DATE=10/17/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PAK SPEECH (L) NUMBER=2-255160 BYLINE=SCOTT ANGER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Pakistan's new military ruler told the nation (Sunday) it would return to democracy. As Correspondent Scott Anger reports from Islamabad, General Pervez Musharraf has announced a joint military-civilian rule, but did not mention how long the military will stay in power. TEXT: General Musharraf has announced the establishment of a National Security Council made up of military and civilians to run the country. The general did not specify how long military rule would last. ///Musharraf Act/// This is not martial law, only another path to democracy. The armed forces have no intention to stay in charge any longer than is absolutely necessary. ///End Act/// General Musharraf is under pressure from western countries to lay out a timetable for a return to democracy. He assured the international community that there would be no change in Pakistan's foreign policy. /// MUSHARRAF ACT TWO /// We will continue to honor international obligations and commitments as in the past. It will remain our constant endeavor to promote peace and stability in our region. /// END ACT TWO /// The general says he welcomes dialogue with Pakistan's neighbor, India. He says a military de-escalation will take place along the international border with its arch-rival as -- what he calls -- a confidence building measure. Meanwhile, he says the military will take a number of steps aimed at rebuilding the country. During his televised address, he outlined a seven-point plan to revive Pakistan's economy and rebuild its political system. The new government will include President Rafiq Tarar -- the only member of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government to stay in office during the military take-over. General Musharraf overthrew Mr. Sharif in a bloodless military coup Tuesday. He declared a state of emergency early Friday and made himself chief executive of the country. Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy from Islamabad's Quaid-e- Azam University says General Musharraf's positive speech has made Pakistanis feel good, but says many will remain cynical. /// HOODBHOY ACT /// This government is just five-days old. It is going to be supported by the people for some weeks to come but unless it delivers, that support is going to evaporate. /// END ACT /// Pakistan has been ruled by the military for nearly half of its 52-year existence. The last military dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, suspended the constitution and declared martial law in July 1977. General Zia ruled Pakistan for 11-years, until he died in a plane crash in August 1988 -- which paved the way for democratic elections in the country. Every democratically-elected Pakistani government since the end of the last military regime has been dismissed on charges of corruption and mis-rule -- including the first elected-term of Nawaz Sharif. (SIGNED) NEB/SA/RAE 17-Oct-1999 15:04 PM EDT (17-Oct-1999 1904 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .