New Delhi: Former Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf has admitted that Kashmiris were trained in Pakistan to fight against the Indian Army in Kashmir and even called them ‘heroes.’ Musharraf, also a former chief of the Pakistan Army, can also be seen calling terrorists like Osama bin Laden and Jalaluddin Haqqani ‘Pakistani heroes.’
In an undated video shared on Wednesday by opposition politician Farahtullah Babar of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Twitter, the self-exiled former military dictator can be heard saying, “We introduced religious militancy in Afghanistan in 1979 to benefit Pakistan and drive out the Soviets from there. Mujahideens were brought from all over the world by us; we trained them and supplied weapons to them. they were our heroes. Haqqani and bin Laden were our heroes. However, today is a different environment and heroes have turned into villains.”
In the video, Musharraf further says, “Kashmiris who came to Pakistan got hero’s reception. We used to train and support them as we considered them as Mujahideens who will fight the Indian Army. Various terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, too, came up during this period. They were our heroes.”
The video comes at a time when tensions are high between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over India’s August 5 abrogation of Article 370, which revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier this year, the two countries also had aerial dogfights after the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
The IAF had carried out the strike in retaliation to the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack, carried out by the Jaish, in which over 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were martyred.