Pakistani leaders have always been issuing good statements, but in most cases, they do not know what they have been saying. Though they have been making positive remarks, they practically know nothing.
Pakistani leaders say that they are against terrorism, but the situation is totally different. President Pervez Musharraf in a statement said that they have been fighting the war on terror in its own interest. And they are against terrorism, but still there is terrorism. It means that terrorists are more powerful than the state.
President General Pervez Musharraf said that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and extremism was in its own national interest and not at the behest of any other country.
“We are not fighting terrorism and extremism for the sake of America, but we are confronting this menace in our own interest,” the president said in response to a question in a special television programme called ‘From Aiwan-e-Sadr’.
He said Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups were hiding in the tribal areas and were involved in terrorist activities. “It is time that the entire nation rises against them,” he said, adding that poverty and lack of education were the root causes of militancy.
“Our policy is pro-Pakistan...I strongly believe that Pakistan comes first,” he said. “I do not blindly pursue policies of others and see everything from Pakistan’s point of view.”
On several occasions, Pakistan voted “against the wishes of others” on human rights issues at international forums. There were several objections to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline plan, “but the project is in our interest and we are pursuing it,” he said.
About statements made by US presidential candidates calling for unilateral US action in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the president said, “I am 200 percent sure that these [views] are [held] neither at the official nor government level.”
He said US President George W Bush called him over the phone and assured him of respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty. He said the media in the United States is as free as in Pakistan. “Let them speak. I am fully confident and very sure that there will be no action across the border. If there is an action it will be conducted by the Pakistani forces and we will do it ourselves.”
Asked about the wavering confidence of investors owing to political uncertainty in Pakistan, he said: “We will go through the election process and there will be political stability in Pakistan.”
Gen Musharraf acknowledged his popularity had fallen after the chief justice case verdict. He said if re-elected, his priorities would be to sustain the economic growth it had achieved over the last seven years, to fight and defeat extremism and terrorism, bring about qualitative socio-economic change for people at the grassroots, and reduce poverty.