Posted by: Administrator | 26 September, 2006

President Musharraf Press Conference in Netherlands


I would like to start by saying that we are extremely grateful to the Deputy Prime Minister and to the government of Netherlands for all the warmth and all the hospitality that we received, I and my wife and my delegation have received ever since we came into this beautiful country of yours. I also like to pray for the good health and early recovery of the Prime Minister.

Having said that let me say that we have excellent exchange of views with Excellency and Deputy Prime Minister. We First of all concentrated on bilateral relations while on the political spheres and we have unanimity on views. We also discussed economic aspect of our relationship as Excellency said that Pakistan looks for the enhancement of economic, commercial and trade ties between our two countries. We look for additional investment from Netherlands into Pakistan.

Already there are about nineteen companies represented and companies like Shell, Uni-Lever and Philips, ABN Amro and house holds in Pakistan. We look forward to more companies in coming and investing in Pakistan. We look forward for joint ventures and for the enhancement of trade between the two countries and then we discuss all world and regional issues.

I got the opportunity to give the understanding of Indo Pakistan relations and whatever is happening in Afghanistan and also the perceptions of World dispute like Iraq and Palestinian and Israeli dispute. Other than that we concentrated on the anti terrorism aspect. Pakistan is a member of the coalition against terrorism. We gave our views on fighting terrorism and I elaborated the fact that why we are confronting terrorism in its immediate domain. There is another dimension of it and that is the strategic long term dimension where we need to address the core issues, the political disputes confronting the world which unfortunately confront and involves only Muslims. Therefore resolution of political disputes and also addressing the issue of illiteracy and poverty happens is to be at the core of terrorism. We also need to go for strategic long term resolution at hitting at the core of terrorism. These were the issues we discussed.

May I say Pakistan and the whole Netherlands are the highest of esteem for achievements, developments and progress? You being pioneer in commerce and trade are to enhance relationship between two of our countries in future. Thank you.

Question and Answers:

Question about development in trade sector:

Ans: Well I did highlight that our trade has increased by twenty two percent from the last year. But the pace is very slow and today our export is about $350 million and this is very low. We would like to enhance it. More than that I think it is in the domain of the modalities, how to increase it, this needs to be discussed separately and we also decided that it is the public sector and the government which needs to interact with each other to enhance these trade issues.

Q: About the situation in WANA:

Ans: Have you ever been to Wana? You haven’t been, so obviously you don’t know the realities. Yes there is military action going on. We are moving on two tracks. One is the military track and the other is political track and you ought to know what the political side is doing? We have all the Jirga and tribal elders on our side. We have a Jirga meeting and infact more than that Jirgas decided to create a Lashkar which is a force of locals who assist us. We have given them an assurance. They will side by the government and they will expose all the foreigners of that area. This is according to their tribal norms. So we are operating according to their tribal norms through the political agent on ground. We also have the military operations wherever we locate foreign targets. Now let me assure you that military never strikes our own people. Military strikes where it is certain that there are foreign elements or whatever they are called. Foreign elements will not be allowed in Pakistan. Wherever we see them, wherever the intelligence locates them and confirm their location we strike by all means and the best means that we have and that is what we do. There is no collateral damage that has been done. It is very seldom that by mistake some collapse takes place but we are very careful of that. According to tribal norms through political means we take action against them. I think everything is going normal. All the tribal elders are on our side. They interacted with the Governor and they have interacted with the Prime Minister when he had gone there. So things are going all right. It’s a situation where we have to show resolve, where the nation has to show resolve because we can not allow terrorism to go on inside or outside Pakistan, by any one either he is a foreigner or a Pakistani inside.

Q: On nuclear issue:

Ans: Well it brought to us a bad name and it damaged to the extent that it compromised our sincerity but then I am very glad that we were able to explain to the world our commitment against proliferation. Pakistan will not proliferate. However, whatever happened by Dr A Q Khan dip was most unfortunate and regrettable. It happened because of certain circumstances where he himself was the incharge. Finances, security were decentralized by the scientist himself. Now they are all centralized. There is a custodial control and we are very sure that there will be no proliferation. So to finally sum up on what you have asked, yes it created a bad impression of our country which we regret. But we have washed off that impression to an extent. We need to guarantee non proliferation in our action in future and I am sure that things will be all right. He is the hero in Pakistan. You should know that. It is the most sensitive issue that I dealt with in my career. A person who is considered to be a hero in Pakistan. On one side he has proliferated and damaged our national cause. On the other side he is a hero. I think I have done very well in dealing with him.

Q: Question on uniform:

Ans: When I am in uniform, I am always in uniform. I am a General and I remain a General always that is my preferred option. What is the three in one? I don’t know the third one. I am the President and the Army Chief but I am not the political leader. There is a political organization functioning. The Senate is functioning. The National Assembly, the Provincial Assembly, there is a Prime Minister, there is a Chief Minister. There is leader of house, leader of opposition. I don’t happen to hold any of these appointments. But if people hold me in esteem, if the people, politicians of Pakistan and you hold me in esteem and call me a political leader, well that may be true. It is a long answer to that which in did even discuss. There are bigger issues involved and First of all let me clarify I haven’t change my mind as yet. I haven’t decided, there is still time to decide. However, I will say that I am concerned about many things, to give a short answer; I am concerned about continuity of our policies. I am concerned about the continuity of Pakistan’s foreign policy and continuity of anti-terrorism campaign and our rapprochement with India to continue. I am concerned about the change that we are trying to introduce in Pakistan renaissance. We want to change the mindsets of the people of Pakistan. Therefore I need to take decisions on these bigger and more important issues rather than the option of the uniform or lack of uniform.


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