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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 18:42 GMT
Musharraf in quotes

Pervez Musharraf gave two key addresses on the day he announced plans to lift Pakistan's state of emergency and was sworn in as civilian president following his retirement as head of the army. The following are excerpts from his speeches.

ADDRESS TO NATION ON PLAN TO END EMERGENCY RULE

It is my intention to lift the state of emergency from the country on 16 December... and hold the general elections as per the announced schedule and according to the constitution.

The overall situation has improved considerably, the democratic system is functioning according to the programme and terrorism has been controlled to a great extent.

Mr Musharraf signs in as a civilian president
Mr Musharraf signs in as a civilian president

The elections, God willing, will be held free and transparent under the constitution... Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have come back and a level playing field has been given to (their parties).

Now it is the responsibility of these and other parties to prepare for the elections and participate fully.

I am happy and proud that due to these steps the country has come back on the path of democracy.

But I hope no obstacles will be created to destabilise the process as was done in the past.

Whatever I have done so far and will do in future will have one and only purpose and that is to upheld the interest of the country.

SPEECH ON TAKING THE PRESIDENTIAL OATH OF OFFICE

It is indeed a historic day and an emotional day for me. This is a milestone in the transition of Pakistan to the complete essence of democracy.

Elections alone do not mean democracy... We want democracy, we want human rights, we want civil liberties but we will do it our own way.

We understand our society, our environment better than anyone in the West (...which has an) unrealistic obsession with your form of democracy, your human rights and civil liberties... which you took centuries to (evolve), but you want us to adopt in months... this is not possible.

I hope (Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif) will move forward toward a conciliatory, civilised, democratic and political environment in the future.

(A) conspiracy was impacting on the working of the executive and the sovereignty of the parliament... but I never wavered from the path... a derailment could have led to chaos.

Extraordinary circumstances... needed extraordinary measures... no half-hearted measures. I had to act. And I acted.

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