Hindustan Times: Text of Musharraf's speech (Pres. of Pakistan)

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Text of Musharraf's speech


I am here to talk about the episode of terrorism that we have all witnessed in New York which involved 45 countries and people of all ages were killed. These were capable Pakistanis and I would like to convey my deep sympathy to their family members.

America has 3 targets:

Osama bin Laden (Al-Qaida Movement)


International terrorism

Now I shall share with you the kind of support that they expect from us.

Intelligence - Information exchange

Use of Air Space

Logistic Support

No operations plans are ready or available at the moment.

Their target from the beginning has been Osama bin Laden, and his movement. Their second target is the Taliban. This has been their demand for many years - to bring Osama to trial. Now they have also announced a war against terrorism.

We do not have any details from the U.S of the exact nature of the support from us. But we do know that they have the support of the UN Security Council. The UN resolution specifies punishment for those committing terrorism. This has been supported by all the Islamic countries.

We in Pakistan are facing a very critical situation. Perhaps as critical as the events in 1971. If we make wrong decisions

I have discussed all this with my corps commanders, politicians and prominent Pakistanis. Tomorrow I am meeting the tribal chiefs. I have to say that opinions are divided, but the vast majority supports us. I would say that about 15% are tending towards emotional reactions.

Lets look at our neighbors. They have promised US all cooperation. They want to isolate us, get us declared a terrorist state. They have met in Dushanbe with some other countries and plan to try and install anti Pakistani government in Afghanistan. So our neighbor is busy trying to harm us. If you see their television they are busy with propaganda against us.

I want to tell them to ‘lay off’. Our forces are on full alert and ready for a do or die mission. In this situation if we make the wrong decisions it can be very bad for us. Our critical concerns are our sovereignty, second our economy, third our strategic assets (nuclear and missiles), and forth our Kashmir cause. All four will be harmed if we make the wrong decision. When we make these decisions they must be according to Islam.

Its not a question of bravery or cowardice. But bravery without thinking is stupidity. Allah has said that he who has ‘hikmat’ has a huge blessing. We have to save our interests. Pakistan comes first, everything else is secondary.

Some ‘ulema’ are trying to react on pure emotions. I want to remind them of Islam’s early history. The moved from Mecca to Medina (hijrat). Was this (god forbid) cowardice? This was wisdom to save Islam.

Then when the Jews saw that Islam was getting stronger they started to conspire against the muslims. When the Prophet (PBUH) saw this happening he signed a no war pact with his enemies in Mecca. I want to remind you of that pact. At the end of the pact, where his signature was required, the Meccans demanded that he cannot sign it as “Prophet Mohammed”. The Prophet (PBUH) agreed.

The Prophet explained later that its best for Islam, and it’s the right thing to do. And time proved him right. Six months later there was a war with the Jews and the Meccans did not support the Jews and the Muslim forces won. And some time after that Mecca also fell to Islamic mujahideen.

Let me say that I am concerned about Afghanistan and the Talibaan. I have tried to convince world leaders not to impose sanctions on them in the past. I have tried my best, but sadly without much success. In the present situation we have been trying to convince the Talibaan to be wise. We have also asked the US for evidence about Osama bin Laden. Also how do we best serve Afghanistan’s interests? By going against the world community or by working with the international community. I am sure you will agree with me that we can only do the latter.

I also know that there are people who are using this to promote their personal agendas. At this time, we have to be make sure that our enemies do not succeed in their designs to harm us. Pakistan is regarded as a fort of Islam. If this fort is damaged, islam will be damaged.

I ask you to trust me, like you trusted me when I went to Agra.

May Allah guide and protect us. Pakistan Zindabad

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), September 19, 2001

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