Pak Govt was eager to get closer to India but “the establishment stood in the way”: Gul

February 15th, 2011 - 6:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, Feb 15(ANI): The Pakistan Government was keen to get closer to India, but the “establishment” stood in its way because it views the neighbouring country as “Pakistan’s enemy number 1″, former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Hameed Gul has said.

“Everybody knows how eager the government was to get closer to India. The establishment thinks that India is Pakistan’s enemy Number 1. The government was also ready to launch an operation in North Waziristan Agency to please the United States. But the establishment stood in the way,” The Nation quoted Gul, as saying in an interview.

“It is the duty of the establishment to take steps to safeguard the country’s long-term interests. The governments come and go. They are elected by the people on the basis of their agendas. But the establishment has no populist agenda, it has to watch national interests in all situations,” he added.

Gul argued that this role of the army was “as true for Pakistan as Pentagon’s for the United States,” and said that if Pakistani political parties have some long-term objectives, they should mention their programmes in their election manifestos.

“If they want a compromise on Kashmir, they should mention it in their manifestos. But unfortunately, political parties after coming to power succumb to US pressure, although what they say in public seems very close to people’s sentiments,” he added.

The former ISI chief was reminded that the Supreme Commander of Pakistan’s Armed Forces- the President- had once said that India poses no threat to Pakistan, but that the thinking of the Armed Forces was totally different, and he was asked how, in his opinion, it was possible for the Armed Forces to work with such a supreme commander.

Gul replied: “Let me tell you very frankly that the entire nation is with the army. There is a long history of Indian hostility towards Pakistan. You know the Kashmir issue has not been settled so far; water dispute is also there; Siachen is also like a battleground.”

“India’s military leadership has now come up with a new doctrine against Pakistan. India also continues to backstab Pakistan through Afghanistan; efforts are also continuing to destabilize Pakistan through terrorist activities. India, Israel and the United States also want to denuclearize Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)

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