Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf revealed that the Pakistani government had trained and bolstered terror groups such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and that terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden and Hafiz Saeed were considered to be 'heroes'.
In an interview to Pakistani news channel Dunya TV, Musharraf revealed that Pakistan had trained Lashkar-e-Taiba and other groups during the 1990s' struggle in Kashmir, and Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were considered to be heroes and Kashmir's 'freedom fighters'.
"In the 1990s, the freedom struggle began in Kashmir...At that time, Lashkar-e- Taiba and 11 or 12 other organisations were formed. We supported them and trained them as they were fighting in Kashmir at the cost of their lives," the former Pakistani army chief told the news channel.
"The Kashmiri freedom fighters including Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were our heroes at that time. Later on the religious militancy turned into terrorism. Now they are killing their own people here and this should be controlled and stopped," he added, according to the Press Trust of India.
Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi were behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and are the most wanted men in India for their crimes.
Musharraf also said that Pakistan had trained the Taliban during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
He said that Pakistan used to consider terrorist Osama Bin Laden a 'hero' who later turned into a 'villain'.
"We trained Taliban and sent them to fight against Russia. Taliban, Haqqani, Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri were our heroes then. Later they became villains," Musharraf said.
Osama Bin Laden was assassinated by US Navy Seals in an operation in Pakistan's Abbottabad in 2011 for his alleged role in the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Pakistan has been accused of harbouring terrorists who have gone on to launch deadly attacks in countries such as India and Afghanistan.