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September 21, 2019
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Pakistan Top Stories

Musharraf terms sectarianism as biggest challenge for country

KARACHI: Former President Pwrvez Musharraf terming himself as patriot Pakistani has said that “I have served the country, how I can be traitor” and politics being done by filing case against me. Case under article 06 is a joke, he added.

Talking to media after holding meeting with Maulana Ahtramul Haq Thanvi, former president said that I would reply as “tit for Tat” and would get medical treatment from abroad. Miscreants want to spread lawlessness and India is supporting them.

I am supporter of military courts in the country and country has no threat in presence of the Army, he said adding that sectarianism was the biggest challenge the country faced proving to be destructive for the country. He denied all allegations leveled.


He also said that for the last forty years two parties had been taking turns to rule the country and both have brought the country to its knees. He further said that the situation was ripe for a third party to contest elections and dismiss the hegemony of these two parties.
Former president Musharraf said Pakistan needs more provinces and a third political force to break the current nexus of two prominent political parties sharing power since the late 1980s.
Taking almost an hour before letting the general speak, Maulana Thanvi said that his acquaintances still thought that he “sold out to a general” after facing military courts during Gen Zia’s regime. But he remarked that “by supporting an inadequate democracy I realised my mistake and thought it better to support a good general”.
The meeting was attended by senior lawyers, religious leaders of all sects, journalists and a few politicians. The maulana said that he deliberately did not invite members of an “ill-mannered political party who while criticising Ziaul Haq are still dependent on his ideology”.
The former president touched upon many issues, including the treason case against him in the Supreme Court bearing five charges, including imposing an emergency rule after suspending the constitution. He remained defensive throughout the meeting while bringing the treason charges against him repeatedly, adding: “What’s more important, the constitution or the country? If as the head of the state I feel something is against the interest of my country, I’ll take action and it should not be seen with suspicion.”
Musharraf said the current leadership must be charged with treason as “they are busy plundering the state left, right and centre”.
He suggested that what the country needed at the moment were more provinces for the state to function properly. He said the biggest problems facing the country were religious militancy and sect-based targeted killings.
While speaking of targeted killings, he spoke about Karachi and said that the base of the city’s many ills lay in its political conflict and that targeted killings cannot be stopped without untangling the many political conflicts inflicting the city at present. Religious militancy, he said, could be tackled through military courts, but “its implementation and efficacy remains crucial”.
Bringing up the sit-ins held by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek last year, he said the dharnas proved that the “government stands discredited”.
And that the public is gaining awareness, he said, adding “…we need a third force to break the political nexus of two major political parties that get into power each time without giving anything to the country, rather weakening it further”.
About Article 6, he said he thought it “a joke that a leader and a general like me is on trial for treason”. Reacting to talk of Pakistan on its way to become a failed state, Musharraf said Pakistan won’t fail. It would continue to exist because it has a diligent army.
He further said that the enemy states were busy creating turmoil in Pakistan by exploiting the vulnerable groups in the country.
We need to be equally assertive with our rival or friendly states that Pakistan will always come first whether it suits their interests or not. But for us to be that assertive, we need to have a strong internal command or leadership which is not visible at the moment.”