PTI chairman speaks with the indian press.
RAVISH TIWARI: Are you concerned about the rise of extremism in Pakistan?
I have a completely different theory about these so-called militant groups, extremists, fundamentalists, because I believe that every human community has the same split. Mark the majority of moderates — you have, in the moderates, on one side the conservatives, and on the other the liberals, and the vast majority somewhere in the middle. Then on the extremes, you always have what you call fanatics and extremists. No human community is made of just liberals and moderates. What happens is when certain events take place, the majority shifts either to the right or the left. They react to a certain event and eventually get back in the middle. So to base a policy out of fear of extremism is just a totally flawed policy. I don’t believe Pakistan is a state where the extremists are going to take over or the fundamentalists are about to take over. Apart from the last elections, never have the religious parties won more than a minuscule amount of seats in the Parliament. This phenomenon — where the religious parties have become a force — is only because of the US bombing of Afghanistan. The majority felt very strongly about what the Americans did in Afghanistan. And it was criminal because not one Afghan was involved in 9/11. Now, look at the mess they’ve made in Afghanistan. They claimed it was the biggest success. Afghanistan today is a much bigger mess. It’s producing 90 per cent of the world’s heroin. And the Taliban, according to the UN, had eliminated poppy cultivation, and there was complete rule of law in the country.
VIRENDER KUMAR: Has the book by General Musharraf damged him and exposed him further?
I object to that work (In the Line of Fire) because it’s given the impression of a Rambo Musharraf who’s leaping right into the line of fire, bullets flying all over the place. There are terrorists, fundamentalists, extremists and here’s this enlightened moderate who’s trying to stop the country—the lone Rambo, not brave man, Rambo, who’s trying to keep all these forces at bay. Nuclear scientists trying to sell our secrets abroad, and here he is trying to hold the country together. It’s a terrible image of Pakistan as a banana republic, with this one man who’s going to solve all these problems, and of courseat the bidding of the US, ‘I’m your obedient servant, I’m your man.’
I think it’s a terrible image, and I don’t think he’s even realised it. I don’t think he has the intellect required to realise the kind of damage he’s done to the country. If I was a foreign investor, would I invest in a country where one man is holding the country together and who’s already had three attempts on him — one attempt succeeds and the country falls into the hands of extremists.
MANINI CHATTERJEE: We don’t know much about your party’s ideology. We only seem to know it through your personality. Could you spell out what Tehrik-e-Insaaf stands for?
Put it this way — I think the natural inclination is Leftist, it’s more on the Left, as you would understand. Because I certainly disagree with elitist policies. I think naked capitalism is greed. I believe in a welfare state.
This is my strong belief and it is also the Islamic system. Islamic system is a rule of law where everyone is equal. Justice is the biggest component of the Islamic system. So number one is rule of law, and number two welfare state.
PAMELA PHILIPOSE: What do you think of the Hudood ordinance passed in Pakistan?
You see, the Hudood ordinance passed by General Zia-ul-Haq was an ordinance made by a military dictator and slapped on a country. It has no legal standing, it was never debated. And so it should be scrapped. A far as Islam goes, people like us believe that Islam actually liberated women. We believe that Islam was a revolution which gave human beings equality and gave women rights. The Quran clearly states that a man has rights over a woman and a woman has rights over a man. If women are subjugated and are not treated properly in Muslim societies, that has nothing to do with Islam.
Source: Indian Express