Let’s hear what the good Qazi has to say

Musharraf’s partner in parliament Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Ameer of the Jamiat-e-Islami and leading light of the alliance of Islamic fundamentalist parties (MMA) has this to say:

India is aware of your hard-line views. Don’t you know this attitude has deepened the rift between two countries?

What is wrong with what I have said? I am just saying India should first acknowledge that Kashmir is a disputed territory. The dispute does exist, right? If there is no dispute, why are we fighting? Many Japanese and Americans have come to me to discuss Kashmir. All of them acknowledge a dispute exists over Kashmir.

Your organisation supports those jihadis who are fighting against the Indian armed forces.

See, we didn’t go to Kashmir; Kashmir came to us. We could not insult them or avoid them. Why did they come here? If they were happy, why would they come to us seeking our support?

You are a religious leader, but you don’t seem to regret supporting violence in which the young men of your country are dying unceremoniously?

Jihad is the weapon of a helpless person who is a victim of injustice.

Don’t you see the Indian Army is fighting back? Besides, India has held a fair election in Kashmir.

Elections are not a solution to the Kashmir problem.

But your policy of supporting and accelerating violence has helped neither you nor Pakistan.

So many terrorists killed by the Indian Army are Pakistanis. Their dead bodies are not even returned to their families.

Don’t you feel for their mothers?

People die of poor health too. All of us will die one day. It is better to die than live as someone’s slave. If someone tells me to bow down, if someone tells me I am not an independent person, it is better for me to die.

To what extent do you support the recent peace initiatives by Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musarraf?

I don’t support it one bit. I completely oppose any so-called peace moves. I’ll support only those peace initiatives that are supported by the Kashmiris.

Does this mean you think even Musharraf does not understand the Kashmiris? After all, he too is party to these initiatives.

I don’t know what Musharraf has said to India and what Musharraf will be saying to India. As far as I am concerned, you can’t put Kashmir on the backburner. You can’t talk peace without Kashmir. From Rediff

Musharraf may be playing hardliners like the good Qazi in a good cop – bad cap routine, but once brought to the political mainstream forces like MMA are not going to disappear overnight and may outlast his regime. The evil that men do lives after them. Musharraf’s worst actions have been to sideline the political opposition in favour of the died-in-the-wool fundamentalists.