— A VOA interview with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf sparked widespread interest among Pakistani news channels this week.
Several TV networks including Geo, Dunya, Express, Samaa and Aaj, rebroadcast parts of the interview, which focused on allegations that have surfaced against the former president as well as his plans to return home and take part in the upcoming presidential election.
Musharraf, who spoke with VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem, host of the Urdu Service TV program Access Point
, and the English language show, On the Line
, commented for the first time on the recent allegations against him, which are contained in a new book written by a former general.
Musharraf called the allegations “malicious propaganda” and nonsense that was harming the interests of Pakistan.
Tanzeem says she was surprised the former president declined to take a strong position on the need for democratic principles in Pakistan, which has seen a number of military coups since independence in 1947.
When she asked if he would oppose a military coup if one was launched in Pakistan, Musharraf said, “one has to see when such things happen, these are not simple affairs which can be decided ‘off the cuff’ like this.” He said, “Whatever is in the interests of Pakistan, I will support that.”
The interview with Musharraf, which was conducted in both English and Urdu, was one of only two he granted during his visit to Washington.
For more information about VOA’s Urdu language programs visit www.urduvoa.com