Archive for the ‘President Musharraf’s articles’ Category

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LAL MASJID – SHIFTING TRUTH FROM LIES

August 26, 2011

(By Pervez Musharraf – former President of Pakistan)

The Lal Masjid operation is a case study of how an appropriately timed, meticulously planned and boldly executed operation launched in the supreme national interest can be distorted by vested interests who want to present it as a disaster. I would like to elaborate/clarify various issues which have been distorted. “Hundreds of innocent people were killed which included scores of women and children.” This is an absolute lie. Firstly none of those killed were innocent. They were terrorists (including five foreigners) who took the law in their own hands and killed a number of policemen, kidnapped and physically tortured Chinese citizens (causing embarrassment to the government) and burnt down Ministry of Environment offices, property and vehicles.

They had stored arms and explosives in the mosque and were equipped/prepared for suicide bombings. Secondly the numbers killed were NINETY FOUR and not a single woman or child was killed. This can be ascertained by digging their graves and counting. “The operation was launched overriding efforts to end the occupation peacefully.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The siege of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa was started about six months before the operation. There were about two thousand five hundred girls in Jamia Hafsa and an equal number of men who had taken over Lal Masjid. Despite all the pressure on the government in the media to act and evict the occupants who were challenging the writ of the government and causing immense embarrassment, the decision taken was to negotiate a peaceful settlement to avoid casualties. In the months that followed, representatives from Wafaqul Madaris and the Council of Islamic Ideology were sent to negotiate, Maulana Edhis’ wife was sent to pacify the girls and even Imam Kaaba was gracious enough to contribute towards an amicable end to the confrontation.

Besides this, a number of politicians and notables also tried their best to resolve the issue. All this was to no avail. The primary concern before launching the operation was how to avoid casualties. The operation was launched only after all efforts towards a negotiated settlement failed and maximum occupants including all women and children were drawn out. The individuals left were all hardened terrorists including five foreigners who refused to surrender and decided to fight it out.

We as Pakistanis must realise that we cannot be known internationally as a “Soft State” or a “Banana Republic” where there is no writ of the government. The government has to be strong enough to meet any challenge to its authority. Then only can we emerge as a stable, strong, respectable country in the comity of nations. We also have to make sure that religion is not misused to challenge the state and spread extremism in the society. Lal Masjid operation stands as a tribute to the gallantry of all the soldiers, especially of SSG, rangers and policemen who participated in the operation. May all the Shaheeds rest in peace, Ameen.

[Click here to watch the media confession of Umm-e-Hassan – Principal Jamia Hafsa in regards to the presence of suicide bombers.]

Source: APML online

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9/11 – Could we have decided otherwise?

August 24, 2011

By Pervez Musharraf – former President of Pakistan

Pakistan’s decision to join the US and the Coalition in Afghanistan in their attack on the Taliban remains a subject of intense debate. This is the decision we took after a thorough, deliberate and realistic appraisal of the obtaining geo-strategic realities, but it has drawn criticism and praise alike. With the latest upsurge in terrorist activity in Pakistan, the debate on the post-9/11 response of Pakistan has intensified. I, therefore, thought it my duty to lay bare facts in front of the people of Pakistan, so that with all the necessary information they could judge the situation more accurately. The decision of my government was indeed based on, and in conformity with, my slogan of ‘Pakistan First’.
Some people suggested that we should oppose the United States and favour the Taliban. Was this, in any way, beneficial for Pakistan? Certainly not! Even if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda emerged victorious, it would not be in Pakistan’s interest to embrace obscurantist Talibanisation. That would have meant a society where women had no rights, minorities lived in fear and semi-literate clerics set themselves up as custodians of justice. I could have never accepted this kind of society for Pakistan. In any case, judging by military realities one was sure that the Taliban would be defeated. It would have been even more detrimental for Pakistan to be standing on the defeated side.
The United States, the sole superpower, was wounded and humiliated by the 9/11 Al-Qaeda terrorist attack. A strong retaliatory response against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was imminent.

I was angrily told, by the US, that Pakistan had to be ‘either with us or against us’. The message was also conveyed to me that ‘if Pakistan was against the United States then it should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age.’

This was the environment within which we had to take a critical decision for Pakistan. My sole focus was to make a decision that would benefit Pakistan in the long run, and also guard it against negative effects.

What options did the US have to attack Afghanistan? Not possible from the north, through Russia and the Central Asian Republics. Not from the west, through Iran. The only viable direction was from the east, through Pakistan. If we did not agree, India was ever ready to afford all support. A US-India collusion would obviously have to trample Pakistan to reach Afghanistan. Our airspace and land would have been violated. Should we then have pitched our forces, especially Pakistan Air Force, against the combined might of the US and Indian forces? India would have been delighted with such a response from us. This would surely have been a foolhardy, rash and most unwise decision. Our strategic interests – our nuclear capability and the Kashmir cause – would both have been irreparably compromised. We might even have put our very territorial integrity at stake.

The economic dimension of confronting the United States and the West also needed serious analysis. Pakistan’s major export and investment is to and from the United States and the European Union. Our textiles, which form 60 percent of our export and earnings, go to the West. Any sanctions on these would have crippled our industry and choked our economy. Workers would lose their jobs. The poor masses of Pakistan would have been the greatest sufferers.

China, our great friend, also has serious apprehensions about Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The upsurge of religious extremism emboldening the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in China is due to events in Afghanistan and the tribal agencies of Pakistan. China would certainly not be too happy with Pakistan on the side of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Even the Islamic Ummah had no sympathy for the Taliban regime; countries like Turkey and Iran were certainly against the Taliban. The UAE and Saudi Arabia – the only two countries other than Pakistan that had recognised the Taliban regime – had become so disenchanted with the Taliban that they had closed their missions in Kabul.

Here, I would also like to clear the notion that we accepted all the demands put forward by USA.

On September 13th 2001, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, brought me a set of seven demands. These demands had also been communicated to our Foreign Office by the US State Department.

1. Stop Al-Qaeda operatives at your borders, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan, and end all logistical support for bin Laden.
2. Provide the United States with blanket overflight and landing rights to conduct all necessary military and intelligence operations.
3. Provide territorial access to the United States and allied military intelligence as needed, and other personnel to conduct all necessary operations against the perpetrators of terrorism and those that harbour them, including the use of Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic locations on borders.
4. Provide the United States immediately with intelligence, immigration information and databases, and internal security information, to help prevent and respond to terrorist acts perpetrated against the United States, its friends, or its allies.
5. Continue to publicly condemn the terrorist acts of September 11 and any other terrorist acts against the United States or its friends and allies, and curb all domestic expressions of support [for terrorism] against the United States, its friends, or its allies.
6. Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Taliban and any other items and recruits, including volunteers, en route to Afghanistan, who can be used in a military offensive capacity or to abet a terrorist threat.
7.Should the evidence strongly implicate Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan and should Afghanistan and the Taliban continue to harbour him and his network, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, end support for the Taliban, and assist the United States in the afore-mentioned ways to destroy Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.Some of these demands were ludicrous, such as “curb all domestic expressions of support [for terrorism] against the United States, its friends, and its allies.” How could my government suppress public debate, when I had been trying to encourage freedom of expression?

I also thought that asking us to break off diplomatic relations with Afghanistan if it continued to harbour Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda was not realistic, because not only would the United States need us to have access to Afghanistan, at least until the Taliban fell, but such decisions are the internal affair of a country and cannot be dictated by anyone. But we had no problem with curbing terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We had been itching to do so before the United States became its victim.

We just could not accept demands two and three. How could we allow the United States “blanket overflight and landing rights” without jeopardising our strategic assets? I offered only a narrow flight corridor that was far from any sensitive areas. Neither could we give the United States “use of Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic locations on borders.” We refused to give any naval ports or fighter aircraft bases. We allowed the United States only two bases – Shamsi in Balochistan and Jacobabad in Sindh – and only for logistics and aircraft recovery. No attack could be launched from there. We gave no “blanket permission” for anything.

The rest of the demands we could live with. I am happy that the US government accepted our counterproposal without any fuss. I am shocked at the aspersion being cast on me: that I readily accepted all preconditions of the United States during the telephone call from Colin Powell. He did not give any conditions to me. These were brought by the US ambassador on the third day.

Having made my decision, I took it to the Cabinet. Then I began meeting with a cross section of society. Between September 18 and October 3, I met with intellectuals, top editors, leading columnists, academics, tribal chiefs, students, and the leaders of labour unions. On October 18, I also met a delegation from China and discussed the decision with them. Then I went to army garrisons all over the country and talked to the soldiers. I thus developed a broad consensus on my decision.

This was an analysis of all the losses/harms we would have suffered. if we had taken an anti-US stand. At the same time, I obviously analysed the socio-economic and military gains that would accrue from an alliance with the West. I have laid down the rationale for my decision in all its details. Even with hindsight, now, I do not repent it. It was correct in the larger interest of Pakistan. I am confident that the majority of Pakistanis agree with it.

Source: The Nation

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Musharraf calls for bridging trust deficit

June 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) — The most urgent need in the strained U.S.-Pakistan relations is to restore mutual trust, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said.

In a 1,700-word column written for CNN, the former military ruler, now living in exile in Britain, said his country finds itself “in the eye of the terrorism storm” while an “environment of controversies, contradictions, distortions and mutual suspicions prevails all around, polluting and weakening the war on terror.”

Musharraf, who took power in Pakistan after a bloodless military coup in 1999 and now seeks to return home to run for office, said the current environment does not bode well for the global war on terror.

“The first and most urgent need of the hour is to restore trust. We must speak the truth with each other very openly and frankly. Pakistan needs to explain clearly why it is not acting against the Haqqani group (suspected of using Pakistani sanctuaries to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan) or when it will operate in North Waziristan.

“The intelligence agencies of Pakistan should be purged of any elements who may not be committed to the official line of fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban,” Musharraf said.

On Pakistanis’ “antipathy” toward the United States, Musharraf blamed it on the “abandonment” of his country after 1989 with a strategic shift of U.S. policy towards India and military sanctions against Pakistan. He said other reasons included the U.S.-India civilian nuclear deal, the U.S. military presence and operations in Afghanistan and its drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

On the finding of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the garrison town of Abbottabad before he was killed by U.S. forces last month, Musharraf blamed Pakistan’s “incompetence and callousness of the highest degree” in not being aware of bin Laden’s presence and ruled out any complicity with the militants.

He said any suggestion of complicity in hiding bin Laden in the country for five years would also involve him when he was president.

“I knew nothing about it, and I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams that the intelligence agencies were hiding it from me,” he wrote.

He said the United States must “trust” that Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism in its own interest.

“We, as a nation, have to boldly demonstrate our resolve towards moderation and rejection of extremism from within our society,” he said.

Source: UPI Asia

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نائن الیون۔ کیا ہم کوئی دوسرا فیصلہ کرسکتے تھے؟

June 6, 2011

جنرل(ر) پرویز مشرف

پاکستان کا امریکہ اور اسکے اتحادیوں کا افغانستان میں طالبان کیخلاف حملے میں ساتھ دینا ایک بحث طلب معاملہ ہے۔یہ فیصلہ ہم نے جیو سٹرٹیجک حقائق کومکمل طورپر مدنظر رکھتے ہوئے کیا لیکن اس فیصلے پر تعریف اور تنقید دونوں کی جارہی ہیں۔ پاکستان میں دہشت گردی کے حالیہ واقعات کے بعد پاکستان کا نائن الیون کے حملوں کے بعد کا ردعمل زیادہ اہمیت اختیار کرگیا ہے۔اس لئے میں اپنا فرض سمجھتا ہوں کہ پاکستانی عوام کو تمام ضروری معلومات سے آگاہ کروں تاکہ وہ صورتحال کا بہتر طورپر ادراک کرسکیں۔ میری حکومت کا امریکہ کا ساتھ دینے کا فیصلہ درحقیقت میرے ماٹو ”سب سے پہلے پاکستان“ پر مبنی تھا۔ کچھ لوگوں نے مشورہ دیا کہ ہمیں امریکہ کی مخالفت کرتے ہوئے طالبان کاساتھ دیناچاہئے کیا یہ کسی بھی طرح پاکستان کے حق میں تھا؟ یقینی طورپر نہیں۔ اگر القاعدہ اور طالبان کو اس جنگ میں فتح ہوبھی جاتی تو بھی یہ پاکستان کے مفاد میں نہیں تھا کہ وہ طالبانائزیشن کو اختیارکرتا۔ طالبانائزیشن اختیار کرنے کا مطلب ہوتا کہ ہم ایک ایسے معاشرے میں رہ رہے ہیں جہاں خواتین کو کوئی حقوق حاصل نہیں، ا قلیتیں خوف کی حالت میں رہیں نیم پڑھے لکھے عالم انصاف کے رکھوالے بن جائیں ۔ میں اس قسم کی صورتحال کو پاکستان کیلئے کبھی بھی پسند نہ کرتا۔
فوجی نقطہ نظر سے یہ با ت واضح تھی کہ طالبان کو اس جنگ میں یقینی طورپر شکست ہوناہے اور پاکستان کیلئے یہ بہت نقصان دہ ہوتا کہ وہ ایک شکست خوردہ فریق کا ساتھ دیتا۔دنیا کی تنہا عالمی طاقت امریکہ نائن الیون کے حملے کے بعد زخمی اور شرمندہ ہوچکا تھا۔ افغانستان میں القاعدہ اور طالبان کیخلاف شدید ردعمل ناگزیر ہوچکا تھا۔ مجھے امریکہ کی طرف سے سخت لہجے میں پیغام دیا گیا کہ پاکستان کو یا تو ہمارا ساتھ دینا پڑے گا یا ہماری مخالفت کرنا پڑے گی۔ مجھے یہ پیغام بھی دیا گیا کہ اگر پاکستان نے امریکہ کی مخالفت کی تو اسے بمباری کے ذریعے پتھر کے دور میں پہنچا دیا جائے گا۔
یہ وہ صورتحال تھی جس میں ہمیں پاکستان کے حوالے سے انتہائی اہم فیصلہ کرنا تھا۔میری پوری توجہ اس بات پر مرکوز تھی کہ ایک ایسا فیصلہ کیاجائے جس سے پاکستان کو طویل المدتی فائدہ ہو اور وہ ہر قسم کے منفی اثرات سے بچارہے۔
امریکہ کے پاس افغانستان پر حملہ کرنے کیلئے کیا آپشن تھے؟ وہ شمال کی طرف سے ایسا نہیں کرسکتا تھا کیونکہ وہاں روس اور وسطی ایشیا کی ریاستیں موجود تھیں۔ وہ مغرب کی طرف سے ایران کے راستے سے بھی ایسا نہیں کرسکتا تھا۔ وہ صرف پاکستان کے ذریعے افغانستان پر حملہ کر سکتا تھا۔ اگر ہم راضی نہ ہوتے تو بھارت ایسا کرنے کیلئے تیار تھا۔ امریکہ اور بھارت کا اتحاد پاکستان کو روند کر افغانستان تک پہنچتا۔ ہماری فضائی اور زمینی حدود کی خلاف ورزی کی جاتی۔ کیاہم اپنی فوج کے ذریعے امریکہ اور بھارت کی مشترکہ قوت کا مقابلہ کرتے؟ بھارت ہماری طرف سے ایسے ردعمل پر بہت خوش ہوتا۔ یہ ایک مکمل طورپر بے وقوفانہ اور غیر عقلمندانہ ردعمل ہوتا۔ ہمیں اپنے سٹرٹیجک مفادات…. اپنی ایٹمی قوت اور کشمیر کے حوالے سے نقصان اٹھانا پڑتا۔ ہماری علاقائی خود مختاری بھی داﺅ پر لگ سکتی تھی۔
امریکہ اور مغرب سے ٹکراﺅ کے نتیجے میں اقتصادی صورتحال پر بھی سنجیدگی سے غور کرنے کی ضرورت ہے۔ پاکستان کی اہم برآمدات کا ذریعہ امریکہ اور یورپی یونین ہیں اور ہمارے ملک میں زیادہ سرمایہ کاری بھی وہیں سے ہوتی ہے۔ ہماری ٹیکسٹائل جو کہ ہماری برآمدات کا 60فیصد ہے وہ بھی یورپ کو برآمد کی جاتی ہیں۔ اس پرکسی بھی قسم کی پابندی سے ہماری صنعت کا گلا گھونٹا جاسکتا تھا۔ مزدوروں کی ملازمتیں کھو جاتیں۔ پاکستان کے غریب عوام کو اسی کا سب سے زیادہ نقصان ہوتا۔
ہمارے اہم ترین دوست چین کو بھی القاعدہ اور طالبان کیخلاف شدید تحفظات ہیں۔ چین میں مشرقی ترکستان اسلامک موومنٹ کی وجہ بھی افغانستان اور ہمارے قبائلی علاقوں کے واقعات ہیں۔ اگر ہم القاعدہ اور طالبان کا ساتھ دیتے تو چین بھی ہم سے خوش نہ ہوتا۔مسلم اُمہ بھی طالبان حکومت سے کوئی ہمدردی نہیں رکھتی تھی ترکی اور ایران طالبان کے سخت خلاف تھے۔ پاکستان کے علاوہ صرف متحدہ عرب امارات اور سعودی عرب نے طالبان حکومت کو تسلیم کیا تھا۔ لیکن وہ بھی طالبان سے اس قدر مایوس ہوئے تھے کہ انہوں نے کابل میں اپنے سفارتی مشن بند کردئیے تھے۔
یہاں میں یہ بات بھی واضح کرناچاہوں گا کہ ہم نے امریکہ کی جانب سے پیش کردہ تمام مطالبات تسلیم کرلئے تھے۔ 13ستمبر2001 کو پاکستان میں امریکی سفیر وینڈی چیمبر لین میرے پاس سات مطالبات لیکر آئیں یہ مطالبات امریکی وزارت خارجہ کی جانب سے ہمارے فارن آفس کو بھی بھجوائے گئے تھے۔ جو مندرجہ ذیل تھے۔
1۔ اپنی سرحدوں پر القاعدہ کے کارکنوں کی سرگرمیاں روکی جائیں پاکستان کے راستے ہتھیاروںکی سپلائی کو روکاجائے اور بن لادن کیلئے ہرقسم کی لاجسٹک سپورٹ کا خاتمہ کیاجائے۔
2۔ امریکہ کو تمام ضروری فوجی اور انٹیلی جنس آپریشنز کیلئے پروازوں اور لینڈنگ کے حقوق فراہم کئے جائیں۔
3۔ امریکہ اور اتحادی فوجی انٹیلی جنس کو ضرورت کے مطابق اور دیگر فوجیوں کو دہشت گردوں اور ان کے سرپرستوں کیخلاف تمام ضروری آپریشنز کرنے کیلئے زمینی رسائی فراہم کی جائے جس میں پاکستان کی نیول پورٹس، ائیر بیسز اور سرحدوں پر سٹرٹیجک لوکیشنز بھی شامل ہوں۔
4۔ امریکہ کو فوری طورپر ایسی تمام انٹیلی جنس امیگریشن انفارمیشن اور ڈیٹا بیسز اور داخلی سلامتی کے بارے میں اطلاعات فراہم کی جائیں جن سے امریکہ اس کے دوستوں اور اتحادیوں کیخلاف دہشت گردانہ سرگرمیوں کو روکنے اور ان کا جواب دینے میں مدد مل سکے۔
5۔11ستمبر کے دہشت گرد اقدامات اور امریکہ ،اسکے دوستوں اور اتحادیوں کیخلاف کسی بھی قسم کی دہشت گردی کی کھلے طور پر مذمت کا سلسلہ جاری رکھا جائے اور امریکہ ،اس کے دوستوں یا اسکے اتحادیوں کیخلاف دہشت گردی کی حمائت میں ہر قسم کے اظہار رائے کو روکاجائے۔
6۔ طالبان کو ایندھن اور دیگر اشیاءو ریکروٹس بشمول براستہ افغانستان ایسے رضا کاروں کی ترسیل کا سلسلہ منقطع کیاجائے جو فوجی حملے یا دہشت گردی میں مددگار کے طورپر استعمال کئے جاسکتے ہوں۔
7۔ اگر افغانستان میں اسامہ بن لادن اور القاعدہ نیٹ ورک کے سرگرم ہونے اور افغانستان کے طالبان کی جانب سے ان کی مدد کرنے کی ٹھوس شہادت ملے تو پاکستان طالبان حکومت سے سفارتی تعلقات توڑے گا اور طالبان کی حمائت ختم کردے گا اور اسامہ بن لادن اور القاعدہ نیٹ ورک کو بیان کردہ طریقوں کے مطابق تباہ کرنے میں امریکہ کی مدد کرے گا۔
ان میں بعض مطالبات مضحکہ خیز تھے جیسا کہ ایسے تمام داخلی اظہار رائے کا سدباب کیاجائے جس سے امریکہ اسکے دوستوں اور اتحادیوں کیخلاف دہشت گردی کی حمائت کا تاثر ملتا ہو بھلا میری حکومت عوامی اظہار رائے کو کیسے دبا سکتی تھی جبکہ میں اظہار رائے کی حوصلہ افزائی کیلئے کوشش کررہا تھا؟ میں نے یہ بھی سوچا کہ ہم سے یہ کہنا کہ افغانستان سے سفارتی تعلقات توڑ دئیے جائیں اگر وہ اسامہ بن لادن اور القاعدہ کی حمائت جاری رکھیں حقیقت پسندانہ نہیں کیونکہ افغانستان تک رسائی کیلئے نہ صرف امریکہ کو ہماری مدد کی ضرورت ہوگی کم سے کم طالبان حکومت کے خاتمہ تک۔ لیکن ایسے فیصلے کسی ملک کا داخلی معاملہ ہے اور کسی کی جانب سے اسے ڈکٹیٹ نہیں کیاجاسکتا تاہم دہشت گردی کو اس کی ہر شکل میں ختم کرنا ہمارے لئے کوئی مسئلہ نہیں تھا ہم امریکہ کے اس کا شکار ہونے سے پہلے ہی ایسا کرنے کی کوشش کررہے تھے۔
ہم دوسرا اور تیسرا مطالبہ تسلیم نہیں کرسکتے تھے ۔ہم امریکہ کو اپنی فضائی حدود میں کھلی پروازوں اور لینڈنگ کے حقوق اپنے سٹرٹیجک اثاثوں کو خطرے میں ڈا ل کر بھلا کیسے دے سکتے تھے؟ میں نے ایک کو ریڈور فراہم کرنے کی پیشکش کی جو ہمارے حساس علاقوں سے خاصے فاصلے پر تھا ہم امریکہ کو اپنی سرحدوں پر نیول پورٹس، ائیر بیسز اور سٹرٹیجک مقامات کے اعتدال کی اجازت بھی نہیں دے سکتے تھے ہم نے نیول پورٹس اور فائٹر طیارو ں کے اڈے دینے سے انکار کردیا ہم نے امریکہ کو بلوچستان میں شمسی اور سندھ میں جیک آباد کے دواڈوں کے صرف لاجسٹکس اور ائیر کرافٹ ریکوری کے استعمال کی اجازت دی ان اڈوں سے کوئی حملہ نہیں کیاجاسکتا تھا ہم نے کسی بھی مقصد کیلئے ” بلینکٹ پرمیشن“ نہیں دی۔
ہم باقی مطالبات پورے کرسکتے تھے اور مجھے خوشی ہے کہ امریکہ نے کسی اعتراض کے بغیر ہماری جوابی تجویز قبول کرلی۔ میں اپنے اوپر لگائے جانے والے اس الزام پر حیران ہوں کہ میں نے کولن پاول کی ایک فون کال پر امریکہ کی تمام شرائط مان لیں جبکہ انہوں نے مجھے کوئی شرائط پیش ہی نہیں کیں۔ یہ شرائط تیسرے روز امریکی سفیر لائی تھیں۔
میں نے اپنا فیصلہ کرنے کے بعد اسے کابینہ کے سامنے پیش کیا پھر میں نے سوسائٹی کے مختلف طبقوں سے ملاقاتیں شروع کیں18ستمبر اور3 اکتوبر کے درمیان میں نے دانشوروں ، ممتاز ایڈیٹروں ،کالم نگاروں، ماہرین تعلیم، قبائلی سرداروں، طلباءاور لیبر یونین کے رہنماﺅں سے ملاقاتیں کیں۔18اکتوبر کو میں نے چینی وفد سے بھی ملاقات کی اور فیصلے پر تبادلہ خیال کیا اس کے بعد میں ملک بھر کی فوجی چھاﺅنیوں میں گیا اور فوجیوں سے بات چیت کی اس طرح میں نے اپنے فیصلے پر وسیع اتفاق رائے پیدا کیا۔
یہ ان تمام ممکنہ نقصانات کا تجزیہ تھا جو ہمیں امریکہ کے خلاف فیصلہ کرنے کی صورت میں اٹھانے پڑتے اس طرح میں نے ان سماجی اقتصادی اور فوجی فوائد کا تجزیہ کیا جو مغرب سے اتحادی کے باعث ہمیں حاصل ہوسکتے تھے میں نے دانشمندی پر مبنی اپنے فیصلے کی تمام تفصیلات بیان کردی ہیں اور اب مجھے اپنے اس فیصلے پر کوئی پچھتاوا نہیں ہے پاکستان کے وسیع مفاد میں یہ درست فیصلہ تھا مجھے یقین ہے کہ پاکستانیوں کی اکثریت اس سے اتفاق کرے گی۔

Source: Nawa-i-Waqt

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Security before democracy

January 2, 2011

By Pervez Musharraf – Former President of Pakistan

DEMOCRACY is an obsession with the West. Perhaps, rightly so because after the failure of communism and socialism, democracy has emerged as the only successful form of government.

However, when one looks around in the Third World which is experimenting with democracy, one sees an unacceptable manifestation of the same — a democratically elected government is in place but taking the country towards disaster. Therefore, clearly, politics/democracy needs to be reconciled with national security — progress/development of the state and welfare/wellbeing of its people.

What are the imperatives of democracy? Are fair elections and an elected government the only requirement of democracy? To me, that is merely a label. How the elected government governs is the true essence of democracy. Democracy’s primary functional concern ought to be: ‘Are people masters of their own destiny? Are they empowered enough to look after their own interests?’

People implies masses belonging to all segments: vertically, the rich and powerful, feudal lords, tribal chiefs on top and the grass-roots common man at the bottom; horizontally, all provinces/states, tribes, religions, sects, castes, men and women.

I strongly believe the danger lies in denying power, not in sharing or giving power.

How does national security affect democracy? First and foremost is security against external threats implying the maintainance of adequate forces to pursue national interests with honour and dignity. Clearly, no state, no democracy.

This is the ‘traditional security element’. Pakistan has suffered from an existential threat from the east since independence, after its first war with India in 1948. Therefore, for its security, it adopted a military strategy of minimum defensive deterrence quantified into force levels for the army, navy and air force.

But when the armed forces, well-organised and well-managed as they are, also become strong in numbers, they tend to acquire a voice in national governance.

Next is security from internal threats or centrifugal forces acting against national security, homogeneity or integrity from within society. This is the ‘non-traditional security’ aspect; its various elements which are confronted for functional democracy to evolve are ethnic, tribal, religious or sectarian disparities and discord; regional or societal development inequities; poverty, joblessness and economic disparities; illiteracy; food and water issues.

Let’s discuss how to ensure national security to protect the state in all its dimensions and tailor democracy to suit a typical Third World environment. I will quote examples from my practical experience.

The people’s destiny must be entwined with that of the state so that they develop a stake in it. This is possible when the state rises economically and its wealth is distributed equitably among all regions and peoples.

With the economy put on the upsurge, we have to ensure its benefits trickle down to the people. In Pakistan we identified poverty and joblessness among the rural uneducated, the urban educated unemployed and the urban uneducated unemployed. We tackled each systematically.

For the rural uneducated unemployed, we focused on agriculture and agro-based industry, dairy and livestock. For the urban educated unemployed, we focused on the telecommunication and information technology sectors. For the urban uneducated unemployed, we emphasised building and construction which is labour-intensive. We reduced poverty from 34 to 17 per cent in seven years.

Education and skill development needs to be pursued vigorously. Public-private partnerships can pay rich dividends. We created the National Commission on Human Development; the National Vocational and Technical Education Commission was created for skill development which in turn led to innumerable vocational training centres imparting three- to six-month turnaround courses for construction skills. The overall strategy was for universalising education up to middle class and then diverting the people towards skill development.

Food, water and energy should be considered as the inalienable right of all. Sixty per cent of diseases in Pakistan are water-borne. We initiated a project of installing water-filtration plants down to the union council (15 to 20 villages) level. Electricity was provided to all villages with more than 50 houses. Simple food kitchens for the poorest segments need to be provided with public-private philanthropic participation.

These are the main areas of human security as part of non-traditional security which will reinforce national security and enhance the people’s stakes in the state. This brings me to the aspect of sustainable democracy.

First and foremost, democracy must be tailored to fit the environment in which it is to function. There is no set formula. No country’s example can be superimposed on others without adjustment.

In Pakistan, democratic institutions are under-developed, and democratically elected governments have always failed to deliver. Whenever there has been a dysfunctional, elected government running the state aground (which invariably has been the case), people take the only recourse of appealing to the army to take over. The army’s response to this mass national appeal can only be unconstitutional. There is no constitutional salvation.

In such a crisis, which has struck all too often, the question that gets debated is whether upholding democracy is more important than rescuing the state. An institutional role, therefore, has to be evolved for the military to voice its concerns to prevent any unconstitutional act, which the public pressurises them to do.

This I call checks and balances.

The other important factor is the empowerment of the people. We must devolve authority to the lowest level — empowerment and authority devolution to the district level and below means giving them political, administrative and financial authority.

Empowering the people is inadequate if women and minorities are not integrated into governance. They must appropriately be represented at all tiers of political authority so that they feel the satisfaction of belonging and participating in nation-building. We empowered women and minorities by giving them reserved seats in the district, provincial and national assemblies besides their right to contest openly from any constituency.

The ultimate factor behind all development of the state, welfare of its people, the country’s unity and integrity is collective economic wellbeing. Economic strength is the mother of all development and the guarantor of national security and sustainable democracy.

Source: Dawn

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What should be done in Afghanistan

December 19, 2010

Written by Pervez Musharraf – former President of Pakistan

Historical background: Events in Afghanistan took a turn in 1979 with the invasion of the country by the Soviet Union. The Soviets were challenged through a jihad, launched by the Afghans supported by America and Pakistan. The jihad was strongly reinforced by mujahideen, encouraged and brought from all over the Muslim world and also by the Taliban from the madrassas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It was spearheaded by various religious militant groups and, thus, we saw the introduction of religious militancy in the region which continued for ten long years. The year 1989 saw the defeat of the Soviet Union and its eviction from Afghanistan.

The fruits of this victory all went to the West, with the Cold War ending in the West’s victory, dismemberment of the Soviet Union, liberation of East Europe and the reunification of Germany. Unfortunately, what Afghanistan and Pakistan got after 1989 were a series of three short-sighted blunders leading to complications and perhaps, avoidable turmoil in the region. The rehabilitation and resettlement of the mujahideen brought into Afghanistan was totally ignored.

The first blunder was the abandonment of Afghanistan and Pakistan by the US in 1989. The chaos that followed for the entire decade of the 90s gave birth to al Qaeda and later the Taliban.

The second was the non-recognition of the Taliban government which ruled 90 per cent of Afghanistan after 1997. My idea of the entire world recognising the Taliban government and opening diplomatic missions in Kabul which would be managed from within, was not paid any heed to. Had it been done, maybe we could have saved the Bamiyan Buddha statues and even untangled the Osama bin Laden dispute.

The third blunder was committed after 9/11 when the Taliban, who were all Pashtuns, were defeated with the help of the Northern Alliance composed of three minority ethnic groups (Uzbeks, Hazaras and Tajiks). The Taliban and al Qaeda were dispersed and they ran into the mountains and the cities of Pakistan. Their organisational and command structure was totally dismantled. The military achieved its objective of getting into a dominant position. The logical course of action after this was to change strategy and place a legitimate government in Afghanistan, This implies a government dominated by the Pashtun majority (half of the Afghan population), because historically nobody other than Pashtuns have governed Afghanistan. Not doing this and persisting with a government dominated by a Tajik minority, still in place, was and still is a great blunder.

The Taliban resurgence started in late 2003, mainly, because of the third blunder of not weaning away the Pashtun from the Taliban. My view has always been that all Taliban are Pashtun, but all Pashtun are not Taliban; therefore, we can wean them away from the Taliban. Now, after eight years we are talking of parleys with moderate Taliban, or even Taliban, but from a position of weakness, when we have declared our intention to quit.

The present situation: The terrorist situation has transformed or visibly developed in the region and in the world, in the last few years. Let us see its contours in various countries.

Pakistan faces four menaces from terrorism. Each one requires an in-depth understanding and a different strategy to tackle: The first is al Qaeda which has a presence in the mountains of Fata, though in small numbers, and needs to be evicted. The second is the Taliban presence in Fata, especially in South and North Waziristan, and in Bajaur agency. However, they are our own people and have to be handled with acumen. We need to follow a triple strategy of force accompanied by a political and a socio-economic component. Deals must be struck with the tribal Pashtuns to wean them away from the Taliban and thus isolate the latter, who can then be dealt with militarily. Then there is the Talibanisation in the settled districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and even beyond. This has to be contained with force. The last is extremism and extremist organisations in some pockets of Pakistani society, which are primarily a fallout of Taliban activity in Afghanistan and mujahideen activity in Indian-held Kashmir.

Moderation has to be brought into society through a five-pronged strategy of stopping misuse of mosques for preaching militancy; banning militant organisations and not allowing them to resurface with different titles; ensuring that the curriculum/ syllabus in schools has no content of religious or sectarian extremism and mainstreaming students in madrassas

There is also the issue of mujahideen activity in Indian-held Kashmir against the Indian Army. This is supported by mujahideen groups in Pakistan and has tremendous public sympathy. Furthermore, extremism is on the rise in Muslim youth in India because of alienation of Muslims due to a sense of deprivation and suppression. The situation becomes more alarming due to the nexus emerging between extremists in India and the mujahideen in Kashmir on one hand, and extremists and the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan on the other.

The menace deepens with the emergence of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib centered around Algeria and Mali and, in the Arabian peninsula, centred around Yemen and Somalia. The centre of gravity of all this extremism and terrorism, however, lies in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The future course: Losing at the centre of gravity means losing everywhere. Quitting from Afghanistan without getting into a dominant military position and placing a legitimate Pashtun-dominated government in Afghanistan could spell disaster for the region and also endanger the world.

So what is the winning strategy? In Afghanistan we are still diluted in space but since we cannot send additional Nato/Isaf forces we must increase the strength of the Afghan National Army. However, the correct ethnic balance must also be ensured. Then, we need to identify Pashtun tribes and tribal Maliks who have no ideological affinity with the Taliban and arm them to create lashkars to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda. With such a strategy in place, the drawdown of troops from the area should be effect-related rather than time-related. The effect that we would want to achieve is to be in a dominant force position and have in place a legitimate Pashtun-dominated government in Kabul.

Source: Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2010

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Don’t Mess With Pakistan (Exclusive)

November 16, 2010
“Sporadic and superficial global support has made Pakistanis feel dangerously betrayed.”

By General Pervez Musharraf – Former President of Pakistan

The world is watching Pakistan and rightfully so. It’s a happening place. Pakistan is at the center of geostrategic revolution and realignments. The economic, social, and political aspirations of China, Afghanistan, Iran, and India turn on securing peace, prosperity, and stability in Pakistan. Our country can be an agent of positive change, one that creates unique economic interdependencies between central, west and south Asian countries and the Middle East through trade and energy partnerships. Or there’s the other option: the borderless militancy Pakistan is battling could take down the whole region.
Recently, terrorists on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border have plotted, unsuccessfully, to unleash terror as far away as Copenhagen and New York City. Pakistan’s role for a safe, secure world cannot be overemphasized. To appreciate the complex history of Pakistan’s internal and external challenges is to understand how the 21st century could well play out for the world.
Our country was born of violence, in August 1947. Just months after the partition of the subcontinent and the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan, we were at war with India over Kashmir. Pakistan and India’s mutual animosity and history of confrontation remain powerful forces in South Asia to this day. Because of its sense of having been wronged by India—and feeling that it faced an existential threat from that country—Pakistan cast its lot with the West. We became a strategic partner of the U.S. during the Cold War, signing on to the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) in the 1950s, while India tilted toward the Soviet Union. As part of our inalienable right to self-preservation, we formulated a “minimum defensive deterrence” strategy to maintain Army, Navy and Air Force numbers at levels proportional to India’s.
In 1965 we again went to war over Kashmir, and in 1971 over East Pakistan (I fought in both). Our suspicions about India were proved right when it became clear that the creation of Bangladesh was only made possible through Indian military and intelligence support. Among Pakistanis in general, and the Army in particular, attitudes against India hardened. The adversarial relationship between our Inter Services Intelligence and their Research and Analysis Wing worsened, both exploiting any opportunity to inflict harm on the other.
Al Qaeda’s Internet outreach is not limited to the new magazine targeting, as it says, a “wide and dispersed English speaking Muslim readership.” Until earlier this month, the radicalizing sermons of American-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki were readily available on YouTube, a popular video sharing Web site. Under pressure from British and American officials, it removed hundreds of al-Awlaki videos because they were an “incitement to commit violent acts.” The shutdown coincided with the sentencing in London of 21-year-old Roshonara Choudhury for a knife attack in May on a British legislator. The theology student said she had been converted by viewing some 5,000 of al-Awlaki’s online exhortations.
India’s “Smiling Buddha” nuclear tests in 1974 changed everything. Pakistan was forced to resort to unconventional means to compensate for the new imbalance of power. Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto initiated Pakistan’s atomic program, and thus began the nuclearization of the subcontinent. India’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was an effort to project power beyond its borders; Pakistan’s was an existential and defensive imperative.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 presented Pakistan with a security threat from two directions: Soviets to the west, who wanted access to the Indian Ocean through Pakistan, and Indians to the east. Once again Pakistan joined hands with the United States to fight Moscow.
We called it jihad by design, this effort to attract mujahideen from all over the Muslim world. And from Morocco to Indonesia, some 25,000 of them came. We trained and armed Taliban from the madrassahs of the then North West Frontier Province, and pushed them into Afghanistan. By this time, the liberal and intellectual Afghan elite had left for the safer climes of Europe and the U.S., leaving behind a largely poor, religious-minded population to fight the 10-year jihad. We—Pakistan, the U.S., the West, and Saudi Arabia—are equally responsible for nourishing the militancy that defeated the Soviet Union in 1989, and which seeks now to defeat us all.
The Soviets quit Kabul, and the Americans abandoned Islamabad. Washington rewarded its once indispensable ally by invoking the Pressler Amendment and imposing military sanctions, and by choosing to foster a strategic relationship with India. Pakistan was left alone to deal with the nearly 4 million Afghans who had streamed into our country and became the world’s largest refugee population. The people of Pakistan felt betrayed and used. For Pakistan, the decade of disaster had begun.
No efforts were made to deprogram, rehabilitate, and resettle the mujahideen or redevelop and build back war-ravaged Afghanistan. This shortsightedness led to ethnic fighting, warlordism, and Afghanistan’s dive into darkness. The mujahideen coagulated into Al Qaeda. The Taliban, who would emerge as a force in 1996, eventually would occupy 90 percent of the country, ramming through their obscurantist medievalism.
It was also in 1989 that the freedom struggle reignited in India-administered Kashmir. This started out as a purely indigenous and peaceful uprising against Indian state repression. The people who led this first intifada were radicalized by the Indian Army’s fierce and indiscriminate crackdowns on locals. The Kashmir cause is a rallying cry for Muslims around the world. It is more so for Pakistanis. The plight of Kashmiri Muslims inspired the creation of new mujahideen groups within Pakistan who then sent thousands of volunteer fighters to the troubled territory. In terms of identity politics, the boundaries were clearer: the mujahideen set their sights on India; Al Qaeda and the Taliban were focused largely on Afghanistan. With the Taliban to our west and the mujahideen in the north, this arc of anger rent our social fabric. Pakistan found itself awash in guns and drugs.
Nine years later, there was bad news from Pokhran. In May 1998, India again tested its bomb. Almost two weeks later, Pakistan responded by “turning the mountain white” at Chaghai. For Pakistanis, our own tests became a symbol of our power in the world, a testament to our resolve and innovation in the face of adversity, and a source of unmitigated pride in our streets. We became a nuclear power and an international pariah at the same time, but furthering and harnessing our nuclear potential remains and must remain our singular national interest. Of course, the U.S. views India’s nuclear program differently from Pakistan’s. Even our pursuit of nuclear power for civilian purposes, for electricity generation, is viewed negatively. India’s pursuit is assisted by the U.S. In Pakistan, people see this as yet another instance of American partiality, even hostility. Many even believe that the U.S. wants to denuclearize Pakistan— by force if necessary—because it fears the weapons could come into the hands of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or any of the myriad militant organizations who have loosed mayhem in Pakistan. Our nuclear weapons are secure.
Pakistan was one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban government of Afghanistan. We did this because of our ethnic, historical, and geographical affinity with Afghan Pashtuns who comprised the Taliban. In 2000, when I led Pakistan, I had suggested to the U.S. and other countries that they, too, should recognize the Taliban government and collectively engage Kabul in order to achieve moderation there through exposure and exchange. This was shot down. Continued diplomatic isolation of the Taliban regime pushed it into the embrace of the Arab-peopled Al Qaeda. Had the Taliban government been recognized, the world could have saved the Bamiyan Buddhas, and unknotted the Osama bin Laden problem thereby preventing the spate of Al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks around the world including on September 11, 2001, in the U.S.
When America decided to retaliate, we joined the international coalition against Kabul by choice so we could safeguard and promote our own national interests. Nobody in Islamabad was in favor of the religious and governmental philosophy of the Taliban. By joining the coalition, we also prevented India from gaining an upper hand in Afghanistan from where it could then machinate against Pakistan. The Taliban and Al Qaeda were defeated in 2001 with the help of the Northern Alliance, which was composed of Uzbeks, Hazarans, and Tajiks—all ethnic minorities. The Pashtuns and Arabs of Afghanistan fled to the mountains and fanned out across Pakistan. This was the serious downside of joining the global coalition: the mujahideen who were fighting for Kashmir formed an unholy nexus with the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban—and turned their guns on us. While I was president, they made at least four attempts on my life.
In 2002, the allies installed a largely Pashtun-free government in Afghanistan that lacked legitimacy because it did not represent 50 percent of the Afghan population, Pashtuns. This should not have happened. All Taliban are Pashtun, but not all Pashtuns are Taliban. Pashtuns were thus isolated, blocked from the mainstream, and pushed toward the Taliban, who made a resurgence in 2004.
Today, the Taliban rule the roost in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are ensconced in our tribal agencies, plotting and launching attacks against us and others. The twin scourge of radicalism and militarism has infected settled districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and beyond. Mujahideen groups are operating in India-administered Kashmir and seem to have public support in Pakistan.
After nine long years, and a longer war for the U.S. than Vietnam, the world wants to negotiate with “moderate” elements in the Taliban—and from a position of apparent weakness. Before the coalition abandons Afghanistan again, it must at least ensure the election of a legitimate Pashtun-led government. Pakistan, which has lost at least 30,000 of its citizens in the war on terror, should be forgiven for wondering whether it was all worth it. Pakistanis should not be left to feel that it was not.
To comment on this article, email  letters@newsweek.pk
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