Former President Mr. Pervez Musharraf Interacts with IBA Students

ex-president Pervez Musharaf

On September 19, the IBA students had a unique opportunity to interact with the retired General Pervez Musharraf.

The Former President was online via Skype at G&T Auditorium, IBA Main Campus and directly answered many hard-hitting questions of the students candidly. He shared his visions, analysis and understanding of Pakistan's current scenario!

The program was recorded for Samaa TV's Program, 'Awaaz with Shehzad Iqbal', hosted by anchor Shehzad Iqbal.

As soon as the former President Mr. Pervez Musharraf appeared on the screen, the auditorium erupted with students' clapping.

An account of the question answer session that took place between Mr. Pervez Musharraf and the students were as following:

Student 1: what are our weaknesses as a nation and what should we do to become a better nation?

Pervez Musharraf: First of all I'd like to say that it is a privilege to be present in front of the IBA students as the IBA graduates have proved themselves in the national and the international arena and thus it's my proud privilege to be amongst them.

Coming to the question, to be a strong country, a country needs reserves of water, fertile land and we are blessed in that regard as we have plenty of water, the best land, minerals, solar energy, gold, gems, marble and copper - all of which we have an abundance of.

Our weakness is a proper leadership and a lack of an educated nation, which we need to work on. If we work on these two elements we can be a self-reliant and a strong country. As geographically, we hold a strategic position, we are in the centre and hold a prime position, be it trade or any other collaboration. We are also a nuclear state, which is another major strength and if we focus on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses than we can fully utilize our potential as a great nation.

I also have a strategic vision for Pakistan, to fully utilize our potential, the vision consists of the following points:

i) Inner stability, give power to our people
ii) Promote peace in the region
iii) As we are the only nuclear Muslim estate, we must play a role in emancipation of the Muslim Ummah
iv) Play a critical role in conflict resolution globally

Student 2: What can be done to uplift the country's existing situation?

ex-president Pervez Musharaf

Pervez Musharraf: The country is going down democratically and in order to uplift the current downfall of the country, a 3rd platform in form of a new Muslim League must be formed.

Student 3: Is there room for another political party?

Pervez Musharraf: Yes there is room for another political party as existing ones aren't performing, people are still unemployed and financially unstable.

Student 4: What were the factors behind the Kargil conflict?

Pervez Musharraf: One thing young people must understand is that always take pride in our armed forces. In Kargil, it was for the first time that we had India by the jugular vein. We were in key strategic positions. Kargil was a military victory for Pakistan which, was converted into a political defeat.

Student 5: Who is a better Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif or you?

Pervez Musharraf: Let's say that he is better, he is quite popular and yes at the moment he is tackling internal matters well.

Student 6: Will Baluchistan be another Bangladesh?

Pervez Musharraf: No way, an intrusion is from outside and not an uprising of the local people. Most people in Baluchistan are pro Pakistan. Only a very small minority there is incited by foreign hands and Baluchistan certainly won't be another Bangladesh.

Student 7: Why was the US allowed to bombard Afghanistan, when you are so Pro Pakistan and Pro Muslim countries?

Pervez Musharraf: Post 9/11, Pakistan had to allow it for the sovereignty of the nation. We had to join hands with the rest of the world against terrorists and terrorist activities. The entire world was united against terrorists and actions were taken due to circumstances. India had already allowed the US bases for attack at Afghanistan, so if we had not allowed them, they would have attacked from above Pakistan and who knows how that would have effected Pakistan's sovereignty.

ex-president Pervez Musharaf

Student 8: You always thought about trade and war but what about us the youth and future of Pakistan, what did you do for us?

Pervez Musharraf: If you talk about my government then we did a lot in my 8 years, we brought down the poverty index from 34% to 17%. The economy was stable, people were earning money, there were plenty of jobs and a lot was being done for education. We were also focusing on training the youth with a focus on vocational training and skill development.

We also did a lot for Karachi, we once again made it a city of lights, the crime rate was low and things were prosperous. But now the government itself is involved in nepotism and terrorism. Also no major project for improvement and development of Sindh have been initiated since 2008.

Also in my government 150 PhDs came back to Pakistan from US and UK because the security situation and economy were favourable. So it was a reverse brain drain but now everyone is eager to escape to countries like US, UK, Malaysia etc. because of the uncertain environment and security situation.

Student 9: In one of your interviews you had stated that General Raheel Sharif should continue in his position, why is that?

Pervez Musharraf: I said let Raheel Sharif stay not because he is popular but because continuity is important in the role that he is playing, otherwise the army is full of other competent generals as well.

Student 10: What would you have done differently with respect to War on Terror?

Pervez Musharraf: One must understand that sacrifices are required in this war against terror, long battles have to be fought against terrorists. Policies are never constant, only interest for Pakistan remains constant. We have to strive to make the best policies for the sovereignty and prosperity of Pakistan so the decisions taken under my regime were fine according to circumstances of that time.

Also Islam is a unifying force not a dividing force, so terror under the name of Islam is totally unacceptable, I believe in putting Pakistan first before anything else.