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Musharraf: Pakistan Committed to Fighting Terrorism

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says his country is committed to fighting terrorism. Speaking to an audience at the George Washington University on Friday, General Musharraf said Pakistan would fight terrorism for its own good, but also for the good of other nations.

President Musharraf said Pakistan is determined to fight against terrorism, whether it is by the Taleban, al-Qaida or any other group.

"Pakistan is together [with everyone] to fight terrorism and extremism in all its complexity," he said. "Maybe people need to learn from us: what we are doing and how we are doing it and what is the strategy. We will keep fighting for our own good and the good of the world and the region."

He said more than one strategy is needed for dealing with terrorism's different components, particularly extremist ideology.

"Extremism is a totally different thing, it is a mindset. Extremism feeds terrorism," he added. "So you have to deal with extremism if you want to check terrorism in the long run. We have strategized both."

General Musharraf also spoke about the prospects for peace between Pakistan and India, saying there is resolve on both sides to move the peace process forward.

"I hope if [Indian] Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which he will come to Pakistan, we will try to move this process forward, and I appeal to the people of both countries to show understanding and flexibility and give support to both myself and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because there are people who [would like to] derail this process," he said.

The Pakistani leader also spoke proudly of his government's achievements on the domestic front over the past seven years, saying he had introduced sustainable democracy to Pakistan, empowered women and improved education, health care, and the economy.

"I have given a rudder to this rudderless ship of Pakistan," he explained. "We are moving in a direction, we have our aims and objectives clear, we are moving. We may be slow in certain areas, but we are moving in that direction. I know Pakistan will inshallah [God willing] in the future, enter the domain of the fast moving, fast developing, progressive, dynamic Islamic states. And I have resolved to do that."

But President Musharraf acknowledged that more work remains to be done and said his government would focus on eradicating poverty and unemployment, providing electricity and safe drinking water to its citizens, and improving health care and education.