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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Excerpts from Musharraf's speech
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf at his first press conference (Oct 8) after US-led strikes
General Musharraf says he can keep a lid on protests
Excerpts from the statement read by President Pervez Musharraf before he responded to journalists' questions:

Pakistan took the decision of being part of the world, of the world community and a part of a coalition to fight terrorism.

The focus fell on Osama Bin Laden and his supporters and we were asked to provide intelligence cooperation, use of our airspace and logistic support... That is what we are providing now.

We continue, following the event of 11 September, we continue to interact with the Taleban Government in best national interest and in best international interest, may I say.

And I know that our efforts have been appreciated around the world. Because we were the only country who were interacting with them, we tried to bring moderation to the Taleban Government.


I have got definite assurances that this operation will be short. It ought to be targeted and also it should not be having collateral damage

Pervez Musharra
"We made all possible efforts to extradite Osama Bin Laden, we made all possible efforts to free the eight foreigners being tried in Afghanistan... We tried our utmost, but, unfortunately, may I say, I accept that we could not achieve what we were trying with them, and therefore the action which started last night...

I have got definite assurances that this operation will be short. It ought to be targeted and also it should not be having collateral damage...

So although the perceptions are that the cities... are being attacked, maybe that is not the truth. It is the terrorist camps which are in the vicinities of these cities, they are being targeted...

I also hope that this operation, and I also know that's the desire of all the coalition forces, that this operation should not be perceived as a war against Afghanistan or the people of Afghanistan, the Afghans. It is an action against terrorists... and their sanctuaries and their supporters...

This action should not be allowed to be taken advantage of by the Northern Alliance...

We must ensure the unity, the stability of Afghanistan and bring peace into Afghanistan. Secondly, whatever dispensation, it must be broad-based, it must be multi-ethnic... No political dispensation should be seen to be imposed on Afghanistan ... a political dispensation should be facilitated rather than being imposed on the people of Afghanistan...

We need to plan a major rehabilitation effort for Afghanistan as fast and as soon on the heels of the action as possible to bring normalcy into life in Afghanistan...

An ideal scenario, operational scenario, is a short, sharp action, targeted action, followed as fast as possible through a very balanced political dispensation and rehabilitation effort...

The people of Pakistan are with my government on all the decisions we have taken in national interest... I am very positive that the vast majority are with us...

A cause of concern is the number of foreigners, working in Pakistan on various projects, leaving Pakistan. Another area of concern which affects our economy is the number of orders to our industry being cancelled from abroad.

See also:

08 Oct 01 | South Asia
Musharraf firm as protests erupt
07 Oct 01 | Americas
US tightens security
08 Oct 01 | Americas
US balancing act
07 Oct 01 | South Asia
Bin Laden broadcasts his defiance
20 Sep 01 | Americas
The trail to Bin Laden
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