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Musharraf Outlines Three-Pronged Strategy for Campaign Against Terror - 2001-11-10

In one of the most closely watched speeches at the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, the leader of Pakistan called for a host of reforms to wipe out terrorism once and for all. President Pervez Musharraf also told the World body his country's nuclear arsenal is in "safe hands".

General Pervez Musharraf began his speech by noting the world leaders gathered at the General Assembly are meeting at what he called "the somber backdrop of the terrible outrage" of September 11, when terrorists attacked New York and Washington. President Musharraf made clear the government of Pakistan in no way supports those who carried out the terrorist attack. "An act for which no grievance or cause can ever be a justification. An act that must be condemned unambiguously and in the strongest words," he said. "This was an attack on humanity itself and we all must therefore unite to fight the scourge."

The Pakistani leader outlined a three-pronged strategy for the current campaign against terror: finding the individuals responsible, destroying their organizations, and at the same time resolving several global disputes, among them, fighting over Kosovo, Kashmir, and Palestine. In this way, he stressed, terrorists will see their support crumble. "To fight the extremist deprive him of his motivation. The extremist survives in an environment where millions suffer injustice and indignity. Deprive him of his support by giving the world peace, security, justice and dignity."

General Musharraf also condemned leaders of Muslim nations who turn a blind eye to corruption and terrorists living within their borders. He said the world must do more but expressed his hope that justice, eventually, will prevail.

Turning to the question of nuclear arms, Mr. Musharraf noted that his country and India are the two South Asian nations with nuclear capability and therefore hold a considerable responsibility. But he stressed Pakistan's arsenal is safe and secure and that his country would not be the first to resume testing.

The Pakistani leader said he is ready to hold talks with India on nuclear and conventional arms in order to stabilize the region.

President Musharraf went on to call for a period of introspection. He asked the developed world to consider the circumstances of those who live in poverty, with a specific call to reduce or eliminate much third-world debt.