Posted by: Administrator | 11 October, 2006

President address at Inaugural Meeting at Correspondent Club

20 July 2005

“I would like to start by saying that world is in turmoil today with all the bomb blasts and suicide bombings going on, all over world. But the special feature of all this turmoil is that it involves almost all the Muslim countries where all these bomb blasts and upheavals are taking place.

This has led to two very serious misperceptions in the world. One misperception in the western world is that the Islam is the religion of extremism, of militancy and terrorism. The other misperception is within the Islamic World where Muslims have started thinking that the Islam is being targeted. Both these are very serious misperceptions and when you read the theory of clash of civilizations, which further exacerbates the situation. I think we are in a very explosive mix today. Islam is the religion of peace, tolerance, moderation. May I also add that democracy, secularism and modernism are inherent parts of Islam but what has happened really is that these true, real values and essence of Islam has been hijacked by the uneducated fringe, I would say obscurantists.

So, the view you get of Islam is really the view of obscurantists and the view of terrorist who are carrying out these extremist and terrorist acts. That is not what real Islam is?

May I also add, that Islam recognizes Jesus and Moses as Prophets and this is there in the holy Book ‘Quran’. Islam is not what you really see in the actions of these obscurantist fringes. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we need to correct the environment in the world. We as members, as the strongest or as one of the leading countries of the Islamic world would like to emancipate the Muslim world.

Therefore, I proposed the strategy of enlightened moderation. This is two pronged strategy. One of the prongs is to be delivered by the Muslim world to reject the extremism and terrorism and go on the path of socio-economic development because all the social indicators of the Islamic world are worst.

The West must deliver the other prong. It should resolve all political disputes that are the core of extremism and terrorism. So, this is the strategy of enlightened moderation that I have proposed. Now, I would like to give the glimpse of what we are doing in Pakistan other than what I have skipped.

We are trying to implement this strategy now of rejecting terrorism through restructuring of OIC, the representative body of the Islamic world. We are addressing the issue of terrorism in Pakistan. We are in war against terrorism. We have launched a massive terrorism campaign. We have apprehended, deported or eliminated about 700 Al-Qaeda operatives in our cities and then we saw that in the mountainous region of our Western border with Afghanistan, where there are seven agencies, we saw concentrations of terrorists in one of agencies. We launched a military operation. 7000 troops are operating there and we have occupied about 5 of their sanctuaries which were their command and communication basis, Logistic places and propaganda basis. Now, we have occupied them. They all are on the run in the mountains and small penny packets. We have succeeded in breaking their back. Why I say this because we have broken their lateral and vertical linkages.

We have tried to bring about balance in our environment. We have gone for economic revival. We have revived the economy of Pakistan. It was in a state of default, free fall when I came on the scene. Our all macro economic indicators are positive. We then have gone on to a long term of addressing the issues in Pakistan and that is human resource development. We are concentrating on education and especially on women education. We are concentrating on health and again on mother child care and health at the primary level and also trying to provide safe drinking water to the masses of Pakistan. We have gone for transferring the macro economic waves that we have got to the people of Pakistan through poverty alleviation. We have strategies and we are addressing poverty in all its facets through a well planed strategy.

Then we have introduced a sustainable democracy in Pakistan. That may sound very odd to you and it may sound ironic that the man in the uniform is talking of democracy. It sometimes does need, a man in uniform to introduce democracy. Democracy had never succeeded in Pakistan. It was dysfunctional and we analyzed why it was dysfunctional and we introduced sustainable democracy. We introduced local system in Pakistan about which WB says that it is a silent revolution and that deals with empowering the people of Pakistan. We for the first time, have empowered the people of Pakistan at grass root level. We have empowered the women of Pakistan and never before were they empowered so, because that will lead to the core to emancipating the lot of women in Pakistan. Today, there are 4000 women sitting in politics. 22% are women in our National Assembly. That is what we have done to emancipate the lot of the women by empowering the women. We have also empowered the minorities of Pakistan. We have introduced the system of checks and balances so that democracy is never derailed in the future.

We have opened up our media. Now our electronic and print media is freer than many developed countries. We had only one TV channel in the past but now we have dozen of TV channels and other dozen waiting to be licensed and so is the print media open. There is a free debate and discussion. Opposition members comes and sit on TV, talk against govt policies and against me also. So the media is absolute open and transparent that is what the root of democracy is. Therefore, I say that I being the man in uniform had the distinct pleasure of introducing real sustainable democracy in Pakistan.


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