Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf discusses the challenge of uniting South Asia and the way of bringing peace forward.
Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, 2001 - 2008
Chair: Karan Thapar, President, Infotainment Television
President Pervez Musharraf
President Pervez Musharraf occupied, what TIME Magazine described as "the most dangerous job in the world," playing a crucial role in the global war on terror. President Musharraf has
survived two assassination attempts; rooted out militants in his own government; helped direct countless raids against Al Qaeda - both in his cities and in the mountains; and tracked Osama Bin Laden with technical and human intelligence. His astonishingly revealing memoir, In the Line of Fire, chronicles his struggles for the security and political future of his nation, with high stakes for the world at large.
At the start of his presidency, political restructuring was one of the four areas of focus for his government.
He began examining why democracy remained dysfunctional in Pakistan and addressed the core malaise. He empowered the people of Pakistan at the grass roots level through a local government system, which did not previously exist; the women of Pakistan were empowered by gaining reserve seats at every tier of
the Parliament; multiple private TV channels were allowed for the first time in the history of Pakistan, and the electronic and print media began operating independently of the government.
Following the September 11th terror attacks, the United States sought President Musharraf’s support to fight the Taliban. With a vision for a modern, democratic, non-fundamentalist Islamic Pakistan, President Musharraf was one of America’s greatest allies in helping to fight the Taliban.
In the course of his seven years at the helm of affairs in Pakistan, President Musharraf traveled widely all over the world and met many prominent leaders, and many of those leaders came to Pakistan and interacted with him. Such top-level interactions allowed him to develop a sense of the geo-strategic
realities of the world, and various conflict regions. It also crystallized his views and perceptions of key world issues. President Musharraf articulated one such thought to bring harmony into distraught regions in the form of a "strategy of Enlightened Moderation". This captured the imagination of the West in particular, and was adopted by the Islamic World for Enlightened Moderation.
President Musharraf has a vision for Pakistan, and still believes that it is a nation that has all the resources, the potential and all the human capability to be transformed into a progressive, moderate, and prosperous Islamic State.
Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf says its time to put 65 years of distrust and conflict between his country and India to rest. A way forward, Musharraf says, must be paved with positive intentions, good governance, and magnanimity.