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Governing Pakistan is a difficult job: Musharraf

The Pakistani President was addressing the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2006 19:35 IST
Indo-Asian-News Service
Indo-Asian-News Service

Governing Pakistan is a very difficult job and it became tougher after the 9/11 terror attacks, confessed Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, the visiting Pakistani president said that despite the difficulties, he was determined to take Pakistan on the road to prosperity and economic stability, reported the Online news agency.

Expressing confidence in the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's efforts towards building peace in the subcontinent, Musharraf called for an out-of-the-box solution to the Kashmir dispute. "We could work together for finding a viable solution to the Kashmir issue," he said on Monday.

Talking about the security situation in Afghanistan, Musharraf said he wanted his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai to put his own house in order before blaming Pakistan for the problems in his country.

Brushing off allegations that Pakistan was not doing enough to control Taliban terrorists, who are being sheltered on Pakistani soil according to Afghanistan, Musharraf said that Kabul should do more as "Pakistan has done enough".

"President Karzai instead of blaming us for troubles at home should try to understand his country's situation and environment for improving the internal situation of Afghanistan," Musharraf said.

He categorically said that there are no Taliban headquarters in Quetta and was ready to challenge all such false claims. "I challenge anyone who said that," Musharraf said. "There is no question that any Taliban headquarters are there. This is the most ridiculous statement."

"We have broken the back of the Al-Qaeda network and are now working on the elimination of Taliban from Pakistan."

"We do not have an abundance of resources that we can back the Taliban or provide them financial aid. Afghanistan should end its opium cultivation, which is the main source of income for Taliban," Musharraf said.

If the blame game continues then the war on terror would be compromised, he stressed.

He rejected a purely military solution to the US-led 'war on terror', saying it had failed to address the roots of extremism and terrorism and called for greater efforts to ensure that Muslims rejected extremist influence.

He urged the world to address the Palestinian issue, saying it was at the root of all conflicts between the West and the Muslim world.

The ongoing strife in the Middle East and Afghanistan was inextricably linked to the fate of the Palestinian people, he said.

"The root of all of them, whether Iraq or Afghanistan or Lebanon lies in Palestine. I think we should fight at solving Palestine first," he said when asked what he thought was the best solution for Iraq.

He urged both the Islamic and Western world to step up efforts to change their mindset-riven by divisions, especially since the Sep 11, 2001, attacks.

"The Muslim world must reject extremism and work towards social and economic reform. The second part requires that the West, and the US in particular, resolve political disputes in the Muslim world justly," he said.

First Published: Sep 26, 2006 19:35 IST