Islamabad, Mar 11: President Pervez Musharraf has said in an interview that political stability is his top priority and warned that a tussle between the presidency and the new parliament would be fatal.
"I'm looking forward to working with this Government for the full five years," the Daily Times quoted Musharraf, as saying. President Musharraf said his three top priorities are political stability, the continuation of the country's economic development and success in the war on terrorism. "You'll notice that I listed political stability first, because without that, you cannot have the other two, can you imagine what the effect would be on the business community, both foreign and domestic, or in the capitals of nations allied with us in the war on terror if the first thing they saw after this election was a political war between the Presidency and the Government? I think it would be catastrophic."
President Musharraf laughed at media speculations that he would try to derail the results of February 18 elections by using his constitutional powers to dismiss Parliament, or not calling parliament into session.
"You think someone who has spent his entire adult life defending Pakistan and the past eight years trying to put democracy back on track wants to see the Government fail and the country return to political anarchy? No. I'm committed to making this work," he added.
When questioned about the pressure on him to resign, Musharraf replied: "The elections clearly pointed out that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) currently enjoys the highest percentage of the people's confidence, no question. Reading more into it than that is risky."
Reflecting on his past eight years in power, he said: "Obviously, the economy is in far better condition than it was when I first took office. That didn't happen by accident. I think I made some very sound appointments, and the people I appointed did quite well.
"I'm also proud of what has been done to expand the role of women in politics. There are now 60 seats reserved for women in the National Assembly. Those seats, added to those won by women on party tickets, give women a strong say in legislative affairs. And, of course, I'm proud of the way the recent elections were conducted," Musharraf said.
When asked if he was satisfied with his work in the past, and given a chance, is there anything which he would have done differently, he said: "But I'm not certain it would have made that much difference if I had," he said. "I think that a number of people in the media could never see past the uniform."
Musharraf to convene National and Provincial assemblies
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will convene the National and provincial assemblies of the country on March 17. "President Pervez Musharraf has convened the national and provincial assemblies on Monday, March 17," the Dawn reported.
It may be recalled that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have decided to join hands to form the next coalition government in the country.
Both the parties have signed a coalition pact to form the government and have decided to reinstate the deposed judges within 30 days of the government formation.