Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
OCTOBER 17, 1999:
The Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf has announced the formation of a six member national Security Council and said the Cabinet of Ministers will work under the guidance of the National Security Council. He was addressing the nation over Radio and Television Networks tonight he said the six member National Security Council will be headed by the Chief Executive and its members will be Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, a specialist each in legal, finance, foreign policy and national affairs. A think tank of experts shell be formed to provide institutionalised advice and input to the council.
General Pervez Musharraf said the provincial governments will be headed by Governors functioning through small cabinets. All these appointments shall be made purely on the basis of professional competance, merit and repute.
He said the Constitution has been temporarily held in abeyance and made it clear that this is not a Martial Law but only a path towards democracy. The armed forces have no intention to stay in charge any longer than absolutely necessary to pave the way for true democracy to flourish in Pakistan.
He said good governance is pre-requisite to achieve these objectives. In the past government have only ruled the people but now the government must serve the people . He said on his request President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar has agreed to stay.
He said objectives of his govenrment will be to build national confidence and morale, strengthen federation, remove inter provincial disharmony and restore national cohesion, revive economy and restore investors confidence, ensure law and order and dispense speedy justice, depoliticise state institutions, devolution of powers to the gross root level and swift and across the board accountability.
He said revival of economy is critical as it is in deep trouble. Revolutionary steps are needed to put it back on track.
General Pervez Musharraf said they will rebuild investors confidence through stability and consistency in economic policies and economic security.
Turning to accountability, he assured the nation that it will be transparent for the public to see. He urged all defaulters to come forth and settle their debts within a period of four weeks after which their names will be published and law will take its due course.
The Chief Executive emphasised that cementing theFederation is vital and this will be achieved through devolution of powers from the centre to provinces.
He expected the media to play a positive and constructive role. He said he is a firm believer in the freedom of press and was even considering to liberalize the policy of establishment of private TV and Radio channels.
The Chief Executive said Islam teaches tolerance not hatred. He urged the Ulema to curb elements which are exploiting religion for vested interests and bringing bad name to our faith.
He said there is no change in our foreign policy. We will continue to honour international obligations and commitments and promote peace and stability in our region.
He said strengthening of brotherly ties with Islamic countries will be central pillar of the foreign policy. We shall continue efforts to achieve a just and peaceful solution in Afghanistan. Pakistan wished to see a truely representative government there. We will maintain and reinforce our traditional and time tested friendship and cooperation with China. We attach the highest importance to our friendly relations lwith all major powers specially the United Sates.
Turning to relations with India General Pervez Musharraf congratulated Mr.Atal Behari Vajpayee on his assumption of office and welcomed the Indian Prime Minister's offer for friendly relations and said we positively reciprocate that.
He said both the countries must sincerely work towards resolving their problems specially the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Kashmir have made great sacrifices for the achievement of their rights promised to them by the UN. He said Pakistan will continue its unflinching moral, diplomatic and political support to its Kashmiri brethren in their struggle to achieve their right of self-determination.
The Chief Executive said India must honour the UN resolutions and its own commitment to the people of Kashmir. It must end its repression of Kashmiri people and respect their fundamental rights.
In the new nuclear environment in South Asia, Pakistan believes that both Islamabad and New Delhi have to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. He assured the world community that while preserving its vital security interests Pakistan will continue to pursue a policy of nuclear and missile restraint.
General Pervez Musharraf said Pakistan would welcome unconditional equitable and result-oriented dialogue with India. He said while our armed forces are fully equipped and ready to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity Pakistan desires that situation on its borders with India and on the LoC should remain calm and peaceful.
He announced a unilateral military de-escalation on Pakistan's international borders with India. He hoped that this step would serve as a meaningful confidence building measure.
General Pervez Musharraf said he took over in extremely unusual circumstances which were not of his making. He said it unbelievable and unfortunate that the few at the helm of affairs in the last government were intriguing to destroy the institution of the armed forces of Pakistan. He said who would believe that the COAS having represented Pakistan in Sri Lanka was denied landing in his own country upon his return and instead circumstances were created which would have forced the plane either to land in India or crash.
He said by the grace of Allah the plane landed safely when barely seven minutes of fuel was left. He saluted the officers and men of the army for acting courageously in the supreme interest of the nation. He also saluted the people who stood solidly with their armed forces at this critical hour.
The Chief Executive said the choice before them on 12th October was between saving the body i.e. the nation at the cost of loosing a limb which is the Constitution or saving the limb and loosing the whole body. He said the Constitution is but a part of the nation and therefore he chose to save the nation and yet took care not to sacrifice the Constitution.
In Occupied Kashmir, operation is underway to arrest workers of APHC after illegal detention of its leaders, including its Chairman, Syed Ali Shah Gilani.
According to an APHC spokesman, the puppet regime is trying to close the main APHC office in Srinagar. Five workers arrested from the office yesterday, have been confined to Rajbagh police station.
Russian forces in Chechnya have launched the second stage of their offensive against muslim fighters despite appeals from the international community for peace talks.
According to BBC, after securing territory in the north they have now taken key positions along the road to the capital Grozny.
Meanwhile, the Chechen President Mr. Aslan Maskhadov has vowed to defeat Russian forces closing in on the beleaguered capital of his republic.
In Indonesia, President B.J. Habibie appealed to the country's National Assembly today to accept East Timor's vote for independence.
In a televised address, he said, as a great nation, and in this new era, where we are determined to advance democracy and human rights in Indonesia, we have to accept and respect the result of the ballot.
Mainly dry weather is likely to prevail in most parts of the country during the next twentyfour hours.
However, scattered rain with thunderstorm is expected in Kashmir and its adjoining hilly areas.