Musharraf smells a rat against ISI

KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf has said that plots were being hatched against the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), adding weakening this premier intelligence agency was tantamount to weakening the country and the armed forces. He said a dangerous situation was brewing and suggested a roundtable conference of politicians to tackle issues of national interest.

The president was addressing traders and industrialists at a dinner hosted in his honour at a local hotel Sunday evening. Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf said that conspiracies against the ISI were aimed to defame Pakistan. ISI is a patriotic institution, which is working for the stability of the country.

He said economic situation was very fragile and it had become difficult for the country to survive with such a weak economy. The president said he was ready to talk to politicians to restore economic health.

“The nation will have to decide as to which kind of Islam it wants. We should openly express our views. The world says that Pakistan is extremist. We will have to prove that we are not so. When I say this, I am dubbed as American stooge,” the president said while opening his heart.

President Musharraf said he was ready to talk to Qazi Hussain Ahmad and other politicians. The president recalled that the dangers he had pinpointed during his address to the business community in Karachi a month back had now come to the fore. He said economy was on the downslide, foreign exchange reserves over which the government took pride were falling down, foreign investment was flying, currency was devaluing and stock market was crashing.

He said extremism and terrorism could not be taken for granted. The people had rejected extremists and terrorists in elections who had elected liberal and moderate representatives. Extremism and terrorism were now on the rise in areas where people had rejected such trends. “We have to decide whether we want a liberal and moderate Pakistan or a terrorist or extremist Pakistan.”

He said he would call them illiterate who wanted an extremist Pakistan. He said a crucial responsibility rested with the people in this regard. He lamented that it was a bad luck for the nation that ‘we had begun to think when we were almost drowned.’ The present situation was extremely dangerous. The central and provincial governments as well as law enforcing agencies should have one voice as there should be no conflicting situation among them.

Source: The News, 4/8/2008

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