I'm proud to have introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan: Musharraf

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Washington, Oct.4 (ANI): Defending his eight year- long autocratic regime, former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that he 'introduced the essence of democracy' in the country.

Musharraf, however, admitted that he had committed several blunders during his rule but said that he took several steps to develop Pakistan and build a strong nation.

"I take pride in declaring that I introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan," Musharraf told a capacity crowd at Augustana College In Sioux Falls (North Dakota).

Musharraf received a standing ovation when he declared that he empowered citizens and gave political power to women by giving them more seats in local and national administration, The Nation reports.

Commenting on the long struggle of the allied forces in search of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the former general said the US and Pakistan both lost track of Laden five years ago.

Musharraf, who is on a lecture tour of the US currently, said both Pakistani and US intelligence have failed to collect any details regarding Laden's whereabouts, and now they are even unable to ascertain whether he was dead or alive.

He also said there is a need of a multifaceted strategy to deal with the Taliban effectively.

Musharraf said that while the Al-Qaeda should be eliminated from Pakistan by force, dealing with the Taliban would require a military, political and socio-economic approach.

He underlined the fact that the Taliban was a widespread organization with no central command.

"The Taliban is not a monolith, but rather a spread out organization with no single commander who could be removed for the command structure to be destroyed," Musharraf said. (ANI)

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