Times of India – February 18, 2008
Former chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has said "an Iran-like revolution" is possible in the country if President Pervez Musharraf does not step down immediately.
"If Musharraf does not step down. We may have to think (about forcibly removing him) because, after all, the country is more important," former ISI Chief Hamid Gul has said in an interview to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"We don't want the army and people to be clashing on the streets. That would be a disaster - a civil war or if we are lucky a revolution, something like the Iranian revolution (against the Shah in 1979)," he said.
"Pakistan was ripe for such possibilities. As a trained military man, one is obliged to think of these possibilities. And one is obliged to act as well," Gul was quoted as saying by Pakistan International Network.
Asked whether this meant his advocating a coup against Musharraf, he evasively said: "No, we are the ex-servicemen, not the serving men. I am saying to link arms with civil society - with the lawyers, the students. If we join them, it will have greater pressure on Pervez Musharraf to get out of office."
"Musharraf is the only impediment. If he goes, the judiciary can be restored to its original place. This will bring instant relief to people - the relief is a psychological phenomenon," the former ISI chief said.
"I hope Musharraf does pay heed to our advice and steps down. This will be good for him, the army and the nation. Everything else will fall in place."
Last updated 20/02/2008