NN Exclusive | Imran Khan will lead Pakistan towards development: Pervez Musharraf

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New Delhi:

It was the first interview of Pakistan's former Army Chief and former president Pervez Musharraf with News Nation post general elections 2018. And the former General expressed hope in the new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Exactly a month a ago, on July 17, in an exclusive interview with senior journalist Ajay Kumar, Musharraf shared his view on the mandate of country's general elections in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Welcoming Imran Khan as the new Pakistan Prime Minister, Musharraf termed it the 'victory of democracy', saying that the cricketer-turned-politician was the 'requirement of the day'.

Dubbing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) two 'failed leadership' of the country, Musharraf also accused them of looting nation's wealth.

On being asked about Imran Khan's leadership quality, Musharraf said, "I believe he is very determined and will lead Pakistan towards development. He is truly open-minded and will solve several ongoing issues, including the economical crisis across the country".

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Talking about the India-Pakistan relationship, the former Army General said, "Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan. Our army wants peace. I had a conversation with former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to maintain the peace and order. You know we have a large and strong fighting force across the land and they can do anything".

"You do not allow Pakistani players to enter India. From players to singers, you have prohibited Pakistani people irrespective of their professions," Musharraf went on to claim further.

Stressing on the year-old visa controversy, Musharraf said, "I was denied a visa to tour India".

In 2010, India reportedly denied a visa to Musharraf on grounds that he was responsible for the Kargil conflict that nearly erupted into a war between the neighbours.

Read | Imran may take oath as Pakistan's Prime Minister on August 14

Earlier in July, during another interview with News Nation, Musharraf said that the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan can only be resolved through dialogue.

"To resolve Kashmir issue, it is necessary to form a special committee which comprises a representative each from India, Pakistan, PoK and Kashmir. One independent representative from America should also be the part of this committee. However, it won't be possible until both leaders from India and Pakistan have faith in each other," the retired General added.

During his June 3 interview, Musharraf also reacted strongly to the move by his country's Internal Affairs Ministry to block his passport and national identity and said "no one can block my passport" and it was to keep me away from the general elections.

"All this is happening because they want to keep me away from the elections. It's a ploy against me. But my party will contest the elections," Musharraf told News Nation.

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The former president said that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has taken over the control of state machinery and using it against him.

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"It's happening with me since 2010 when I formed my own party. Now I have become used to of all this. Things will be fine," Musharraf added.

(Ajay Kumar is the Managing Editor, News Nation)

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