I was forced to take extraordinary actions: Musharraf


Islamabad : Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said he was forced to take “unpopular and extraordinary actions” because the Afghan conflict and foreign terrorists in his country posed a national threat.

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Musharraf was referring to imposition of emergency and the promulgation of Provisional Constitution Order in Pakistan Nov 3.

In an article for The Washington Post Monday, Musharraf – elected as civilian president Nov 29 after he doffed his military uniform – said such actions have succeeded in minimising violence and Pakistan’s vulnerability to attacks.

The former military general reiterated that the Jan 8 elections in Pakistan would be free and fair.

“Through all this, my commitment to free elections has not wavered and we will have elections in January 2008,” he said, adding he has been “dismayed” that the media has reduced the national discourse to a conflict between institutions and individuals, “instead of real issues affecting the well-being of the people”.

He said the government has created a strong system of local governance and that the media was “the freest in the history of Pakistan”.

“I have always believed in the freedom of expression and have respected difference of opinion, and I will continue to do so in the future.”

The Daily Times Tuesday quoted him as saying in the article: “The vision I will present for a ‘new Pakistan’ in the coming days, as Pakistan’s civilian democratically-elected president, rests on this decisive premise.”