Pakistan’s former military ruler supports demand for change

Pakistan’s former military ruler, Parvez Musharraf. File Pic
Pakistan’s former military ruler, Parvez Musharraf. File Pic

Pakistan’s former military ruler and president General (Retd) Parvez Musharraf has supported peoples’ demand for change in the country.

Islamabad, Aug 27/Nationalturk – Pakistan’s former military ruler and president General (Retd) Parvez Musharraf has supported peoples’ demand for change saying restructuring of the system is necessary.

In an interview with private TV channel, ARY News, Musharraf supported the demand for change in the country and backed the “revolution” and “freedom” marches being staged by tens of thousands of supporters of cleric Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri and cricketer-turned politician Imran Khran outside country’s parliament in capital.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) of cleric and politician Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri have been staging “freedom” and “revolution” marches since August 14 outside country’s Red Zone housing Parliament, PM House, President’s House, Supreme court and embassies of some countries. They are demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“I have never seen protests as large and continuous as the ones currently being held in Islamabad. Dr Qadri is asking for change. Imran Khan is asking for audit of ballot papers and fair elections,” Musharraf said adding corruption, nepotism, terrorism, tanking economy and no access to justice are some of the problems being confronted by people of Pakistan in last six years.

“There is no doubt that there was rigging in the elections. People will come out into streets if there is no justice and no improvement in people’s lives,” he said.

‘All sections of society participating in anti-govt protests’

Justifying Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri’s marches, Musharraf said all sections of Pakistani society are represented in these protests and people are demanding change.

“The public is exercising its democratic right by protesting. People’s legitimate demands are not being made. This is democratic public mobilisation,” he said.

The former military ruler said democracy being run by the current rulers is not a true democracy, first changes and reforms are required then the elections should be held in the country.

“The restructuring of the system is utmost necessary, while local body elections should also be held here to provide relief to the suffering people. I am a strong believer in democracy, genuine democracy. This is not real democracy. Real democracy is how you perform after being elected,” he said.

‘Balkanisation can’t take place in Pakistan’

Ruling out balkanisation of Pakistan, Musharraf said the country is not Iraq.

“As long as Army is playing its role in stabilizing the country, there is no chance of the country breaking. Nobody should have any doubt on the Army’s ability to defend the country and keep it together.”

He said balkanization cannot take place here. “The military will not let Pakistan break, there was absence of a strong military in Iraq and so it had to face destruction.”

In an advise to politicians, the former military ruler said, “No individual matters, it’s the state of Pakistan that matters. We need to rise above our difference and make decisions in national interest,”

“We need reforms and change before going for another election,” he added.

‘US should not interfere in Pakistan’s affairs’

Responding to US State Department’s statement on Imran Khan and Pakistan politics, Musharraf suggested US not to interfere in the internal affairs of Pakistan.

“I had a clear stance before America, which was Pakistan first”.

He said the situation in the country is same as it was in October 1999 when he staged a bloodless coup against then civilian government led by Nawaz Sharif.

“The politicians have not learnt. They are committing the same mistakes. Economy is in shambles and there is political mess. Army will be keenly watching the situation,” added Musharraf.

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Asia News/ NationalTurk Pakistan News


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