Pakistan president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf is upto his usual antics once again. After a brief hiatus in which the limelight was hogged by his puppet PM Jamali, Musharraf is back on the centrestage, shooting off his mouth in a BBC radio broadcast titled Aapki Baat BBC Ke Saath.
He says that he's ready to pull back troops from PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) if India pulls back its troops from Jammu and Kashmir.
"India has seven lakh soldiers in Kashmir, whereas Pakistan has only fifty thousand. If Indian government is ready to remove their forces, we will remove ours tomorrow."Quite up-to-date on numbers, aren't we, Mushy?! But you fail to understand that the Simla Agreement of 1972, that you so willingly ignore and flout states categorically that
In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both the governments agree that:As far as India is concerned, the Simla Agreement will always be the basis of relations between India and Pakistan (unless of course a path-breaking agreement is formulated and agreed upon by both the parties in question). So it is pointless to ask India to withdraw troops from Jammu and Kashmir, because they are on our side of the internationational border. The Pakistani troops in PoK, however, are behind the LoC but are still on our side of the international border and therefore in violation of the agreement. So there is no way that India should agree to this proposal.
(i) Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border.
Musharraf then said that he would consider nominating Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for Pakistan's highest civilian honour, the Nishaan-e-Pakistan (which had been once earlier conferred on the former Indian PM Morarji Desai). This, on its own, is a commendable gesture. But Musharraf queered his own pitch by saying...
"If there is an achievement, which is significant from Pakistan's point of view, we would like to honour anyone,"Certainly, Vajpayee does not need a carrot like the Nishaan-e-Pakistan to intensify his efforts for the resolution of issues between India and Pakistan. His work in this area over the last 5 years has been largely one-sided and has resulted in him being made to look foolish after the Lahore and Agra summits. That merits an award. Linking an award is like dangling a carrot before Vajpayee. And Vajpayee would be the last person to desire such a carrot.
When asked if he would like to meet Vajpayee during the SAARC summit, Musharraf answered,
"Yes, if he wants to meet me, I will meet him."Which basically begs the question, why should Vajpayee meet Musharraf at all?!! If Zafrullah Khan Jamali is the Pakistani Prime Minister and the head of the government, he is the one who should be meeting Vajpayee in Islamabad. Not Musharraf!! Or else, Mushy should drop all pretense about having a civilian government since the whole world knows that Jamali is a puppet who heads a civilian government cobbled together for him by the intelligence services!! His words on the matter leave nothing much for imagination...
"I am saying he should not get an impression, that since I have been saying this time and again, I am desperate to meet him. Let me tell you, I am living here and sitting comfortably there is no problem. I would meet him only if he wants."
Asked whether the Pakistani National Assembly or President was the final authority on Kashmir, Musharraf said "Whatever be the decision on Kashmir, it would be of the Assembly, but the President can contribute."The word "contribute" being used here very very euphemistically!! ;-)
Then the Musharraf show takes on a comical turn as he spouts such inane and confused gems as...
"Remember it is the beginning of an end." ...Beginning of the end?? What is he talking about? And does he want to imply that the peace process has been stalled because he's been insincere up until now??!
"I am confident that if we have the sincerity, then we can move forward leaving all this behind." ...
And then, Musharraf responds to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's charge that Taliban Chief Mullah Mohammad Omar was seen in Pakistan. He describes the charges as "extremely annoying" and says...
"No country can claim to have done more against terrorism than Pakistan. We have nabbed and killed 600 terrorists.*At this point Sameer had to be carried away after he fell off the chair, laughing hard!!*
"No one should talk in this way, let us all worry about our own countries," Musharraf said.