghanistan is to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan,” Musharraf said at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“This is very clear to me. There are consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad (which) are actually involved in creating trouble in Pakistan. They have no other role,” Musharraf said.
“Why wouldn’t the consulates be somewhere in the north facing Uzbekistan and Tajikistan?” he asked.
India has consulates in the southern cities of Kandahar and Jalalabad but also in Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Herat in the west.
Musharraf bristled at criticism that Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders including perhaps Osama bin Laden have been able to escape US-led forces in Afghanistan by crossing into safe havens in Pakistan’s lawless border areas.
“Pakistan is trying its best. Why is the responsibility only on Pakistan?” Musharraf said. “Why is the responsibility of their coming into Pakistan not the fault of Afghan forces and US forces and coalition forces?”
“It should be shared at least 50-50 we are at fault, you are also at fault,” he said.—AP