Choose development over extremism, says Musharraf
PUTRAJAYA: President Pervez Musharraf said Wednesday the Islamic world must choose between extremism and economic growth to solve its many problems.
Speaking at a business forum alongside a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Musharraf said the 57-member group should reshape itself to focus more on trade and economic development. “We stand at the crossroads of our future destiny,” he said. “We have to decide whether militancy, extremism and confrontation will lead us to our emancipation, or a focus on our socio-economic well-being will benefit us.”
Musharraf said poverty, government mismanagement and frustration over international disputes were fueling anger among Muslims. “Politically we find ourselves at the centre of most conflicts and disputes,” said Musharraf. “While on one side, attempts at resolution of disputes are not making much headway — whatever the reasons — on the other side, an anger at being wronged (that is) leading to frustration, hopelessness, deprivation and a sense of powerlessness is rising in Muslim society.”This is fueling hatred, extremism and militancy, and diverting Muslim governments’ energy from economic development, he said.
Islamic leaders devoted a day Wednesday before regular summit talks to discuss how the Islamic world could begin catching up with a West that dominates the world economy. Delegates said greater trade and investment among Islamic countries would help end alleged victimization by the West.
Musharraf said Muslims were one fifth of the world’s population and owned 70 percent of its energy resources.
Wants ‘stable democracy’: President General Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday he wanted “stable democracy” in Pakistan, because “this is the way to prosperity for Pakistan”.
Addressing the Pakistani community here, the president said the recent changes in the constitution were introduced to establish a sustainable democracy. He also spoke about sectarian violence and stressed timely actions were required to curb the menace.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid met President Musharraf on Wednesday and exchanged views on bilateral ties, and regional and international issues. The president of Sudan, Omer Hassan Ahmed El Bashir, also met the president separately and told him Sudan was on its way to progress after the years of civil war. —Agencies