Islamabad: Ruling out possibility of Taliban presence in Kashmir, former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has termed those fighting in occupied valley as Mujahideen.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, the former president said: “We call them Mujahideen”

They have got support both in Kahsmir and Pakistan. In the face of brutalities in Kashmir, outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad popped up with an aim to fight and give up their lives for Kashmiri brothers and sisters. They are not called Taliban or terrorists. Instead they are our Mujahideen and freedom fighters.”

He said: "I was heading in the direction of resolving Kashmir issue as it is a golden opportunity when heads of two states do have similar approach.”

Musharraf said he and former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had then agreed that atrocities in Kashmir should end.

“Modi just wants to twist and subdue Pakistan. He needs to change his approach as things won’t move forward if he does not do so,” the former president said.

He also criticized the government and the bureaucracy for not providing the support army requires for implementing National Action Plan (NAP).

Pervez Musharraf said that some elements within the incumbent government are ideologically associated with extremists. “This is the reason the National Action Plan against terrorism is not being implemented with the purest of intentions,” he said.

“The government and the bureaucracy are not extending the help to the army that it deserves.”

Defending his decision of the Lal Masjid operation, he said: “They are terrorists. They believe in terrorism. They deserved what I did to them. They are rising again. The government should take action without delay. Any lull will allow them to get stronger, which in turn would require a bigger operation.”

The former president said people seek the army’s help because they hope this powerful institution would be able to rescue them.

Regarding the high treason case for which he is on trial, the former president said: “These are politically motivated cases.”