Islamabad, Apr 9: Speaking on the eve of his six-day visit to China, his first after the formation of the new government, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said that a multi-faceted strategy is required to counter the scourge of terrorism and extremism in his country.
In an interview with China's official Xinhua news agency, Musharraf said a multi-faceted strategy, which involved military, negotiations, socio-economic development and education is key to neutralising both terrorism and extremism. Pointing out that many people did not understand the complexity of terrorism and extremism, he said: "Terrorist is a man with weapon who will kill you if you do not kill them, so you have to eliminate them before they kill you.Extremism is in people's mind and it is not easily known who is an extremist."
Suggesting that the picture of terrorism had been changing in Pakistan since 2001, Musharraf claimed that Taliban and Al-Qaeda, which had almost been decimated in 2001-02, were now moving into the cities, mountains and valleys of Pakistan.We acted against them and we have been able to subdue them to quite an extent, while they were in hundreds, in every city of Pakistan," said Musharraf.
He pointed out that Al-Qaeda, who are now in mountains, had been joined by foreign elements and Pakistan had to address this new complex problem.
"On the Taliban front, we have been again very successful in curtailing their operation, preventing their going across to Afghanistan to quite an extent, but they are still there," he added.
It would be a long-term process for Pakistan to resolve the menace of terrorism and extremism, Musharraf stressed.
Musharraf said he would support the new government as long as it functioned for the betterment of the country.
"The new government has come and they are from coalitions. This is a normal, natural and democratic process and they must run the government well," he said.
"I would like to be very supportive towards the government. I hope the government addresses the issues which will sustain the economic growth of Pakistan and also ensure the well-being of its people," The Nation quoted him as telling Xinhua.
Responding to another question, Musharraf said the three pillars of the country, namely the judiciary, executive and legislative bodies, must function within their respective bounds and not clash with each other.
He acknowledged that there had been a clash among the three pillars in the past, and if this continued, it would not be healthy for good governance, or for the nation.
Musharraf said he hoped the three pillars would remain independent and strong and function respectively for the welfare of the country.