September 2004 News

Musharraf rejects LoC re-adjustment

21 September 2004
The News International

New York: President Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday that Pakistan was doing its best in the fight against terror. 'Tell me, who else is doing more than Pakistan,' he questioned, in response to a query at a brief press talk, while proceeding to United Nations General Assembly from the hotel where he is staying. The president said he feels very upset when questions as smack of doubt as to what Pakistan was doing were asked. Asked what was the main issue of Pakistan, he said it is the issue of terrorism, which is foremost important. 'We are certainly winning battles but we must win war on terrorism,' President Musharraf said, in response to a question by a newsman in the informal talk. 'It can be done,' he stated on winning war on terror. It could be done 'by pursuing core reasons behind terrorism'. In response to a question about his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the president hoped 'there would be progress,' on issues, including those on Kashmir. Musharraf ruled out any talks for re-adjustment of Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and said Pakistan wants a purposeful and meaningful dialogue to address the lingering dispute. Asked what subjects would discuss in his meeting with President Karzai, the president said Afghan presidential elections and terrorism would be topics to come up under discussion. Besides, he said, return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and matter of their registration would also be discussed. Responding to another question, he said it was not correct to state that 'there was any pressure to monitor the Pak-Afghan border, nor we accept it.' Responding to another question, President Musharraf said a trilateral meeting was taking place against the backdrop of forthcoming Afghan elections. 'We agreed to it, since we are in the same region and it was better to work for the cause of Pak-Afghan coordination,' he stated. When asked to comment on President Bush's speech in the UN General Assembly in which the US president mentioned democracy, Musharraf said parliament and democratic institutions in Pakistan are 'fully working, and on track'. 'All is well,' he said and added 'we are very clear about it, and there is no confusion, whatsoever.' Meanwhile, speaking at a dinner hosted by the US Pakistan Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce, on Monday night President Musharraf promised to 'end the presence of al-Qaeda' in his country but said the United States could gain the confidence of the Muslims only by working to resolve the many international disputes that affect Islamic world. 'The Muslim world feels as if it is being targeted, and this needs to be addressed,' Musharraf told an audience at a Manhattan hotel. He said the first priority should be the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but attention should focus further on poverty and illiteracy, which, he said, were 'at the core of terrorism.' Musharraf drew a rosy picture of Pakistan for foreign investment, saying the country of 150 million was undergoing an 'economic renaissance' based on development of industries from energy to telecommunications. Answering a question regarding uniform, he appeared to hint at keeping the uniform, saying that 'continuity' was essential to maintai security and managing changes occurring in Pakistani society. Musharraf said handling of matters domestically and internationally requires 'continuity of policies, and continuity of action.' 'What worries me is the imperative need for continuity,' he said and added 'I have not as yet decided, and I will take a decision in a few months' time.' 'There is much happening in Pakistan and the Muslim world today. The matters are important and there is need for continuity of policies,' he added. Besides domestic policies, he said, among others, the international policies need continuity. On the issue of terrorism, the president said a vast majority of Pakistanis abhors extremism but it was acting silently over the years. He said Pakistan is trying to establish long-term and broad-based relations with the United States, especially in trade and commerce. Musharraf urged the US businessmen and industrialists to invest in Pakistan for its rapid economic growth and poverty alleviation. The president said Pakistan has always been a safer place for foreign investors and no action has been taken against any foreign company out of 700 working in Pakistan, which reflects the best condition for investors in the country. 'We have taken a number of steps to give more protection to the foreign investors,' he added. Referring to Pakistan's strategic position in the region, President Musharraf said it occupies a key place in economic activities in the region of Central Asia, South Asia, China and Gulf. He said it is only Pakistan, which provides inter-connectivity to the whole world for this region. Earlier on Tuesday, President Musharraf held separate meetings with President Ismailomar Gulleh of Djibouti, President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia and President Janez Denovesk of Slovenia at the UN headquarters and discussed with them regional situation and international issues.


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