Musharraf gives GR World Affairs speech

First US appearance since leaving
Last Edited: Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009, 6:43 PM EST
Created On: Wednesday, 14 Jan 2009, 12:16 PM EST

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – In his first speech in the United States since he left office, the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, is set to address the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Wednesday night.

Musharraf, considered a strong ally of the United States in the fight against terorrism in the years after the 9/11 attacks, resigned in August amid intense political pressure and the possibility of impeachment.

Speaking to reporters before the speech, Musharraf said his talk will focus on a lack of understanding aboout the region, what the country has gone through and what it is doing to combat terrorism and extremism.

Asked by 24 Hour News 8 whether he believes the current ruling coalition in Pakistan is doing enough on that front, the former president said he believes the government “is doing its best, yes, indeed, but we need to understand if there are any misundestandings we need to remove those misunderstandings and that is exactly why I am here.”

Pressed on the possible presence of Osama Bin Laden within Pakistan’s borders, Musharraf said he was “not very sure. And nobody is very sure. Anyone who says that he’s living there is certainly not sure. He is just conjecturing and his guess is as right or wrong as yours.”

The former president told reporters he believes there is more the U.S. can do — particularly in the socioeconomic realm — to help the fight against terrorism in Pakistan.

“I believe in a multi-pronged approach. Military only buys time and creates an environment for other instruments to be used towards peace. Now when we use military alone it won’t solve the problem,” he said.

Musharraf said he believes Pakistan is a victim of terrorism that needs to be helped instead of accused.

Asked about the tension between India and the country he once ruled, the former president said he believed the two countries, both nuclear powers, are not irresponsible. He said he does not anticipate nuclear military conflict between the two.


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