President Pervez Musharraf began his address to the nation at 13.13 PST at the President’s House in Islamabad, saying “Today is a day of an important decision for me.” Proceedings began with recitation from the Holy Quran at 13.10 pm. President Pervez Musharraf said the nation is aware of the crisis it is going through. He said ‘when I assumed charge nine years ago the country was about to be branded a failed state and a terrorist state. He asid assumed charge with the aim of rescuing the country. In the last nine years I have tried my best to serve the country to the best of my ability… during confrontation with India, 9/11 and its aftermath and the devastating earthquake.’
‘In all these crises we stood up thanks to the Grace of Almighty Allah and saved Pakistan from the crises. In handling the problems the sole aim was the well-being of the people and the safety and security of Pakistan. I have taken part in two wars which Pakistan fought… [The coalition government] They deceived the people. Never did they realize that they may win against me but how adversely the contry was affected did not concern them. Economic decline and energy crisis we’re experiencing is being attributed to my policies. I would like to put some facts before the nation, especially the economy. The economy was doing well, in fact very well before Deb 2007. he GDP growth was 7 percent. Revenue collection had reached $1 trillion. The KSE index was around 15,000 points. All these indicators are of reight months ago. Pakistans economy was poised to take off. How did the economic probkem start all of a sudden? Why has the stock exchange lost 5,000 points. Why has the rupee lost almost 30 percent of its value?
Surely, the present economic crisis is owing to rising oil prices and similar other developments on a global basis. But it is wholly incorrect to put blame on these global factors alone. It is our own failures during the last 8 months. Power Sector: We were producing 14,000 MW in June 2007 but are now producing just about 10,000 MW. Why? In a nutshell, the people are being fooled. Let us now look forward to find solutions to take the country out of the woods. During the past nine years, we addressed all sectors and accelerated development in the country. In these 9 years , we constructed several roads and bypasses and worked on several other developmental projects. You can see for yourself how much we have done including all the dams that have been constructed (such as the Mirani Dam). Several canals are also being constructed. These developments will help irrigate 3 million acre fields in the country.
There was massive industrialisation during the last nine years. There was a lot done for higher education. Nice universities from different foreign countries had agreed to set up campuses in the country. In the health sector primary and secondary healthcare was given priority. Safe drinking water was a sector that was addressed on priority and 6000 water purification plants were set up. Women were given political empowerment and now you see a lot more women in eh assemblies. Honour killing was discouraged and Hudood Ordinance laws were revamped. The minorities were given opportunities and culture and heritage was given due importance.
Democracy: We incorporated the essence of democracy into the system through a highly progressive Local Bodies system. Anyone harming it will harm Pakistan. We held two successful general elections. Global Image: We introduced Pakistans true image all over the world which proves the success of our policies.
I’m proud of all the achievements. If you look at the donor’s conference, we were given 6.5 billion dollars in donations when we needed 5 billion. I’ll come to the current economic scenario now. From the beginning, I wanted to create a reconciliatory atmosphere in Pakistans politics on a personal and institutional level. I talked about the 3-phase transition to democracy in Pakistan. The third phase was achieved last year when I doffed my uniform and held free and fair elections in Pakistan. After the elections, people had hopes from their leaders in the govt. Pakistanis have been looking forward toward prosperity and stability in the political atmosphere.
Is unfortunate my appeals to strive for reconciliation and a resolution of economic issues facing the people went unheeded. Some sections of the political forces chose confrontation rather than reconciliation. The President’s office was accused of conspiring against the new democratic setup. You should remember it was I who held free and fair elections. Look at the PM’s election the coalition setup in Sindh. The opposition cooperated with the govt. in getting the budget passed. I have publicly announced my support to the govt. I have offered the govt. my services. Unfortunately the coalition govt. thinks me a problem and wants to impeach. What are they scared of and why do they want to do this?
Impeachment and Charge-Sheet is the right of the Parliament. But I am confident that no charge can be proved against me. All my actions were for the good of the people and the country. All my major decisions were the consent of all concerned and all stake-holders, e.g. services, bureaucracy, civil society, etc. I am not at all worried about the Charge-Sheet because nothing can be proved. But the larger issue is what isit going to cost Pakistan – its economy, political and social order, honour and prestige of the highest office of the state. Such are the considerations upper-most in my mind.
Whether I’m impeached or nto, the country’s stability will be compromised. The office of the president will also be insulted. Pakistan is my love; now and always, my life is for Pakistan. I have defended and will continue to defend Pakistan. I want to be able to bring Pakistan out of the current crisis so I think perhaps should do something. But I also do not want to do something that may generate uncertainty in the country. I also want to save the Parliament from horse-trading. Even if the impeachment is defeated, the relations between the President’s office and the coalition govt. will not heal. Institutions will be endangered. Therefore, with this situation in view and having consulted my legal and political advisors, I have decided to resign from my post.
I have decided to resign from the office of President and my resignation will be handed over to the Speaker of the National Assembly. I want the people to be the judges and let them decide my fate. I am a human being and may have committed follies.
[Source: DAWN – President Pervez Musharraf Resigns]