Archive for July, 2009

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Time to talk to Taliban: Musharraf

July 22, 2009

Pervez MusharrafLONDON: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf said dialogue had to be established with the Taliban and political progress, rather than military might, would achieve a solution in Afghanistan.

“I think the strategy is right but we need to put in a little more input, more forces required, and maybe we need to concentrate also on the long-term strategy. We are following a short-term military strategy only,” the former general told Britain’s Sky News television.

“The Taliban have done wicked things. But then we have to come to a solution.

“Military is never the ultimate solution. The military can buy you time, it can create an environment, but ultimately it is the political instrument which has to be used.

“I personally think that you need to establish a political dialogue and political dialogue with senior elements within the Taliban.

“Unfortunately, the Taliban or the senior elements in the Taliban, I don’t think are open at the moment to any discussions or any negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“We need to have people, whether through a jirga or whether it is the president himself, to have access into the Taliban.”

Musharraf said the Taliban’s influence in Pakistan’s Afghan border areas had strengthened since he resigned the presidency in August last year.

“There is a degree of instability that has come up because of this resurgence of Talibanisation activity in the settled districts of the frontier, especially Swat, but I am very sure as long as the armed forces of Pakistan stay and they are strong, Pakistan will remain stable,” he said.

Source: Times of India (19th July 2009)

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Grand event: To welcome former President in UK

July 14, 2009

Musharraf Lovers are unitedLONDON: A large group of Britons of Pakistani origin comprising businessmen, professionals, academicians and intellectuals is giving finishing touches to a grand ‘welcome and launch’ event for former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf who has made London his ‘temporary’ abode.

The group which calls itself ‘Lovers of Musharraf’ is planning to hold the event on or around July 18 after his return next week from his current Middle East tour which he is said to be undertaking on an aircraft specially sent for him by one of the Gulf rulers.

The members of the group believe that Musharraf was the best thing that had ever happened to Pakistan and that the country never had it so good except during his tenure.

The group wants to re-launch the general into Pakistani politics soon after the two-year post-retirement mandatory period comes to an end in September this year and is confident that his return would be even more triumphant than the one which was witnessed during Benazir Bhutto’s 1986 return home.

Politically, the timing would be just ripe as the present rulers by that time would have been exposed to the full and the people of Pakistan would be dying to welcome back their ‘redeemer’.’ one of the leading organisers of the event who is also footing part of the bill, said on condition of anonymity.

He said the event would not be a political meeting for understandable reasons, but a get-together of the like-minded British Pakistanis with the former president ‘to show him the great esteem in which we hold him.’

Meanwhile, Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham has asked the UK government whether Pervez Musharraf had been granted police protection in the United Kingdom; whether the same protection provided to all former heads of state or government on their visits to the UK or when they take residence here and whether any contribution is made by their country of origin towards such costs.

He has also asked whether any foreign nationals in the United Kingdom are given police protection; if so, how many and at what cost.

Lord Nazir has submitted some queries related to Gen Musharraf in House of Lords and has asked the government to furnish replies to them.

’Response from the government is awaited and it would be very interesting to know the official point of view on this controversial subject,’ said some British Pakistanis who appeared to endorse Lord Nazir’s queries.

Source: www.dawn.com

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