Islamabad: Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that the Pakistan Army is "needlessly" being targeted in order to debilitate the country.
Musharraf said the army plays a central role in Pakistan and in order to weaken the country, some elements were trying to weaken it, and that conspiracies were being hatched against it.
Musharraf said that during his tenure as the Army Chief, he had directed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to disband political cells and to stay away from matters of politics.
"I had directed the then chief of ISI General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that the institution he was heading - the ISI - should not intervene in politics. However, I did not issue him written directives in this regard," The Express Tribune quoted Musharraf, as saying.
"This is the reason why there was no rigging done in 2008 elections and neither any such complaint had surfaced," said Musharraf.
Musharraf, however, said that he did not ask the ISI to close down political cells as a formal order.
He went on to call the Asghar Khan's 1990 poll rigging case a "distraction" and "a cause of conflict between state institutions".
"We are getting ourselves into trouble by holding on to issues from the past and that the reopening of a 15-year-old case was in no one's favour. We should keep our focus on the present and the future," he said.