Urdu | English

The text of President Pervez Musharraf's speech is as follows:

MY DEAR PAKISTANI BROTHERS AND SISTERS,

I AM EXTREMELY PLEASED THAT I TOOK OATH AS CIVILIAN PRESIDENT AND TALKING TO YOU IN THIS CAPACITY.

THE PLEDGE WHICH I MADE WITH THE NATION STANDS TODAY AS FULFILLED. THERE WAS NO DEMOCRACY IN REAL SENSE BEFORE.


THERE WERE THREE PHASES FOR COMEBACK OF DEMOCRACY: IN THE FIRST PHASE WHICH SPANNED FROM 1999 TO 2002, WE HAD TO FACE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND STEER THE COUNTRY CLEAR OF IT. DURING THIS PHASE, I KEPT FOUR OFFICES, NAMELY PRESIDENT, CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF, CHAIRMAN JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF COMMITTEE AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE.

IN THIS PHASE, WE HAMMERED OUT A LOCAL BODIES SYSTEM.

THE SECOND PHASE SPANNED FROM 2002 TO 2007. DURING THIS PERIOD, THE DEMOCRACY HAD ITS COURSE COMPLETELY. WE EMPOWERED THE PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN SO THAT THEY UTILIZED THE RESOURCES IN THEIR DISTRICTS AS WELL AS WE GAVE MORE FREEDOM TO WOMEN.

THERE ARE 30 PER CENT WOMEN AT PRESENT IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. WOMEN HAVE 22 PERCENT REPRESENTATION IN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

WE EMPOWERED THE MINORITIES.

WE EMPOWERED THE YOUTH AND SPECIFIED THE VOTING AGE TO BE AT 18.

WE GAVE FREEDOM TO MEDIA AND DECIDED TO OPEN THE PRIVATE CHANNELS. THERE ARE DOZENS OF TV CHANNELS SEEN OPERATING IN THE COUNTRY.

DURING THESE FIVE YEARS, I KEPT TWO OFFICES, I.E. PRESIDENT AND ARMY CHIEF. IN ADDITION, I REMAINED IN A SUPERVISORY POSITION.

AT PRESENT, WE ARE PASSING THROUGH THIRD PHASE. THIS PHASE INCLUDES THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, THE DOFFING THE ARMY UNIFORM AND THE GENERAL ELECTIONS.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO DERAIL THIS PHASE. I WON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WITH 57% MAJORITY. ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO THWART THIS ALSO.

MEANTIME, THE TERRORISM CAME TO THE FOREFRONT. TERRORIST ACTIVITIES WERE CONDUCTED IN SWAT AND SOME OTHER AREAS COMING OUT OF FATA. SUICIDE BOMB BLASTS WERE CARRIED OUT LEADING TO LOSS OF LIVES, ON WHICH I AM GRIEVED.

I STATE THIS WITH SADNESS THAT SOME ELEMENTS IN MEDIA ADDED FUEL TO THE FIRE AND THESE AND THESE CIRCUMSTANCES POSED UNACCEPTABLE DANGER TO THE COUNTRY, AS THE POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY AND TERRORISM WERE BROUGHT TO THE FOREFRONT. 

THIS INCREASED THE DANGER TO THE INTEGRITY OF THE COUNTRY WHICH MADE IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO TAKE SOME EXTRAORDINARY STEPS, AS THESE WERE UNAVOIDABLE.

I DECLARE EMERGENCY ON NOVEMBER 3. THIS DECISION WAS TAKEN ON THE PRINCIPLE OF 'PAKISTAN COMES FIRST'. 

I CONSULTED POLITICIANS, BUSINESSMEN AND MILITARY COMMANDERS AND REACHED AT A DECISION. I WANT TO SAY WITH PRIDE THAT THE COUNTRY HAS RETRACED ITS WAY BACK TO DEMOCRACY OWING TO THESE STEPS.

I AM GRATEFUL TO THE PEOPLE OF SWAT THAT THEY COOPERATED WITH THE ARMY PERSONNEL.

IF WE WANT TO TAKE THE RISING PAKISTAN AHEAD, WE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE THE PRESENT DEMOCRATIC PROCESS.

IN ADDITION TO THE SUCCESS IN BRINGING BACK THE DEMOCRACY, WE SUCCEEDED IN OUR WAR AGAINST TERRORISM. THE MILITARY OPERATION IN SWAT IS IN PROGRESS AND THE BACK OF TERRORISTS HAS BEEN BROKEN COMPLETELY.

UNDER A RECONCILIATION ORDINANCE, BENAZIR BHUTTO AND NAWAZ SHARIF HAVE COME BACK IN THE COUNTRY. THE PAKISTAN PEOPLE’S PARTY AND THE PAKISTAN MUSLIM LEAGUE-N HAVE BEEN GIVEN AN EQUAL POLITICAL LEVEL. 

ALL PARTIES SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN THE GENERAL ELECTIONS AND TAKE PART IN THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE COUNTRY. 

MY ELECTION WAS DECLARED AS LEGAL. I TOOK OATH AS A CIVILIAN PRESIDENT.

THE ELECTION DATE HAS BEEN SPECIFIED TO BE ON JANUARY 8.

I STAND TODAY AS RETIRED FROM THE OFFICE OF ARMY CHIEF. I KNOW GENERAL ASFHAQ KAYANI FOR YEARS. I HAVE COMPLETE CONFIDENCE IN HIM.

I LEFT THE ARMY OFFICE AFTER 46 YEARS IN ARMY SERVICE. WHATEVER I DID WAS DONE WITH THE GRACE OF ALLAH ALMIGHTY AND BECAUSE OF PAKISTAN ARMED FORCES. I AM PROUD OF THE ARMED MILITARY OF PAKISTAN.

I AM FULLY DETERMINED TO LIFT EMERGENCY ON DECEMBER 16 AND END PCO.

MAKING ANY BARRIER IN THE WAY OF A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

THE GENERAL ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD ON JANUARY 8. NO BARRIER WILL BE ALLOWED IN THIS PROCESS.

ON THIS OCCASION, I PAY TRIBUTE TO THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER AND HIS CABINET, ALL THE FOUR PROVINCIAL CHIEF MINISTERS AND THEIR CABINETS FOR RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT IN A SMOOTH WAY. THEY FULLY COOPERATED WITH ME.

WHATEVER I DID SO FAR AND WILL DO IN FUTURE RELATES TO THE INTEREST OF PAKISTAN. 

MAY THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH SUPPORT AND HELP PAKISTAN AND SAFEGUARD IT. 

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.