tv Pervez Musharraf Warns Against Escalation of Conflict in Syria CSPAN April 17, 2017 1:03am-2:37am EDT
classroom discussion on a variety of topics that are current and relevant. announcer: if you are a middle school or high school teacher, join thousands of your fellow teachers across the nation as a member of c-span classrooms. it is free and easy to register at c-span.org/classroom. and if you register now, you can request a free classroom sized american presidents timeline poster. country's next, the current state of affairs and future relations with the u.s., india, china, and russia. this event was hosted by george washington university and is an hour and a half. [applause] >> good evening and welcome to the national library center.
my name is michael bishop and i am the director of the library and executive director of the international circuit. the collaboration between the society and the george washington university, in the nation's capital is devoted to this. here students and visitors have access to a wide range of primary and secondary material. as well as a number of exhibits. they are displaying exhibits and artifacts next month. they are more than just a place for study, it is also a venue for discussion. in the short time that we open our doors we have explored not just the legacy of winston churchill but also the legacy of this. i hope you will return when we
-- and thedavid current state of brexit. let me take this opportunity to encourage you to learn more about the journalistic society i visited our website. winstonchurchill.org. members o receive a subscription and many other benefits. i would like to take a moment to recognize the advisor to general musharraf. born in delhi in 1943 to it urges speaking family. later migrating to pakistan, general musharraf served as
president from 2001 to 2008. the general who was at the time the head of the pakistani armed forces came to power resulting in a military coup against prime minister sharif. as president he worked with the u.s. backed war. this combined with the pakistani people earned the ire of islamic leaders. "in the line of fire" was published in 2007. under the threat of imprisonment he currently lives in dubai and london. our guest graciously agreed to take questions from the audience at the end of our discussion. those who have a question should approach the microphone, those with speeches should not.
ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to welcome general perez musharraf. [applause] gen. musharraf: thank you very much indeed for inviting me here. i say before the questions that -- a modification for the team we have decided, they are countering radical terrorism. we cannot confuse islam with terrorism. i know of many deadly organizations, even the united states has 11 in the world, the
christian asian, in greece and italy. is it not functioning? don't tell me you are not hearing what i was saying. [laughter] i will continue. i think we should not be confusing religion with terrorism. there is terrorism carried out by misled muslims. that is confused with islam. islam is peaceful, if not more so than the whole world. >> general, we are very honored to have you here, welcome to the national churchill center.
this institution is named for its connection and it is long-standing and controversial even by the standards of his own age. although he was through prophetic about the violent aftermath and as one historian noted that he should be regarded as the father of pakistan, churchill was his uncle. i would like to hear your thoughts especially as one who held supreme power over wartime. gen. musharraf: he certainly played a important role in the forming of pakistan. he had his viceroy in india. to that extent as far as we are concerned, we hold winston churchill in deep regard.
by the way he also served as a very young officer during pakistan. there was a post even now. >> they hear our focus here at the library is not autobiographical details of his life but also the concept of leadership itself. the circumstances of your coming to power were front with uncertainty and which you recognize were for fighting terrorism and extremism at home. extreme risk to yourself. what is this say about the future prospects of democracy
and democratic institutions in the muslim world? gen. musharraf: that is an important question because when you are educating the minds of people what is happening in the muslim world, what we have to realize is that in the western world it is very colonized for two or three centuries. they became independent after the second world war. all of us were colonized, in the late 40's and early 50's we became independent. then when we became independent we went backwards, having very obscure views.
this whole part of us becoming independent, it required us to become democratic. we had a democratic society and a feudal society. there are autocratic rulers who are always exceeding and holding the place. now after independence in the late 40's and early 50's, they started imposing democracy. they have democracy without bouncing. they are trying to tune it to national requirements. it was everywhere. it was counter to the ground reality of each country. then there is now a problem with how democracy is really unthinkable to certain societies. i believe this requires certain levels of this, you also need to
have small divided ethnic divisions. within these tribal divisions there is the middle east. in 1924 there was no country in the middle east, none of these. syria, jordan, none of these existed. these are all creations after 1934, where the french and rich senate sat in a drawing room and drew a line about who control what. this is how the country started to becoming -- started coming to be. they wanted to create a christian country.
leaving that aside, they are demanding democracy that is not productive. you have to build it to national requirements. and autocratic rulers running for the democracy is always going to be more successful than a politically elected government and politically elected governor or leader who is not really attuned to the ground reality. >> president trump surprised the world and many of his supporters by attacking a syrian airbase with 59 missiles in retaliation for the recent chemical weapons attack. was this a necessary long overdue punishment for using chemical weapons against
civilians, what would you have done? gen. musharraf: i think it was a certain -- serious aggression by the syrian government. although there are doubts and russia keeps claiming that there is no proof. the world believes it is the government. if that is so than it is certainly a violation of international law. it is also a violation of the humanities act. the world is certainly against what was happening. then it has been accepted by the world when the united states retaliated. however since the world is divided now, there is this
response of coming from a superpower. russia is trying to emerge as a superpower. the united states needs to balance its strategic objectives. with those of these emerging superpowers. therefore what happened is there is another emerging world power that is telling the united states not to do it again. with that escalating situation, they are taught states not to do it again. obviously anger is not good for anyone. trump says he will do it again and then he will keep escalating the situation. i think that your response was correct, i think it could lead
to escalation which needs to be guarded against. >> the recently retired chief of staff of the pakistani army has agreed to become the first commander in chief of the islamic military alliance to fight terrorism. some are calling a muslim nato. it will have its headquarters in riyadh, what are the challenges and opportunities facing such a coalition? gen. musharraf: this is a very important issue and that is educating the minds of everyone in pakistan. if you see that they're in a nations center in riyadh, what they are expecting to achieve
has serious overtones. in the muslim world there is a big divide between a shia muslim and a sharia muslim. this is also another conflict. the shia side is led by iran. their accomplices are syria and iraq and hezbollah as well as lebanon. on the sunni side the leader happens to be saudia arabia. i am seeing this force be created of a combination of shia and sunni.
there is this terrorism and that region and the -- in islam. if it is a combination of sunni states going into iraq, syria and have this conflict it is going to be dangerous. then and ex parte chief of pakistan has been taken into consideration. if i was there i would want to see who is under me, what is my staff, and by capable of achieving this task, will i bring victory? if i cannot do those, i would never have accepted.
pakistan happens to be after iran, the only country that has the second most population. we have a domestic internal sense of our own. therefore that can always be affected. you need to balance out these regiments before going into this kind of situation. i leave it to his best judgment. >> thank you. there has been a potential need to look at the retaliation only doctrine in the indian government. what could be driving this and what does it say about the
government and the current status of pakistan? gen. musharraf: this is most terrible with pakistan and india. may i say, i don't know about indians and pakistan. i believe in talking honestly about it. unfortunately. clearly it was india who it nuclear in 1974. they created their first nuclear device, they say they created a peaceful nuclear device. i don't know how it could be peaceful. that is the time with pakistan decided we would backstab.
we believed our military strategy is one of deterrence. deterrence meeting maintaining a force level through military strength that is one third. we were maintaining that convention, that strategy of deterrence was discouraged and we had to balance it out again. india has always been proposing the first strike. because they have a father superior conventional force. we have a smaller conventional force, so we have not been in the favor of a force although we are saying we should demilitarize, this has been a conflict between pakistan and india. there is a big concern, we are
nuclear because we haven't existential threats. therefore we have a right to protect ourselves. just like it is right, therefore they are nuclear. we also our nuclear because we have this threat. >> pakistan has historically maintained a relationship with the united states, who are also a partner with china. there is this tension between the u.s. that has elevated as of late with the mar-a-lago summit notwithstanding. how can he balances relationship balance that with both of you? gen. musharraf: there is an absolute need to balance this relationship. from pakistan read the times of
its independence decided to -- the soviet union was a bipolar state. we decided to go sign defense pacts with the united states. we have been having ups and downs. our relationship has been going up and down, it has been a roller coaster grade it was up in 1965. we had to turn down weapons. when the soviet union invaded, the relations went up. the soviets were defeated they went down. then we had sanctions and they went down again. then in 9/11 when we are needed
the relations went up. this situation -- we have to learn as far as pakistan is concerned we have a ever-changing relationship with the red states. we have been getting a lot of assistance on the states which we must he grateful of. then there are the certain strategic questions india fits very well. the united states and india has become important. we haven't enemy with india. how do we balance out this confusion of relationship? i would say by by naturalism.
we would have naturalism on this basis. pakistan should not be concerned or overly bothered by relations with india as long as it does not go against our national security. also the united states should not bother with our relations with china as long as it does not impede with our relations. we should try to have bilateral relationships and trying to balance it out with our relationships other countries. it is what diplomats must learn to do. >> thank you very much, general. i wanted to leave as much time for questions. i would like to invite those in the audience with questions to
approached our two microphones and ask a very brief question of the general. please come up to the microphone and ask your question here. >> thank you for coming. how do you see the pakistani -- with the coalition? how do you see that going after this incident? gen. musharraf: iran is pakistan's neighbor. we must coexist. we have been coexisting very well. now we have to balance that
relationship here. pakistan's special position, not that i am boasting. there are two different realms, turkey having the ottoman empire and iran also given great power. there is then saudia arabia which is the center of the muslim world. these three have never had good relations with each other. pakistan is the only country which has good relations with all three. i think pakistan can play an ideal role of balancing, harmonizing, relations with the muslim world. that can only happen if we have strength in our own country.
if pakistan is running well, if they are on a ascendant course. they need to be recognized as a progressive nation, we can play a great role in the muslim world. we can also play a great role in maintaining peace in the world because most of the conflicts are in muslim countries. i think pakistan should be able to play the immediate role in saudia arabia and iran. for peace in the region and peace in the muslim world.
>> ignore introduction you briefly mentioned the issue of countries with post-colonialism i having populations ill equipped in some situations having an authoritarianism government. do you think rhetoric with this is destructive to the roads of pakistan given the instability the government faces and the risk of another military coup? gen. musharraf: i believe that in the pakistani environment, pakistan has always risen under military rule. it was before me, in my era.
there has not been a single civilian government in pakistan since 1947 which can claim to have given so few economic prosperity to pakistan. the interestster of the people of pakistan, unfortunately. , one has to see what is the issue of the balance of democracy? why the to tell a tear in government is not the answer -- why the totalitarian government is not the answer. the answer lies in adjusting the democracy within the environment of pakistan, which is very different from the democracy in the united kingdom from which we have borrowed our democracy and also ensuring there are checks
and balances within the powerbrokers of pakistan. we are not there at the moment. therefore, if we can tailor our democracy to our environment and interviews checks and balances, then democracy is possible. as i said, there are tribal societies, so therefore totalitarian leaders, autocratic leaders have always succeeded, rather than the democratically elected governments. i wantedl musharraf, to get your views on the laws of pakistan, which is the only law of its kind within the muslim country, which commercializes any islamic act.
how do you view those laws? gen. musharraf: it's a very sensitive question you're are asking, really. personally, i believe in tolerance, i believe in moderation, i believe in allowing anyone and everyone that religion should be between him and his god, and i don't believe in interfering in that domain, but unfortunately, the muslim world is, many are divided on this issue. if you take pakistan -- well, let me not go into that, it would be a long answer. but this was done at a time in mr. bhutto's regime, but it has
been taken and i think it is very difficult to undo it now. that is all that i can say and i would not like to comment further whether it is right or wrong. it is a very serious religious issue, although as i say, i believe in tolerance and accepting whatever religious views anyone holds. >> during your tenure as president, significant progress was made on establishing a framework for resolution between india and pakistan through negotiations. i want to get your perspective looking forward on what conditions must be satisfied both in pakistan and india for the two governments to at least engage in meaningful dialogue again. thank you. gen. musharraf: i have been
telling both prime ministers on moving successfully forward towards peace. i have been telling both of them, i told both of them that there are three qualities required between the leaders, between you and me, i sad. number one is sincerity. to resolve the disputes. sincerity towards bringing about peace. that in your head and heart you believe that we have to resolve our disputes and bring peace into the region. that is in the socioeconomic interest of both the countries, and also the regional interests. and i believe that both of us have sincerity. we really wanted peace. the other is flexibility.
i believe that we have to be flexible enough to accept each other's points of views in case they are better than our own. then only can we move forward. so, that also i think was positive on both sides. the third area, which is the most difficult, is courage and boldness. my courage and boldness is required is because any resolution of a dispute or a conflict requires, if it is to be sold, requires meeting midway. it requires give and take. when it requires give and take, you have to give half to take half. you cannot take all. t willder worth his sal give all to the opponent. so, when you have to give half, then only when you take half,
you are scared that in your backyard there will be agitation and politically, maybe you lose political ground. this feeling of what would happen that the people's that scares leaders away from reaching a resolution. i know of the palestinian dispute, i believe they were reaching an accord in the days perez, but then he did not sign it because of believe there was a threat to his life and he came back. that is where the leader stands. if a leader is certain you will sign his accord, that is where leadership comes in. do you have the guts to face
this threat? for the sake of a bigger goal then yourself. that is where leaders get scared. therefore, may i say in the case the firstn and india, element of sincerity, now when you come to the present time, i don't think that sincerity is available from across the indian side. prime minister modi has different divines about pakistan. they are saying. want theat they economic strangulation of pakistan. they want to weaken our army, destabilize us internally, isolate us internationally. this is what they have been saying and writing. in this environment, there is no real peace.
i am afraid the intentions of the leaders at this moment have to change to move forward in the direction of peace. >> thank you. my question is concerning pakistan. due to our religious status being on the passport, we have suffered immense discrimination. why did you decide not to remove the religious section from the passport when you were the president and you said you would? gen. musharraf: this is again, a sensitive question, really. i would like to pass this question. i do understand your concern. and i have great sympathy. that becauseaying of who you are. i am saying that because many of my close friends have been and
are. and i think you are a community which is very educated and very progressive and very dynamic. i mean every word of it. so, therefore, one should favor you, yes. but one has to see the bigger issue of pakistan and the turmoil within pakistan. so, one has to balance sympathies towards your community with realities on the ground. >> so, you will have to live with it and i hope that better times will come. >> thank you. if you are able to advise president trump on how to best engage pakistan in the what what would you advise him as being the best steps that the united states
could take? gen. musharraf: that the united states could take on the pakistan-united states relations? >> yes. the unitedraf: states must understand pakistan's significance. and pakistan must obviously understand the united states must a superpower, understand its interest in the united states and united states sensitivities towards pakistan. that is the main issue, understanding each other's sensitivities and trying to deal with them honestly and sincerely. let me very proudly say, my a successf i call it and my time of relations with the united states was basically
because of my and president bush's absolutely clear openness and frank talk. secretary of state colin powell's absolutely straight talk with each other. this was the basis of our good relations. side isthat the other talking very frankly, means every word of what they are saying, and i mean every word of what i am saying. no mincing of words. that was the basis of our good relationship. i think that must continue. at the moment when you start -- when we hide our feelings and we call diplomacy, although i don't believe diplomacy means that you should be blind. diplomacy means that you should speak the truth. under diplomacy
bluffing their way through. that should not be the case. i think it is an attitude, it's an issue of attitude. we have our sensitivities and the united states has certain issues about pakistan and afghanistan. these must be resolved talking straight to each other. that is what i would advise them. >> general [cheers and applause] -- thank you forraf, coming to the campus. i want to look at the region as a whole, and there is rising violence in the subcontinent and rising violence. how do you think that situation can be dealt with, and what can pakistan and india play in that? gen. musharraf: when you talk of the region, the institution that joins us together is
regional cooperation. where are you from? you are from sri lanka? >> india. gen. musharraf: ok, india. -- it is anson important organization. it is important because of the indian-pakistan relations. let's see if i am allowed to quote a joke. i went to one of the conferences and one of the prime ministers of a small country, and they are a small country, actually. sri lanka is not small, sorry. said, mr.erson president, the south is
important because of india-pakistan relations. he said when two elephants quarrel, the grass gets trampled. at that time we were having a rapprochement between india and pakistan. i was very fast at replying that, mr. bremen us to, if the two elephants start making love, the grass might get more trampled. [laughter] gen. musharraf: we must resolve our disputes. and we have to have sincerity in resolving our disputes. that is all. we must do it for the sake of india and pakistan and the region. everyone has been calling me a man of war. at i have been saying, i am man of war, but a man for peace. i know the hazards of war. maybe everyone does not. and i fought two wars have seen conflict. therefore, i know what war means. i had my best friend, killed in
action and mike son is named after him. -- and my son is named for him. i know what war is. therefore, we must stop wars and eace, but our intention must be noble for the entire region. for the socioeconomic element of both. if you want to take all the advantages for one and give the disadvantages to another, it cannot happen. india is a big country. certainly. india showing accommodation will be seen positively. ity, a good connotation. all good connotation. if you're scared and runaway, all the negative connotations. i have been telling the indian leaders, please understand, you have to control the magnanimous ity. these are issues we must understand to bring peace, peace
in the world and the region. general musharraf, thank you so much for coming. recently, the indian army chief of staff acknowledged the existence of the cold start doctrine, which calls for indian defensive holding patterns to prevent a pakistani retaliatory nuclear response. this doctrine is seen as destabilizing and many commentators and pakistan has said this is a destabilizing move. what do you as a former strategic army staff see as the alternative or the policy options pakistan has, and how does this doctrine change the dynamic in any future potential conflict between the two countries? did you say the cold start in relation to the nuclear response? >> just the existence is aimed at trying to prevent a nuclear retaliation. gen. musharraf: no, i think it
encourages that. it encourages a tactical nuclear response. if india wants to have a cold start tactic, as a military man i can say that you cannot assemble a force in our environment because we are watching each other closely and our activities, our intelligence activities in each other's countries. whatch so we know exactly we are doing. in that context, cold start strategy will not work, and we have assembled our forces in a way to counter that. if at all it could have success, the way to stop it is having a tactical nuclear weapon. and responding to this with a tactical nuclear weapon. so, you are actually encouraging nuclear response, not reducing it. so, i think it is negative. >> thank you so much.
>> good evening, general musharraf. so, you talked a bit about the multi-polar world we are shifting towards. i wanted to discuss recent delegations by the russian military with regard to pakistan. e deal you view th towards russia that has been recently viewed? do you think it is significant and long-lasting, or is it temporary? gen. musharraf: i think it is a true manifestation of a changing world. a world changing from uni- polarity to multi-polarity. the emerging powers are china, absolutely, and russia, also emerging. therefore, it gives other countries choices, diplomatic choices.
a balancing of relations. it is not a single superpower only. russian -- dealing with russia or having relations with russia means that significance. as far as pakistan is concerned, we are in a geographic situation which is of interest, interestingly, to all the superpowers. the united states sees that pakistan is in the center of iran, afghanistan, china, and india. four countries are of significant importance to the united states. we understand that. that is how important we are. for russia, they are seeing that they had an ambition of going to
the waters of the indian ocean through central asia, and then pakistan threw up in a they came into afghanistan. throughhen pakistan there, and then they came into afghanistan. they are seeing the reemergence and reassertion in the central indian republics and afghanistan and then associating themselves with pakistan for the old dream of reaching out to the warm wa ters of this route of the indian ocean. china is seeing the united states as may be encircling china. if they see the presence, the shift of the united states strategic power from the atlantic to the pacific, from the three jake focus shifting from being eurocentric to south eastand gulf and middle and then seeing the relationship with japan, south korea, australia, taiwan, philippines,
singapore, india, they are seeing an and circle meant of themselves -- seeing an encir clement of themselves. they see pakistan as a route to the middle east and access to africa, and access to europe through that route. that is the significance of the geography of pakistan. sure that wemake utilize this and balance our relations in our own interests with all three. we must not do something which annoys another one. that is the art of diplomacy. if you can play it well, we can use these three elements i said to our advantage. and if we don't do it well, it will go to our disadvantage.
>> i am a fulbright scholar here from lahore, pakistan. i have had this question that you always talk about, a tailor-made diplomacy and democracy for pakistan. what are those changes, adjustments needed in the case of pakistan and why didn't you make them when you were in power? in thesharraf: so, i was process of making them, definitely. but you need time for what i was doing. i certainly transferred power through the local governments, which i did. but they finished it off. that was real democracy. real democracy is the empowerment of the people. that is what i do. they have never done it. i empowered the women of pakistan.
i empowered the minorities of pakistan. this is what real democracy is. we have seen this parliamentary system of democracy is not sitting pakistan that well. pakistan thating well. there is a lot of talk of the presidential system being introduced in pakistan. the important thing, without getting into details of the pluses and minuses of each, we need to have checks and balances in each. if a presidential system was introduced without checks and balances, it will fail again in pakistan. we have to look again at whether we should introduce a presidential system, whether we proportionalropose representation, how do we ensure there is always a fair election held in pakistan, how do we , orre checks and balances
maybe a miss performing prime minister or army chief of could instill martial law? the supreme court gave me three years and not allowed me modifications to the constitution. therefore, i could not do this. these are limitations to what i could do and what i could not do. tank toto have a think really go into minute details of what, of how to deliver this democracy to our requirements. a lot can be done, and that is that we have to do. >> can i ask another follow-up question? do you see those changes coming between the two political parties ever? gen. musharraf: this is difficult because changes to the constitution can be brought
about by what means? a government, which has 2/3 majority in the assembly. i don't see that happening. therefore, that change will not come. secondly, it can be through an interim government, which has been maybe authorized by the supreme court to be able to amend the constitution. which they had given me, to an extent. they have to do that, so that could be another possibility. a shortcut to achieving what i'm saying. i hope the shortcut comes about. >> thank you so much. , thank youmusharraf for taking my question. i'm a student here. i want to ask you, reflecting on your time as the leader of pakistan, reflecting on all your
experiences and everything that happened during that period, if there is one thing you could have done differently or one regret you have had, what would you have done differently at the time? gen. musharraf: very honestly speaking, i mean, i don't believe in boasting. but whatever i did, i made a definition for myself back in early 2000. what are my responsibilities as a leader? and what are the responsibilities of my government? and i defined that. first of all, i thought my responsibilities were to the state and the people. this applies to any leader in the world. responsibilities to the state and to the people. development of the state, the welfare of the people. these are the two basic responsibilities of any leader within any good government.
in the case of pakistan, i thought we had an existential threat. therefore, security. i defined and ensured the security for the development of the state and the welfare of the people. then i started working on each one of them. what is security? what is the welfare progress of the state, the economy, the industrial communication and infrastructure, i.t., telecom, etc. and then the welfare of the people, poverty alleviation, education, health. but on each one of these, on each one of these, if you take the facts and figures, there is progress. in some, major progress and in some, less progress. but not a single one can point fingers and say, we were not
doing well. --ever, having said that therefore, i would like to repeat whatever i did because we were raising. we were a defaulted state in 1 999, a technically defaulted state. 112005, we became one of the countries of the world, the next 11 economically vibrant countries of the world in five years, because the nation had the potential and resources. now, there are some things that i did which were correct, but maybe because of the fallout that occurred should not have been done. so, i have learned that sometimes even doing something right is not appropriate to be done at that time. i needed to learn that and i have learned my lesson. thank you. hello, thank you for coming. so, you mentioned the law and lack of account for tribal
differences contributed to the and improving the economic standing of middle eastern countries. do you think these lines should be redrawn, or need to be amended, in order to allow democracy to improve the economic standing of middle eastern countries? in. musharraf: first of all, all these countries, you have to improve the standards and the so social economic condition of the country and the people. then only can you start thinking about introducing a meaningful countries.n the therefore, education is one. and social economic development is another. we must have an educated population. today in the muslim world, we are the most uneducated in the world of muslim countries.
-- 22the seven countries of the 57 countries which are muslim are the poorest of the poor in the world. they are the most backwards and they are the most illiterate. so, in this condition, when you go for war and you expect equal rights and all that, it doesn't function that while. and the people who don't even understand how to put their thumb impression on a column -- in pakistan when they go for war, you were expected to put your thumb impression against that symbol. people don't even know what those columns and lines in between are for. they put it on the lines or under the line. this is the kind of a literacy. i would say we have to improve
the condition of the people before we can introduce meaningful democracy. and then yes, gradually we shift. for that we need a benevolent, autocratic, benevolent governor and ruler. >> did you have any in mind? anyone in particular? [laughter] gen. musharraf: i would say even if you see southeast asia countries, take korea, take singapore, take taiwan, these are very progressive countries. the militia, all have been governed by very autocratic rulers, all of them. that is how they rose. ofrefore, i am not talking anything unique to the muslim world at all. >> good evening, general musharraf. thank you for coming to gw. my question is, given that india
and pakistan started off at the same time and given that you mentioned earlier this evening that you see diversity as a potential problem to instituting hasingful democracy, why the civilian government succeeded so much better in india as compared to pakistan and why has pakistan had so much military intervention? gen. musharraf: yes, the environment is different. democracy and politics in india had matured through the the early 20th century. when we wrote our partition, in india, feudalism was totally finished, which was a good thing they did.
it was done away with. eudalsistan, our f were sitting in the assemblies themselves. therefore, they could not pass any laws to undo themselves. dal andre, the feu tribal environment in pakistan gets perpetuated by the presence of the feudal and tribal leaders in the assemblies. therefore, i think in a real sense, democracy became dysfunctional. is dysfunctional. that is the main reason, i think. > >> can i follow up? do you think it is the failure of the founding fathers of pakistan to eliminate feudalism initially? gen. musharraf: idle think so. one man can do anything. it is all of them together.
but if his support in making pakistan, and the emergence of pakistan is from the feudal and does theyribal, what are his backbone, they are his supporters. the are the ones who get elected in her sitting in the assembly. so, i don't think that is the reason at all. and then pakistan, i think over say to theld discredit of the civilian government that they have not been able to handle the diversity in our population, the linguistic diversity, the ethnic diversity, the sectarian diversity. we have not been able to handle them well. i mean, this is all i can say. therefore, there have been centrifugal forces that have prevented the government from functioning well. and the people's faith in the
pakistan, people have tremendous faith in the army. they think the army is the solution to everything and they demand from the army to come in and intervene whenever pakistan suffers. these are issues which are particular to pakistan and not applicable to india that much. >> thank you. what do you suggest the current government of pakistan can do differently to remedy the issue of secretary ian violence and intolerance domestically within pakistan? sectarian and intolerance within pakistan domestically. gen. musharraf: let me tell you what the pakistan environment
really -- let us understand pakistan's religious environment. i divide pakistan into four categories. number one, moderates. moderates are in the minority. they are the enlightened, progressive, educated kind. they wield influence. but they are only within the cities of pakistan. they are in a minority. the second category is conservatives. conservative is the vast majority of pakistan. the vast majority living in the rural areas of pakistan. saints,rs believe in but they are against extremism or terrorism.
they are highly religious and they are against extremism. s thiso the second category. the vast majority. the third category is fundamentalists. again, a minority, but they are the ones who believe in like if youislam, hijab, theyinearing a would demand you wear a hijab. i do not have a beard. you must have a beard. they impose the ritualistic elements of islam. they are in the minority. the fourth category, the extremists, getting involved in terrorism and militancy. they believe in importing their islamic views on everyone and they are militant. the key area is this vast majority, which is conservative. if they are educated, if they
handle the conservatives will and educate them, and bring about issues involving welfare there, they will tend towards moderation. if you don't look after them and they remain in miserable conditions, then they will tend towards fundamentalism. and extremism. this is the demand from the government in pakistan. therefore, in this environment, they flourish and some of them misuse their authority towards teaching militancy to people who are illiteratet, that conservative class. they are affected by the plague. confuse the ones who this extremism in their minds, militancy in their mi intolerance against othernds, sects in their minds. we have to address this issue.
the issues of the mosques and the madrasahs. that is another element. we have to take an overall strategic view of their extremism and fundamentalism, where does it come from? where does they grow from? and address those issues. it is a long, long battle, but we must be clear on a strategy and go towards it. >> thank you. .> hello, general musharraf my question is a follow-up to that question. it is about the national action plan the government made not too long ago and how that's acting out. there are bad outfits that have been sent to be protected by either the state or military. doneas nothing ever been to take action against these
militant organizations in pakistan? gen. musharraf: i think we have done a lot. yes, indeed, the national action plan was not being implemented in spirit. had to army, frankly, push its way through to implement even against the authorization of the provincial and central government sometimes, which is unfortunate. operation, which was carried out as part of the national action plan, has succeeded in a major way. there was the center where the taliban and al qaeda, it was their communication center, ther link with all terrorist organizations. it was the indoctrination center
where suicide bombers were trained. their training center, their center to teach how suicide jackets are prepared and i.e.d.'s, explosive devices are prepared. so, that has been busted. therefore, the nerve center has been shattered, which is a very big achievement, a very big achievement. the linkages of these with other terrorist organizations has been shattered. therefore, in the tribal agencies, there is a reasonable amount of piece that has been brought about. but then were talking about karachi, a different kind of terrorism. there is sectarian terrorism. there is sectarian terrorism and separatism. there is ethnic terrorism and political terrorism. there are different nuances of terrorism, which i'll have to be
dealt with. i think pakistan, their military i would say has done well. and now the operation that has been launched now is addressing the issue of sectarian terrorism in punjab. i think it is going reasonably well i hear. >> thank you. good evening, general. i had a question about women and basically gender inequality in pakistan because i feel it is a big issue. how would you propose that pakistan could and power its women politically, other than reserve seats that are there in the parliament? gen. musharraf: think what i did for the women of pakistan has not been done by the women of pakistan, for the prime minister. it was i who empowered the women. first of all, we did think of what to do for the women. the first element of that i thought was political empowerment.
let them sit in their decision-making organization of pakistan, the national assembly and the provincial assembly and the district government, and let them decide and let them take their destiny into their own hands. is where i gave reserved seats for them and also allow them to contest against men. many women defeated men. there were 13 women who defeated men and came into the national assembly. therefore, this was the empowerment of the women. tainoth element wase cer laws, which are discriminatory against women. like the honor killing. we addressed that. i did modify them to remove the elements which really affected the women in a bad way. the other is to improve the lot of the women in education and
jobs. we established quotas in the government and increased the women universities in pakistan. another thing that we did was the women protection bill, which was passed, which had all the elements of protecting them from unnecessary laws that were discriminatory again. so, we did a lot. but there is no end. still, women are discriminated against. still they are the underprivileged. there is no doubt about it. because more than laws, you have to bring about social change and the thinking of people. honor killing is banned, but still it is being done. that is the thinking, the mind thehe man, the mind of people. you can bring laws, they don't
care. therefore, education, gradually you make laws, and you continue to implement them. that whenu do about the judge is sitting in judgment over the thing? therefore, it is not such a simple issue. it needs law and a change of mindsets. therefore education, it's a long process. >> thank you so much. >> good evening, sir. are the people you are responsible for still living free, and could you shed light on the entire incident, please? gen. musharraf: i am very much responsible for having taken action and i claim that. and i am very proud of that. because they were trying to destabilize the government in the center of the country.
was onlymatic enclave one kilometer. diplomats started leaving the country. is that how a progressive country which was one of the 11 countries of the world exists? people were trying to challenge th governmente. that is what we did. now, you are talking of the cleric who is roaming around free. it is the irony of fate that i am being accused of terrorism, while this man who is a terrorist is roaming around. he initiated the case against me , calling me a terrorist. irony, that is why these cases against me are all politicized. that is how the environment in pakistan needs to face such things. >> thank you.
>> good evening, general. thank you for being here. my question is about after the kidnapping and beheading of daniel pearl in pakistan in 2002, you said mr. pearl might have been a little too think was that of an overstepped his boundaries when he was investigating al qaeda in pakistan. i was wondering if you still stand by those rib remarks and maybe connected to the american journalists who were a coupleby isis years ago and if they overstepped their boundaries and what the role is of investigative journalism in today's eara. pearl was overstepping the limits and his investigative journalism, when he was in pakistan, investigating the link between al qaeda and pakistan. richard reid i think is what he
was investigating. you were quoted as saying he might have overstepped his boundaries. gen. musharraf: did i say that? i don't remember. sometimes, yes, indeed. sometimes some of the journalists have been -- although i have always been believing in the freedom of the media. in fact, you might be knowing that i am the one who introduced free television in pakistan. people have been saying i am the victim of my own creation. however, sometimes the journalists do not understand the extent of thei freedomr. -- of their freedom. i always believed that this freedom has certain responsibilities attached to it. they must understand the responsibilities. if there are certain sensitive areas in a country, they must adhere to those sensitivities
and not cross boundaries. now, i don't exactly know what particular case you are referring to. it is only when that is crossed when they put themselves into trouble. however, if there is any government or any government organization or any law enforcer who is unnecessarily trying to create hurdles in free media, i am totally against that. anytime i am against it. >> thank you. >> afternoon, general. canou think that pakistan reach internal stability if it does not address the issue of saudi influenced madrasahs in the country? gen. musharraf: yes, i think so. pakistan is very stable. nothing goes on in pakistan -- there are ups and downs. there is good government, bad government. this happens in every country.
certainly,different we have a threat. we have an existential threat. he is our military capable of meeting the external, existential threat. internally, there are ups and downs, as i said. we can handle ourselves. the last point i would like to say, the ingredients of our potential within a country, pakistan has all the elements of potential. we have all the resources. we have abundant water for human consumption, for livestock, for crops. we have the people's power generation. we have abundant land for the exports.s, for good
we have all the resources for the cheapest energy generation. wind, hydroelectricity, , solar, coal, nuclear. we have all the potential resources. and then our geography, as i said. and then we have abundant natural resources. we have all the resources that go to make a country strong. our only negative is our big population. if that population has good quality and it is skilled, it will become a big positive. if it is unskilled and uneducated, it is a negative. that is what we need to handle, 200 million people who need to improve their education level and skill development. if that be the case, we have all the ingredients of power. that is theoretically the case for judging the country's power.
all despondt be at and that there is a problem in pakistan's power potential. we can be very stable. we can be a strong country. in my time, we were. we were recognized internationally as a rising country, from all points of view. pakistan was respected everywhere. therefore, it is merely good leadership and good governance which transforms and optimizes the power potential that is inherent in a country and uses it in a positive way for the country. and if the leadership and governance is bad, the same resources and power potential are taken down.
these are ups and downs of a country. one should not be at all thinking that pakistan cannot be stable and rise. we can very much rise on this. >> thank you. >> good evening. visitinglbright scholar here. you've mentioned a couple times about the existential threat from across the border, but i wonder what is your take on the from within the country, as far as the domination of punjab province is concerned. you have seldom spoken about the domination of punjab, whether it is economic or social. and at the same time, the exploitation of the smaller provinces. and, what have you considered , because that makes it thee vulnerable to centrifugal forces you have spoken of. gen. musharraf: yes.
this is one of the factors at the national level that punjab is the biggest province and more than half of pakistan. are biggerre, thery than all the other three provinces together. and that is what is to an extent, causing destability in pakistan. yes, indeed. i've always believed that we should divide pakistan into a number of provinces, actually. the more the provinces, the smaller the provinces. the federation will become stronger and the provinces will be better administered because they are small. they will be better administered because the administration will be close to the people. but however, i was not able to do this because there was too much happening.
what i was thinking after 2007, i thought the party that was supporting the wood win again -- againnsupporting me would win and we would bring about restructuring of the political system and government restructuring, etc. you are thinking of doing that at that time. the other point you made, i think we need to integrate fatah within the frontier province, or create more provinces, as i said and divide the province into a number of provinces, three or four. these are very far-reaching reforms, but i know that fatah has been integrated with the frontier province power. that is a good step, i think. >> we have time for just two more questions.
i live in new jersey, but i came from new york just to listen to your lecture. glad i am at this conference. gen. musharraf: i will take you to lunch, if you like. [laughter] he resigned from the presidency, but we have not accepted your resignation. you are still my president. i want you to be the next president, but not the dummy president. a questionswering , there wasn behavior a lot of acting against pakistan. but you forgot to mention one thing. they are planning to cut off the water. how long can you live without water? i cannot live thursday and hungry. irsty andot live thursda
hungry. why did you not raise that point? gen. musharraf: yes, that is an issue. we have three disputes with india, as you know. we're trying to resolve all three. i was trying to resolve all three. dispute is very, very serious, obviously. there is a water agreement, a water treaty between india and pakistan, an international water tree. six of us came to pakistan, as you know. they all come from kashmir. one comes from the himalayas.
the others come from punjab. they are all in india and they come into pakistan. modi isme minister saying he will stop the water. it is an extremely serious threat. i don't think you should do that at all, and if i was in charge, i would have told him that we will go to war if you do that. it is that serious. so don't do that. if he is prepared to accept war with pakistan, then do it. >> thank you for answering my question. we are going to go for dinner. good evening, general. , weou mentioned earlier have a roller coaster relationship with the u.s. when 9/11 happened, the u.s. needed us and we responded. we were like a frontline ally in
the war on terror. since then, we have sustained almost a $118 billion loss to our infrastructure. the world sees us as a terrorist state. how would you clarify pakistan's position? >> well, i think some people do ofnk that, but the majority countries and leaders understand that we are fighting terrorism, and that we are the victims of terrorism. we are not the perpetuated is terrorism. most people who blame us for that don't understand where this militancy started. religious militancy started in 1979, when afghanistan was occupied by the soviet union, and when that happened, american
interest was to contain communism and therefore expel the soviet union from afghanistan. pakistan's interest was also that, because the intention was to go through pakistan to the indian ocean. jihad, we called it jihad, to withdraw which i've mujahadeen. then we cleaned and armed the taliban. we sent them to fight the russians, the soviets, and we defeated them in 10 years. religious militancy was introduced then. and then a continued in the whole decade, because the united states lost interest, went into iraq.
in this period there was a vacuum in afghanistan, and al qaeda came into being and the telephone unified -- and the taliban unified. vacuum, ideal for terrorist planning. that is where 9/11 was planned. it was a total vacuum in afghanistan, and 9/11 was planned. so this religious militancy is not pakistan's doing. we are a victim of circumstances , so therefore we cannot be blamed at all. it is only those who don't understand the history. now we have to fight against terrorism or whatever has happened, and we are doing that to the best of our ability. i think those who are
blaming pakistan are absolutely wrong. they must understand the sacrifices, the role we played and the sacrifices we have given fighting terrorism, and we continue to sacrifice. >> thank you so much, general. it hurts when you are a victim of terrorism and that are labeled as a terrorist. thank you for clarifying. >> thank you all for your very good questions tonight. general, thank you very much for your time and your insight. [applause] >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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