ISLAMABAD: Former President, General Pervaiz Musharraf has lauded military rule for bringing back the country on track, while the civilian governments derails it.

"Dictators set the country right, whereas civilian governments brought it to ruins," he said, during an interview with BBC Urdu, claiming that "military rule always brought progress to Pakistan".

The former president expressed that "All Asian countries have seen progress because of dictators," he said, adding that democracy or dictatorship makes no difference to the people as long as their prosperity, employment, and security is at stake. "What is the point of holding elections and giving liberty [to the population], if the country does not see progress?" he was quoted as saying. 

The former president added that whenever a martial law was declared in Pakistan, "it was the need of the hour". Speaking about his 1999 coup, in which he seized power from the democratically-elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said, "The coup was staged because it was the demand of the country's people". 

He further lauded the rules of former military dictators Field Marshal Ayub Khan and general Zia ul Haq, adding, “Record progress was witnessed in the country in Ayub Khan’s 10 year era.”

While replying to a question Musharraf held the Bhutto era responsible for "breaking the country", he said Ayub Khan had "set a record of progress in the country," and maintained that Zia ul Haq’s decision to help America and the mujahideen against the Soviet Union at the time of the Afghanistan invasion though “controversial”, was a correct move.

"We cannot ruin the country in order to save the Constitution. We can disregard the Constitution to save the people," he said.

Musharraf added that Pakistan's citizens deserve the option to remove a civilian government and there should be "checks and balances in the Constitution" to ensure that, further saying that "The people come running to the army to be saved; people come to me asking to be saved," he said.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's India policy was critised by Musharraf, saying that it was a "total sell-out policy".

"India is involved in Balochistan. Whoever works actively against the welfare of Pakistan is against the country and should be killed," he said.

With pending court cases against him specifically the treason trial for clamping emergency in the country on November 3, 2007, the former dictator left Pakistan in March 2016, saying he would return "in a few weeks" after medical treatment.

While commenting on his self-imposed exile Musharraf said that, "I have served as the head of the army and the army will always protect my welfare."

During the last hearing of the case, Musharraf's lawyer, Akhtar Shah, told the court that the government needs to ensure adequate security for Musharraf before the former president can return to the country.

After the disqualification of Prime Minister last week, he claimed it as "historic" and said, "I want to heartily congratulate the Supreme Court bench especially because it is a brave decision which is in accordance with the principles of justice and fairness," Musharraf said in the video.