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Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Musharraf speech highlights
Pervez Musharraf and wife, Sehba
Musharraf launched a blistering attack on militants
Excerpts from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's independence day speech on 14 Aug 2002.

On militants

"The recent attacks, especially directed at the places of worship of our Christian brothers and sisters, are the most shameful and despicable examples of terrorism, all this in the name of Islam.


We were never so cowardly as to hide and then try to kill children and women

"These misled criminals and their terrorist patrons and tutors even have the audacity to think their actions are the route to Jannah [paradise].

"Is this the true spirit of Islam? Is this the religion that we all are so proud of?

"Where is the tolerance, the magnanimity, the chivalry and the large-heartedness that characterised true Muslims?

"We were never so cowardly as to hide and then try to kill children and women...

"Just before I entered the hall, I got the news from the interior minister that there were about 15 terrorists at large, involved in these incidents and planning more incidents.

"All of them have been arrested now. This is commendable work done by security and intelligence agencies, and also the judiciary, in tandem with each other."

On Kashmir

"In order to achieve durable peace in the South Asian region, it is imperative that we resolve the long-standing Kashmir dispute.


My dear countrymen, your armed forces are standing guard on the country's borders

"Pakistan supports the principled struggle of the people of occupied Kashmir for their right of self-determination, long promised to them by the international community.

"The struggle for self-determination of our Kashmiri brothers is a sacred trust with us, which can never by compromised.

"Pakistan's position [on forthcoming elections in Kashmir] is based on United Nations Security Council resolutions.

"Elections cannot be a substitute for a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.

"India claims that peaceful elections in Indian-occupied Kashmir would be a test of Pakistan's sincerity for a dialogue with India.

"This is a self-serving argument.


Provocative rhetoric and war hysteria serve no purpose

"Pakistan cannot accept any responsibility for developments inside Indian-occupied Kashmir, nor can India try to shift the onus of the failure of elections to Pakistan.

"My dear countrymen, your armed forces are standing guard on the country's borders.

"Let life and business continue as usual, with the confidence that your valiant forces have the Jazba-e-Eman [spirit of faith] not only to defend every inch of the motherland, but to carry the fight across the border, inshallah [God willing]."

On other issues

"Internationally, Pakistan's image in the comity of nations today is tall and respected.


We were not only able to arrest the rapid downslide of the nation in time, but, in fact, are well on our way to recovery

"From the threat of being reduced to a pariah status only a few years ago, Pakistan has emerged as a respectable and responsible member of the world community...

"My dear countrymen, Pakistan thinks and speaks the language of peace.

"We believe that stability and harmony are the answers for improving human conditions in our region.

"We owe peace to the people of this part of the world, whose aspirations continue to be thwarted fighting the poverty line.

"Provocative rhetoric and war hysteria serve no purpose.

"Instead, they lead to inflexibility, confrontation, and only complicate issues. It is time to give peace a chance...

"Looking back, I can take satisfaction in the fact that we were not only able to arrest the rapid downslide of the nation in time, but, in fact, are well on our way to recovery."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf
"The recent attacks specially directed at our Christian brothers and sisters are the most shameful examples of terrorism"
Musharraf's Pakistan

Democracy challenge

Militant threat

Background

TALKING POINT

FROM THE ARCHIVES

BBC WORLD SERVICE
See also:

09 Aug 02 | South Asia
09 Aug 02 | South Asia
05 Aug 02 | South Asia
27 Jun 02 | South Asia
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