President Musharraf urges nation to stand united against extremists


Islamabad : President General Pervez Musharraf Thursday urged the nation to stand united against the extremists and vowed to defeat the handful of elements who were a threat to the country.

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“The challenge needs to be faced with courage, but one person alone cannot do it. I cannot do it alone, neither the police, nor the army can do it alone, unless the people of the country support it,� he told a gathering of thousands of students from all over Punjab here at the Convention Centre.

The event was to award Rs 20,000 cash to 3000 students who have completed training from Vocational Training Institutes of Punjab, to help them start work in their respective trades under Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal’s Rehabilitation Scheme.

The President said: “Only a few misguided elements are bent upon killing their fellow Muslims, by either blowing themselves up or blasting explosive laden vehicles, killing the innocent.�

“What type of Islam is this? Who said Islam means to kill fellow Muslims? Are they serving its cause?� he asked.

The President said acts by extremist elements will hurt the country’s economy. “We have to take the country forward and with extremist activities, all economic achievements made over the years will go waste,� he added.

He announced doubling of the programme under which 50,000 students will be able to get training in the Punjab Vocational Institutes in a variety of trades.

He also announced an additional Rs 500 million for the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM) to help finance the project.

“This is not all, we have the capacity to provide more resources and will continue to support the PBM in its efforts to help the poor stand on their own feet,� he added.

He said there were around 2.5 million government jobs, while the number of applicants was many times more and it was important that skilled youth venture into their own fields to earn a living.

The President appreciated the efforts of Governor Punjab Lt Gen Khalid Maqbool for the initiative of vocational institutions that has brought hope among the poor.

The President specially appreciated the role of Managing Director PBM Brig (Retd) Mohammad Sarfraz for his “honesty and hardwork� and assured all help to the institution as it was transparently reaching out to the most needy across the country.