Islamabad/Karachi: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said he was "proud of the Kargil operation", during which Pakistani troops had crossed the Line of Control and occupied positions on the Indian side in 1999. Musharraf made the remarks when he was asked about criticism of his role in the Kargil issue at a news conference in the southern port city of Karachi.
Musharraf was the army chief when the operation was launched. He later toppled the government of premier Nawaz Sharif and assumed power. I am "proud of the Kargil operation," he said. The former President, who returned to Pakistan on Sunday after nearly four years in self-exile, said he had not struck a deal with anyone for his homecoming. He claimed he had returned to Pakistan in the interest of the country and the people. "I am among those people who think of the country and the citizens," Musharraf told said during his first news conference after returning to Pakistan.
Musharraf, who returned to lead the All Pakistan Muslim League in the general election to be held on May 11, said he could not say how many constituencies his party would be able to win. He said he would himself run for elections from Karachi, where he has "old relations" with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. He claimed his supporters had recommended that he should contest the election from a constituency in the Defence area of Karachi. Musharraf also defended his years in power as a dictator, claiming that Pakistan had prospered during his tenure. He further claimed he had been the only leader to raise his voice against anti-state elements and elements involved in spreading terrorism.
Asked about the 2006 military operation that killed Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti, Musharraf claimed it was launched by the government of the day. He said he decided to join the US-led war against terrorism in the interest of Pakistan and the country's destiny would have been drastically different if he had not made this decision.