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Musharraf takes credit for Pak democracy

world Updated: Mar 24, 2008 00:13 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times
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Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said on Sunday that a period of true democracy had begun in the country and claimed credit for having brought it about.

Addressing a military parade on the occasion of Pakistan Day, Musharraf said he was “fully prepared” to work with the new government headed by Yusuf Raza Gilani.

“Brothers and sisters, you are seeing that a new democratic era has begun in Pakistan,” said Musharraf. “We are proud that during the past eight years, not only did we lay the foundations of a real democracy, but we also put Pakistan on the path to progress and prosperity.”

Musharraf added it was owing to his government’s efforts that the people of Pakistan had rejected extremism and militancy. He told the gathering that he hoped the next government would make all-out efforts to preserve the peaceful atmosphere in the country and continue the fight against terrorism. “Pakistan has no aggressive designs against anyone,” he said.

Pakistan’s armed forces “are the best in the whole world, therefore, the nation should