Posted by: Administrator | 7 March, 2007

Musharraf with Sky News Asia’s Alex Crawford.

14 Nov 2007  Pakistan’s President Musharraf has said he wants a democracy and denies he is a dictator. He spoke exclusively to Sky’s Asia correspondent Alex Crawford.

View Video of Interview

President Musharraf [PM]: When things are not going well for the country, and that is my emotional involvement with this country, with its progress, I get disturbed when that what we’ve achieved in seven years seem to be turning downwards. And that brings that emotion and passion inside me.

Alex Crawford [AC]: A lot of people are putting pressure on you, aren’t they??

PM: I don’t think I was angry, I wish I could control myself, maybe that’s your question.

AC: There is a lot of pressure though, isn’t there, from the Commonwealth, from the British government, from the American government. Do you feel that you’re at the brink of being abandoned by the Americans – they’re making all sorts of overtures, they’re clearly not happy?

PM: Please do understand that the easiest thing for me to do, and you have to believe that and the listeners have to believe that, is to go onto the television and say ‘thank you very much, I’ve worked hard for seven years and I’ve turned this country around. Did this for democracy, did this for freedom of expression, empowerment of the people, development of the country, economically viable, GDP growth, per capita income growth, and thank you very much?

AC: Well why don’t you?

PM: now this is the easiest to do. However, is that in the interest of Pakistan? That had to be seen.

AC: What will it take to lift emergency rule, because that seems to be the real sticking point, the thing that’s really upsetting people?

PM: We have to make sure that the elections are fair and transparent and run in a harmonious, there should be no agitational politics going on in the country because that is what will disturb the peace of the country. We want balanced politics?

AC: How can it be balanced when you’ve locked up all your opponents?

PM: because they were on the agitational course not because they were, if they are normal, if everything is going in a normal manner, why would anyone ever snap?

AC: But all your main opponents are either locked up or under house arrest. Can’t you see how the West finds that difficult to square?

PM: No they are not locked up?

AC: or under house arrest?

PM: The main political parties, the leader, you see them on the TV, the main leader you can see on the television.

AC: They’re still locked up. I did see Imran Khan, I did see the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami but they’re both under house arrest or on the run. Even Benazir Bhutto is now locked up in her house?

PM: Yes, but what do you expect?

AC: how can that be free and fair, Sir?

PM: You should get to the root of the problem. Benazir Bhutto is in Lahore. Lahore is the capital of Punjab and the Chief Minister of Pubjab is Pervaiz Elahi who she has written to me, if anything happens to her, he is the main accused. Now there is a (inaudible), and what this Chief Minister do? He’s the main accused if anything happens to her? What does he do? What do we expect him to do? To let her roam around and something happens and he’s the main accused. So let’s please understand the environment. If she’s there in an agitational mode, in a confrontationist mode, then the response is going to be confrontation and action by the government. After all the government is there to preserve peace.

AC: Hand on heart do you feel that America is possibly thinking of abandoning you. They’re talking about a post-Musharraf era. They’ve been your allies for this long but now the sounds, the sources that I’m talking to, they’re thinking maybe he’s not going to work out.

PM: OK, yeah.

AC: How would you feel about that?

PM: I feel very bad (laughs). If that is the majority and if that is what the government thinks but however, again, I want to take action as per the requirements of Pakistan.

AC: You’d feel let down by them though wouldn’t you?

PM: I do feel let down when people don’t understand. But let me say, I feel more let down, not by the governments because I know how they feel, I have spoken to so many world leaders, so many world leaders have rung me up. So you don’t know what they have told me, ok?

Now, I am disappointed and let down by the media. Let me put it very bluntly. It is the media which is creating negative vibes on the terrorist front because how you report what you do, encourages, makes heroes of terrorists and lets down those who are fighting against terrorists. I’m talking of the Western media as well as parts of Pakistani media. You distort sometimes without knowing, maybe it is unintentional, in many cases, several cases that I know there are people who intentionally distort to let down somebody. There is, in Pakistan at least, there is a political element involved. So therefore my disappointment and dismay is that we may ultimately lose this battle against terrorism because of the way the media projects the counter-terrorism war. That is my inner feeling.

AC: What is it that would make you resign? At the moment you’ve got street battles, you’ve got most of the Opposition locked up, you’ve got Western governments saying can you lift emergency rule, you have to. I mean, what other ingredients are there to make you resign?

PM: Llift the emergency and bring turmoil into Pakistan. We have to see if there is a way that my going will ensure balance and stability in Pakistan. That is the best time that I would like to quit. OK? And I am seeing that, I am looking at that. Now if my requirement is there to ensure that turmoil is avoided and we go into elections and elected government comes in, that is the best way of handling it. The best way of handling it, the issue is of transition to democracy which is my uniform issue. OK. That must be handled.

The second issue is we must have elections and an elected government because the elections? I have already declared that. So we must have elections. I must handle the uniform issue. I can not be a President in uniform. Now, the choice after that is whether I should stay at all. That option is available to me?

AC: Have you thought of it?

PM: But should it be given up now and we will have better Pakistan, a stablier Pakistan and we could have very good elections, without me? Very good, maybe I take that decision, OK?

AC: Have you thought of it?

PM: Well, I think of everything when I sit down.

AC: But you’ve actually considered it recently?

PM: I think of every option and I discuss every option.

I have put myself up front, the easiest was that I immediately leave. You are taking me to be a dictator which I am not. Mentally and in my heart I am not a dictator. I have never run the army in a dictatorial manner wherever I’ve commanded. In my heart I have introduced democracy, I believe in democracy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: