Musharraf Says Taliban Hiding in Pakistan
And, President Musharraf says he is now free to clamp down on them.
Gen Musharraf said that previously his hands were tied, either because of the 10-month-long confrontation with India in 2002 or political insecurities at home and abroad. “The situation is now far different from what I faced before,” he said. “Now I am much stronger.”
Gen Musharraf said he had made it clear to the police and government ministries that they must crack down on banned extremist groups which have re-emerged under new names, close all “hate” publications, create a new syllabus for the madrassas and register them by December. “This time those madrassas who don’t register by December will be shut down,” he said. Now the government would no longer distinguish between “terrorists”, Pakistanis linked to Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups, and Islamic “extremists” who fought in earlier jihads considered legitimate, such as that in Kashmir.
Improving relations with India weighed heavily on the president’s mind. “I see the sincerity of the Indian leadership. But if we can move faster towards Kashmir resolution my hands will be stronger to deal with extremism,” he said. “I have told the Indians we can only control the extremists to a degree.