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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Musharraf: 'The nation is galvanised'
President Musharraf
Musharraf says he is happy with his nation's positive response
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has given an interview to the BBC's Lyse Doucet in Islamabad, defending his country's response to the South Asian quake and calling for more international funds for reconstruction.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

On the relief programme

"I've spoken to the army commanders right at the grassroots level. I know their deployment exactly and what they exactly are doing. So I'm reasonably confident.

"I've seen on the peaks where the roads are blocked, I've seen in the area in the mountains and I've seen that there are signs of people having reached there even in the form of some kind of sheets, some kind of even tents at heights.

"So therefore I believe that they have been reached out. Now I'm not saying that there is no problem at all, there is a problem but I feel confident that before the onset of winter we would have reached out and hopefully provided even for shelters."

On criticism

"Whenever there's a problem, there's criticism from some people, from some quarters. I don't bother about that... Now the vast majority is supportive of whatever has happened.

"The whole nation is galvanised. The whole nation is helping and the army is helping and I think we are feeling very happy with ourselves for having reacted in such a positive manner as a nation, army included."

On long-term reconstruction

"I divide it into relief operations and reconstruction and rehabilitation. As far as relief is concerned, which is going on now, we are, I think the relief operation is managing. We need more but we are failing in a few areas. And that is tents and also blankets and maybe warm clothing also.

"But then when we talk about reconstruction and rehabilitation, I think we haven't done anything about it as yet.

"Today I know that we have been donated about $620m or something, which is totally inadequate. I believe that it would be more than $5bn."

On rejecting Indian helicopters

"We have enough helicopters there... We don't want to take their helicopters with military personnel. Will they take our helicopters? If I want to send my helicopters to the Indian side I believe I am 200% sure they will not take it.

"There are military defence plans, there's military deployment here like on the Indian side. We don't want their military to be coming here. Not at all.

"There is the sensitivity of our army versus their army, and also the people round here - there's a very big sensitivity. We will not allow that."

On opening Kashmir's Line of Control

"I believe moving forward is in political terms... let's make the Line of Control irrelevant. Let's open it out, let people come on our side or our people come on their side to help in reconstruction.

"That is moving forwards to a solution, not an issue of a few helicopters."

On Kashmir's future

"People know my ideas. I have been saying we need to identify exactly what is Kashmir and then demilitarise that identified region, take all the soldiers out and then give self government to these people.

"I have always believed there is an opportunity of a lifetime to solve the dispute. Now the disaster has struck I think we should give it deeper thought and resolve the dispute once and for all."


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