New Delhi: India, being the larger country, should be magnanimous and generous and take the initiative for a paradigm shift for a way forward in uniting South Asia, said General Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan.
Musharraf, delivering the keynote address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday, said he had suggested during the past talks between the two countries that gradual demilitarization from the Line of Control (LoC), providing maximum self governance, making the LoC irrelevant by opening more transborder routes and building a watchover mechanism to resolve the stand off between India and Pakistan.
“No hypocrisy but niyat or a sincere intention with heart, soul and mind, is required or a paradigm shift,” Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan from 2001- 2008. He has been in self exile since 2009.
Musharraf blamed the intelligence agencies of both India and Pakistan for playing a key role in the acrimony between the two nuclear-armed countries.
The political leadership should play a crucial role in improving ties, Musharraf said, adding India should ease visa norms to increase people-to-people contacts. He also blamed the India army for not being keen on finding a solution to Siachen, despite the Indian side facing “five time more casualties due to difficult terrain and bad weather.”
Musharraf also denied that there was complacency in the of the Pakistan army in tracing Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda leader was later killed by US special forces in Pakistan.
The former Pakistan president, who is shuttling between London and Dubai , accused Indian intelligence agencies of colluding with their counterparts in the erstwhile Soviet Union and Afghanistan against Pakistan in the past. He has also warned that if there are any moves to create an anti-Islamabad Afghanistan, Pakistan will react. “If there is a proxy war or an attempt to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan, we have a right to create a pro-Pakistan Afghanistan,” he said.
When asked about his plans to return to power in Pakistan, he said: “The time was not right in January. But I will be back.”.