TRANSCRIPT FROM DAWN.COM
Speech; 17 October, 1999
MUSHARRAF S SPEECH TO THE NATION
COMPLETED AT 2054 HRS DATED 17 OCT (PST)
17 October 1999 Sunday 07 Rajab 1420
speech of the Chief Executive of Pakistan
General Pervez Musharraf
Below are highlights of the speech of the Chief Executive of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, which are being transcribed live. We apologize in advance for any errors or omissions. The complete text of the speech will replace the highlights on this page as soon as it becomes available.
a.. Pakistan today stands at the crossroads of its destiny.
One road leads to destruction and the other towards
prosperity, and we have to decide which road to take.
b.. 52 years ago we started with a beacon of hope, which is no more. No light is visible anywhere. There is hopelessness and corruption everywhere.
c.. Especially in the last few years elements were encouraged which supported hatred, despondency and destruction.
d.. Our economy has crumbled, our credibility lost, public institutions have been destroyed, the federation has been severely damaged and people who were brothers are at each other's throat. Is this the way to enter the new century? Is this the democracy our Quaid had envisioned?
e.. But we should not be despondent. I am an optimist and I have faith in Allah and in the people of Pakistan. A bright future awaits us.
f.. We are not a poor nation. We are rich in agricultural and mineral resources. We have gas, oil, coal and other minerals in abundance. And above all a dynamic and industrious people. W e just have to join hands and grasp our destiny and go on the road to real freedom. Allah helps those who help themselves.
g.. I took these responsibilities in very unusual
circumstances. It is unbelieveable and very sad that those
at the helm of affairs had conspired to destroy the highest
institution of the country, the only institution left in the
country. My plane was not allowed to land in Pakistan, and
with 7 minutes left the choice was to crash or land in
India. I thank Allah that due to timely action my life and
that of 200 others was saved. The timely action of the Army
foiled the conspiracy.
h.. I salute all my officers and men for acting courageously, and the people of Pakistan for their support, despite my absence.
i.. It is a fact that we have only seen, in recent years, a
democracy that was democracy only in name. I will not allow
the people to go back to the era of a sham democracy. I
promise you that we will institute a true democratic system
that will enshrine the real spirit of democracy.
j.. The choice before us on 12thOctober was of saving the body, the nation, at the cost of loosing a limb, the constitution, or save the limb at the cost of the body.
k.. I choose to not to sacrifice the limb. The constitution is in temporary abeyance. This is not martial Law, rather is a new step towards true democracy.
l.. The armed forces have no to stay in power. And we just want to institute a true democratic system in the shortest possible time.
m.. Our aims are as follows:
a.. Rebuild the morale
b.. Strengthen the federation. Improve inter-provincial harmony.
c.. Revive economy on an urgent basis and restore investment confidence, restore law and order, depoliticize state institutions, ensure swift and across the board accountability, and provide justice to the people.
d.. Devolution of power to the grass-roots level.
n.. The President has agreed to stay on in his position.
o.. A National Security Council is being formed. Its leader will be the Chief Executive and will have as its members the services chief, an expert in economics, foreign affairs etc. All appointments will be based on merit and integrity.
p.. A council of advisors, a think tank of experts will join the National Security Council to provide advice and input. This will perform the duties of a cabinet.
q.. A governor, helped by a small cabinet of professionals, will administer the provinces
r.. Our economy must be revived. It is in deep trouble. We must restore trust in our economy and revitalize it.
s.. Rebuilding of confidence through economic security to attract investors from within and outside the country.
t.. Increase saving and get the national wealth back to the country.
u.. We will turn around state enterprises, increase agricultural output.
v.. We will reduce governmental expenditure radically.
w.. Accountability is essential but with the confidence of the people behind it.
x.. On Accountability: will be swift and transparent. People will be identified who evade taxes, default on loans, and steal national wealth.
y.. My sincere advise to the corrupt is to bring the national wealth back to Pakistan, return loans and dues to the state voluntary. I make it clear that this is your last chance. Pay back all dues within 4 weeks. After this their names will be published and the law will take its course.
z.. Devolution of power to the people is essential as envisioned in the Constitution.
aa.. I am a firm believer in the freedom of the press. I have great love and respect for the media. I am in favor of a free press. I am considering the establishment of private radio and TV channels.
ab.. Islam teaches peace and not violence. I have great respect for the ulema, and expect them to come forth and present Islam in its true light, and reject elements that spread hatred and violence.
ac.. I want to insure our minorities that we will safeguard their rights and safeguards that every other citizen enjoys in Pakistan.
ad.. I also want to tell the world that our foreign policy remains unchanged and that we will stand by our international commitments. We want peace and stability in the region. We want peace and cooperation with all nations, especially with the Islamic nations.
ae.. We want peace in Afghanistan. We want to see a true representative government in Kabul.
af.. We want our tried and tested friendship with China to strengthen. Pakistan gives great importance to its friendship will all world powers especially the USA.
ag.. Last year we were compelled to test nuclear devices to restore nuclear parity. In post-nuclear subcontinent, both India and Pakistan have to act responsibly. This is essential not just for our peoples but for peace and prosperity of the rest of the world as well.
ah.. I congratulate Mr Vajpayee on his election as PM. I reciprocate his wishes for peace and stability in south asia. As the new century approaches, together Pakistan and India can work to resolve their problems, especially on the problem of Jammu and Kashmir with sincerity. This is essential for peace in the region.
ai.. India must respect the rights of the Kashmiri people who have given great sacrifices for their cause. India must abide by UN resolutions and stop the atrocities on the Kashmiri people.
aj.. We want the situation to remain calm, and offer unconditional and meaningful talks with India.
ak.. For the sake of peace, I want to announce a unilateral de-escalation on our borders and a withdrawal of addition forces from the border with India. I hope this will lead to an environment of peace.
al.. To conclude, we have hit rock bottom but we will rise, and rise we will.
am.. Our actions will be much louder than our words.
an.. I want to give you a personal commitment. I want my assets and tax records to be public, and subject to public scrutiny.
ao.. Pakistan Paindabad.