Posted by: Administrator | 12 July, 2007

No hesitation to quit if it solves Country’s problems

No hesitation to quit if it solves country’s problems: Musharraf

Tehran Times – 13 July 2008

President Pervez Musharraf on Friday night said he will not hesitate for a minute to resign if it can help resolve the challenges facing the country like economic crisis, extremism threat, and political turmoil.

“Believe me, I would have resigned four months back, had it been to the benefit of the country and the nation ,” he said while addressing businessmen at an annual dinner hosted by the Business Community of Pakistan forum at a hotel here.

Musharraf said that his resignation is not a solution to the national issues, rather it would create a good leadership problem that the country cannot afford. “People of Pakistan want my stay and the country needs me,” President Pervez Musharraf asserted. He rebutted the rumor mongers who he said were bringing political and economic instability in the country by spreading false news about his quitting the Presidency and flying to some foreign country to seek political asylum.

“There were rumors that I was to resign within next 48 hours. I have been surrounded by armed forces at the Army House. A plane is ready at Chaklala Airbase (Islamabad) to take me abroad. But no such thing happened so far,” the President said adding that he was not afraid of any one or any thing but Allah Almighty.

He said he was not going anywhere as he had not stolen any thing, nor had he looted the national exchequer. He would die in the country.

President Musharraf said he had no residence abroad and had even no money for the same. The army is standing with him as he had served and commanded this prestigious force for forty years with all professional excellence, honesty and sincerity, he said.

“It will be the last day of my life if the army shows distrust on me and surrounds me,” he said.

He strongly criticized those civilians and retired personnel of the armed forces who are speaking against him only to get cheap popularity. They were doing a disservice to the country by maligning the Presidency, which is the symbol of the nation’s unity and solidarity, he said.

“They are some misguided friends from the army and the civil society speaking nonsense,” he remarked adding that he could speak a lot for each of them but he would not do so in the interest and for the sake of dignity of the country.

The President stressed on promotion of national harmony and reconciliation by shunning all differences and rising beyond personal likes or dislikes of the past. The reconciliation is the name of the game. If we would get involved in personal vendetta, the country would be pushed into more economic crisis and terrorism/extremism any other threats/problems, he said.

Pervez Musharraf said the country was rich in resources including very efficient and hardworking manpower, and it needs a good leadership.

He said he would be the happiest person if coalition Government provides good governance and perform according to the people’s satisfaction/expectations.

He said we got Pakistan after a long struggle and rendering of many sacrifices by our ancestors. Thanks to them, he said, who saved the new generations of Muslims of the subcontinent from remaining under the control and exploitation of Hindus.

President Musharraf emphasized for collective and sincere efforts for solidarity and prosperity of the country.

The President advised the political parties to avoid politics of agitation and focus on real issues like economic and political instability, threat of terrorism and extremism, national disharmony, which were eating away the country like termite.

He defended the action of his last Government in Balochistan saying that unfortunately there was increasing tendency of separatism. No Government should tolerate such tendencies. Federal and Provincial Governments and the forces showing total harmony should unite their actions to save the country from this cancer of separatism and disharmony.

Political stability is must for the economic stability and prosperity in the country, he said.

The President said we would have to stop the flight of capital and attract foreign investors once again. Interest rate and the inflation issues would be dealt with professionally and that a balance would be kept.

Twelve billion dollars foreign investment was expected this year but went down drastically, he noted.

Clarifying why the last interim Government did not increase petroleum prices in proportion to price hike in the international oil market instead of passing on the impact to the new elected Government, President Musharraf said we thought the price can rise up to $72 dollar per barrel from $63 and that the elections would be held in the second week of December 2007. That our economy was strong enough to absorb the POL prices hike.

We did not know that the price would cross $100 per barrel and that the elections would be postponed due to martyrdom of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, he said.

He highlighted the achievements of the last elected Government like high GDP growth and significant increase in revenue.

He said high income can be achieved through high production and remittances, privatization, international bonds and portfolio of shares. We can sell our pieces of papers in the international market only when there is stability in the country.

He urged the business community to play their historic role in bringing the country out of the economic crisis like they played after the independence when it was feared that the country’s system would collapse due to shortage of resources.

President Pervez Musharraf said terrorism and extremism have domestic and international dimensions which could be tackled by pursuing a three-pronged strategy initiated by him four years back. This strategy is based on military action, political dialogue and socio-economic uplift of the area.

Referring to FATA where some foreigners were allegedly involved in terrorist/extremist activities along with local Taliban sections, President Musharraf said the Government was continuing the past government’s policies to deal with the terrorists.

There are local Taliban in certain districts of NWFP and they should be stopped to avert emergence of other Red Mosques.

He expressed his satisfaction that majority of people in NWFP voted for moderate forces in the last elections.

“The people of NWFP also reject talibanization,” he said.

The President said he was almost silent during last three months under a well-calculated plan. However, he said, he was concerned over the deteriorating economy, political turmoil and the threat of extremism to the country.

President Musharraf thanked the business community for showing full confidence in him and for assuring all support to him to deal with socio-economic and political issues.

“You are my source of courage and my resolve /determination for the country has strengthened further,” he said.

He noted the business community had correctly pointed out the problems facing the country on economic and political fronts.

All these crises and challenges can be settled with the cooperation and support from the business community which is a great power of the country.

He assured more interaction with the business community on all issues leading to economic stability and prosperity, and solidarity of the country.

Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishrat-ul- Ebad Khan acknowledged that the business community have made public their grievances relating to trade and industry after losing patience over last three months.

He appreciated that the business community has worked a lot for the country’s development. A strong President is must for a strong Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat-ul- Ebad said.

He criticized certain sections of electronic media for airing incomplete or false news on the issues of national importance.

Copyright © 1998-2007 The Tehran Times Daily Newspaper, Tehran-Iran

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