Group annotations on this page
SPIEGEL: Is Pakistan now paying for its earlier failures? Why didn't you eliminate the Taliban leadership when they came to Pakistan at the end of 2001 -- above all the so-called Quetta Shura, the Taliban's highest decision-making council, in the Pakistani city Quetta?
Musharraf: The Quetta Shura never existed. Do you really think there is an assembly in a kind of a house where they come and discuss things in something like a regular consultation? Mullah Omar never was in Pakistan and he would be mad if he appeared there. He is much safer in Afghanistan.
SPIEGEL: Over the last eight years, Pakistan has received about $10 billion in military aid from the US. Apparently you didn't spend all that money on the war on terror -- some went to secure your eastern border with India. Is that true?
Musharraf: Half of it, $5 billion, was reimbursed to us for services we had already rendered to the US. You have to understand how the Pakistan army operates: The divisions keep moving. If we buy new tanks for $250 million, then they will be deployed in Peshawar as part of the war on terror, but they will also go to the eastern border. But why do you care about that? Why, for heaven's sake, should I tell you how we spent the money?
SPIEGEL: The American government would surely be interested in knowing.
Musharraf: I also told the Americans that it has nothing to do with them. We are not obligated to give out any details. Maybe I should have said at the time: Ok, you want us to support you, give us $20 billion a year and don't ask what we are doing with it.
Musharraf: I do agree, they do not accept this war as their war. This has something to do with history. Please understand the reason, and you should blame the US for it. From 1979 to 1989, we fought a war with the US in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. And we won mainly because of ISI. Otherwise, the Soviet Union could not have been defeated in Afghanistan. But then the US left us all alone with 30,000 mujahedeen brought by them. Even Osama bin Laden was brought by the US, who else? They all came to fight the Soviet Union. So, did anybody in Washington develop a strategy for what to do with these people after 1989? No, nobody helped Pakistan for the next 12 years until 2001. We were left high and dry, with 30,000 mujahedeen holed up, no rehabilitation, no resettlement for them. No assistance was given to Pakistan -- instead sanctions were imposed against us. Fourty F-16s, for which we had paid money, were denied to us. Four million Afghan refugees had also come to Pakistan. The mujahedeed coalesced into al-Qaida and our social fabric was being completely destroyed. This is why the people of Pakistan felt used by the Americans, and this is why Pakistanis dislike the US and this war.
SPIEGEL: A few weeks ago, you visited New Delhi and said India and Pakistan have done enough damage to each other and that it is time to find a solution. Do you view yourself as as a future ambassador for peace between the two countries?
Musharraf: If the Pakistan government wants me and if the Indians also trust me, then I can be of some use.