Islamabad, Jul 5: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said if he had wanted to resign, he would have done so months ago but he felt he still had a role to play in the country's governance.
''Believe me, I would have resigned four months back, had it been to the benefit of the country and the nation,'' he said, adding he would not hesitate to resign if it could help resolve the challenges facing the country like economic crisis, terrorism and extremism threat, and political turmoil. Addressing a traders' union in Karachi, he said his resignation was not a solution to the national issues, rather it would create a good leadership problem that the country cannot afford.
''People of Pakistan want my stay and the country needs me,'' the President claimed.
Strongly refuting rumours of quitting the Presidency and flying to some foreign country to seek political asylum, he said he would live and die in Pakistan.
''It will be the last day of my life if the army shows distrust on me and surrounds me,'' the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.
The President stressed on promotion of national harmony and re-conciliation by shunning all differences and rising beyond personal likes or dislikes of the past.
Gen (retd) Musharraf said the country needed to focus on stemming the rising tide of extremism, as the public had given a mandate against extremism in the February 18 elections.
Referring to the recent economic turmoil, he blamed the rising prices of petroleum and wheat in the global market, saying the government needed to resolve these issues.