ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf Saturday said the security forces with the cooperation of the people succeeded in eliminating terrorism and extremism in Swat and also expressed confidence that the upcoming elections will be free, fair and transparent. He also warned that no one will be allowed to pursue politics of agitation.
Addressing the nation over Radio and Television tonight the President said as promised with the nation, the emergency is being revoked today, the day before the announcement of its lifting, and PCO is being repealed and constitution fully restored. He said emergency has been lifted after the achievement of the desired objectives in 42 days.
He said the process of democratic transition started in 1999 is coming to an end with holding of general election on the 8th of January next year. President termed as unfortunate the efforts made to derail the third and the last phase of democratic transition.
He said that pure legal issues were politicized, conspiracy was hatched to derail the democratic process and crises were created in the country and people made to suffer from hopelessness and despondency. He said in such a situation it was not possible for him to remain silent. He said against his will as a last resort emergency was imposed to save the country from serious perils and destabilization. He said during the last forty-two days of emergency the situation has substantially improved. He said it is for the first time that emergency is being lifted in such a short period of time. Emergency imposed in 1969 was lifted after sixteen years in 1985, he added.
He said any number of observers from the foreign countries would be welcomed to watch the fairness of the elections. He regretted the boycott of elections some political parties and termed it unfortunate that some political parties even before the elections have started raising their apprehension about their rigging.
He said now is the time for electioneering, which would be allowed without any discrimination, and all political parties will have the equal opportunity. But the President made it clear that no individual or political party would be allowed to resort to imitational politics. He said if any individual or political party instigates the people for agitation they should not pay any heed to their call. He said country is passing through the most critical phase; therefore, there should not be any kind of destabilization in the country.
Terming the accusations as totally baseless the President appealed all the political parties to maintain peace and security in the elections and fully run their campaigns but must desist from hurling accusations. He said the political parties must not provoke the people for agitation and wholeheartedly take part in the electioneering.
He urged the people to come out to cast their vote for right people. He said whichever party wins the 8th January elections must demonstrate dignity and those loosing should avoid from leveling baseless accusations. He hoped that after the next elections the country would continue to move forward.
He underlined the need for sustaining the socio-economic development of the country and prosperity of the people and underscored the need for continuing the successful fight against terrorism and extremism would with a new vigor and determination.
He said there has been considerable improvement in the situation since the imposition of emergency in the country in three areas. First area is the fight against extremism and terrorism. He said terrorism spilled over from FATA into the settled southern districts. It is a matter of great pride that there has been a convincing success in the fight against militancy in Swat and back of terrorists has been broken, he said.
The President commended the Pakistan Army and Civil Armed forces for their role in defeating militancy in Swat. He also praised the people of Swat for their support and cooperation they extended to Pakistan Army in wiping out terrorists from the valley. He said the people of Swat have suffered a lot and it was because of terrorist that they suffered. He said their losses are being assessed and assured that soon a relief package would be announced to compensate their losses. He said situation has improved in the province to an extent that the general elections would be held in all parts of NWFP.
President Musharraf said second area where improvement has taken place is the harmony between all the pillars of the State. He said there was discord and tension among the three pillars of State, the Executives, the Legislator and Judiciary. He said the sovereignty of the parliament was being undermined and executive was totally rendered ineffective. Now with the grace of God all the three pillars of the State are working in unison and in great harmony.
He said the third area is the media which have begun showing responsibility as a result of signing the code of conduct. He made it clear that he totally stands for the independence of media and would remain committed in this regard.
The President said in this improving situation there was no hesitation on his part to restore the constitution. He said he was proud to say that the last and third phase which was derailed has been put back on the rail again. President said his elections for the next term were smoothly held and he relinquished the post of the Chief of Army Staff. He said the delay of two weeks was caused because a well conceived political conspiracy. Some members of the judiciary were also unfortunately involved in it. He said this conspiracy was destabilizing the whole country and caused discomfort for the whole nation. This conspiracy has been defeated and elections would be held on the 8th of January next year completing the last phase of democratic transition to full civilian rule, he added.-SANA