Musharraf says had directed ISI to close political cell during his tenure as Army Chief

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 08:10 hrs

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has claimed that during his tenure as the army chief, he had advised the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to "stay away" from politics and stop their interference in the country's political affairs.

Musharraf, in an interview with the BBC, said he had directed then ISI chief Lt-Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani - who is now the current Army chief - that his institution's interference in politics should end, reports The Dawn.

However, Musharraf added that the directions were only verbal and not written.

"This wasn't a formal order; but we had decided that the ISI will not interfere in the political playground," Musharraf was quoted, as saying.

He added that this was the reason that there was no rigging or intervention during the 2008 elections, and neither did any such complaints arise.

Musharraf further said that it appeared as if the Pakistani military were being targeted.

"In my opinion, a conspiracy is being brewed to weaken Pakistan because the Army holds a central role in Pakistan and if it is weakened then the state is also weakened," said Musharraf.

Musharraf said that his plan of returning to Pakistan this January was postponed due to the situation. However, he added that would return to the country and contest polls once an interim government is set in place. (ANI)

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