Terming himself as the "biggest supporter" of the Lashkar-Taiba (LeT) and its founder Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan's former dictator Parvez Musharraf has said he backs the terror group's role in "suppressing" the Indian Army in Kashmir.
Musharraf, the 74-year-old retired general who staged a coup to become President is currently in self-exile in Dubai. He said that Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed "is involved in Kashmir" and he supports their involvement.
Musharraf, who recently announced a 'grand alliance' of 23 political parties, also said he is always in favour of "action" in Jammu and Kashmir and "suppressing Indian Army in Kashmir".
"They (LeT) are the biggest force. India got them declared as terrorists after partnering with the US. Yes, they (LeT) are involved in Kashmir but in Kashmir it is between us and India," he told the ARY News.
He also added that he is liked by the militant group and the Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the group headed by Saeed in Pakistan.
The LeT was banned in Pakistan and the decision to ban the terror outfit in Pakistan was incidentally taken when Musharraf was in power. When asked about it, Musharraf said that he banned the terror group under "different circumstances" without divulging anymore details.
Musharraf's statements came days after Saeed walked free following the Pakistan government's decision against detaining him further. He has been under house arrest since January this year.
India had expressed outrage over the decision of the judicial board to release Saeed, calling it an attempt by Pakistan to mainstream proscribed terrorists and a reflection of its continued support to terrorists.
Saeed, who is accused of having masterminded the November 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, was placed on the terrorism black list by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008.
The United States too has designated him as a global terrorist and has announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Saeed has now filed the petition to delist him from the UN list of designated terrorists.
The JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the banned LeT which is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
Musharraf is facing a slew of court cases after returning from five years of self-exile in Dubai to contest the general elections in 2013 which he lost.
Musharraf, who came to power following a bloodless coup in 1999, claimed that he was ready to face all charges as the courts are not under "Nawaz Sharif's control anymore".
With inputs from PTI
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.