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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 23:38 GMT 00:38 UK


Full text of General Musharraf's address

Hours after seizing power in Pakistan, the army's chief General Musharraf made this TV address to the nation:

"In the name of God, most merciful and compassionate. My dear countrymen. peace be upon you.

Pakistan in crisis
"You are all aware of the kind of turmoil and uncertainty that our country has gone through in recent times. Not only have all the institutions been played around with and systematically destroyed, the economy, too, is in a state of collapse.

"We are also aware of the self-serving policies being followed which have rocked the very foundation of the Federation of Pakistan.

"The armed forces have been facing incessant public clamour to remedy the fast-declining situation from all sides of the political divide.

"These concerns were always conveyed to the prime minister in all sincerity, keeping the interest of the country foremost. It is apparent that they were never taken in the correct spirit.

"My singular concern has been the well-being of our country alone. This has been the sole reason that the army willingly offered its services for nation-building tasks, the results of which have already been judged by all of you.

Concerns

"All my efforts and counsel to the government, it seems, were to no avail. Instead they now turned their attention on the army itself.

"Despite all my advice, they tried to interfere with the armed forces - the last remaining viable institution in which all of you take so much pride and look up to at all times for the stability, unity and integrity of our beloved country.

"Our concerns again were conveyed in no uncertain terms, but the government of Mr Nawaz Sharif chose to ignore all this and tried to politicise the army, destabilise it, and tried to create dissension within its ranks.

"I was in Sri Lanka on an official visit. On my way back, the PIA [Pakistan International Airlines] commercial flight was not allowed to land at Karachi, but was ordered to be diverted to anywhere outside Pakistan. Despite acute shortage of fuel, imperilling the lives of all the passengers, thanks be to Allah, this evil design was thwarted through speedy army action.

'Perfectly calm'

"My dear countrymen, having briefly explained the background, I wish to inform you that the armed forces have moved in as a last resort to prevent any further destabilization. I have done so with all sincerity, loyalty and selfless devotion to the country with the armed forces firmly behind me.

"I do not wish to make a lengthy policy statement at this moment. I shall, however, do that very soon. For the moment, I only wish to assure you that the situation in the country is perfectly calm, stable and under control. Let no outside forces think that they can take advantage of the prevailing situation.

"Dear brothers and sisters. Your armed forces have never and shall never let you down. God willing, we shall preserve the integrity and sovereignty of our country to the last drop of our blood.

"I request you all to remain calm and support your armed forces in the re-establishment of order to pave the way for a prosperous future for Pakistan.

"May Allah guide us on the path of truth and honour. May God protect you. Long live Pakistan."



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