Musharraf says foreign troops will never enter Pakistan

Pervez Musharraf, the President of Pakistan, said that the parliamentary elections in his country would be absolutely transparent and free. The elections of the Pakistani parliament are set to take place next month.

Musharraf is currently touring Europe to calm EU’s concerns about stability in the troubled country against the background of the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Visiting Brussels, Musharraf said that Pakistan was determined to root out terrorist and extremism.

The parliamentary elections were originally supposed to take place in January of this year, but were later delayed until February 18 because of Bhutto’s tragic death. The vicious crime that received extensive coverage in world media raised more questions about Musharraf’s ability to run the nation and contain the violence.

"We are determined to hold free, fair and transparent elections … Whoever wins, obviously power will be handed over to them," Musharraf said in Brussels.
"We are for democracy, and I have introduced the essence of democracy, but we cannot be as forward-looking as you [in Europe] are. Allow us some time to reach that state," he added.

Holding a press conference with international reporters, the Pakistani president said that the nation’s nuclear assets were kept in safe military custody. Musharraf also said that Pakistan would never allow foreign troops to enter its territory to struggle against terrorists.

It may seem strange, but Musharraf described his own country as a nation whose citizens were demoralized, where extremism was on the rise and where tribals and feudals plagued politics.

AP photo

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