DUBAI: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf criticized the Pakistani government for not siding with the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) comprising Saudi Arabia , the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain against Qatar.

In an interview to Arab Media, he stated, “I’m shocked at how the Pakistani government dealt with the Qatar crisis. Qatar was never with Pakistan, and we witnessed this many a time”.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE “have always been Pakistan’s great friends. We must never do anything that’s against either country both have always stood by us, and we must value their friendship.”

Citing the Pakistani ruling party’s business interests in Qatar, he said his country’s “larger interests were ignored over personal business interests. If that’s the priority, then God save our country.”

Musharraf described President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as “disastrous.” He said: “Trump has been saying he wants to do something to settle the Palestinian issue, but this isn’t the way forward. This issue is extremely sensitive in the Muslim world.”

Musharraf expressed disappointment with the Muslim world’s reaction to the US move. “Unfortunately, the Muslim world doesn’t have a forum to give a unified voice,” he said.

“Organizations such as the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) are toothless. The OIC should’ve reacted strongly because it’s (supposed to be) the voice of 57 Muslim nations and a quarter of the world’s population.”

Muslim countries “are dependent on the West in different ways, and hence are pulled in different directions. We need to strengthen the OIC again and make our voice united,” he said. “Maybe in this multipolar world we (Muslim countries) need to use China and Russia to counter this decision. We can only do this through diplomacy.”

Musharraf’s words and deeds on Kashmir continue to be an area of interest for most observers and stakeholders. “I’ve started working for the cause by taking a big initiative on the resolution of the Kashmir issue,” he said.

“I and other like-minded people have formed a group that consists of popular and prominent people from Pakistan, India and both sides of Kashmir. We’ll go to the UN, and the Indian and Pakistani governments,” he said.

“The Kashmir issue can be resolved, and I strongly believe that the present Indian government is capable of doing it because they represent the hard-liners.”

Musharraf said he banned the organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) because he wanted to continue political dialogue with India. “It was the time when we were having peace negotiations with (then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayee,” he said.

“When you follow a political line, you need to drop the military side. At that point, I decided to ban several organizations, including LeT. We wanted to achieve a solution to Kashmir via political means.”

The governments of former Pakistani Prime Ministers “Benazir Bhutto and Sharif supported LeT and its involvement in the Kashmir struggle,” Musharraf said.