Pakistan calls for Islamic attack on terrorism

Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf has called on the world's Islamic states to form a co-ordinated attack against terrorism and extremism.

Speaking to journalists in the capital, Islamabad, President Musharraf addressed the organisation of an Islamic conference, the Middle East, Pakistan-India relations and domestic issues.
He underlined the need for the re-restructuring of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) - an association of 56 Islamic states promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social, and political affairs - and the formation of a commission to co-ordinate the proposed process.

The president said he would air his concept of "enlightened moderation" - the term given to his two-pronged strategy "to build harmony, promote moderation, oppose extremism, and ensure justice" (in particular, regarding the country's relationship with India) among the heads of governments and states at forthcoming OIC summit in Malaysia between 16-18 October.

"I will emphasise for closer co-ordination among Muslim nations to combat terrorism and extremism," he said.

Mr Musharraf also said the Pakistan Government was committed to fighting extremism in its own country "root and branch" following a number of measures already introduced by authorities.

Condemning the recent Israeli air raid on an alleged terrorist training camp within Syria, he made clear that so far no decision had been taken to recognise the Jewish entity.

"Unless and until a meaningful dialogue is initiated and positive signs surface about a resolution of the Palestinian issue, Islamabad will not re-consider its stance on Tel Aviv, he asserted.

"The Muslim world," he added, "should see that justice is done towards the resolution of the Palestinian issue."

On the West's opposition to peaceful nuclear technology to Islamic countries, he said the Muslim Ummah - or the Islamic world - has the right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes "and there should be no opposition from any quarters within this concept."

"However," he observed, "Pakistan considers the use of nuclear technology for military purposes its basic right as the country is faced with threat of an atomic conflict."

On the United States-India naval exercises (American warships now routinely refuel in Chennai and Mumbai), Mr Musharraf said he was confident Washington would not take any measures that might hurt Pakistan's interests.

"We are sensitive over any country's defence co-operation with India," he added.

He said during his recent discussions with the US leadership he had dwelt largely upon Pakistan's concerns over military imbalance in the region.

"Don't create imbalance or disturb the no-win situation between Pakistan and India," he warned.

Islamabad, he maintained, had proposed many measures to improve relations with New Delhi, which included a ceasefire along the line of control (LoC) - the area dividing both parts of Kashmir.

President Musharraf, also Pakistan's chief of army staff, added Pakistan was ready to encourage a ceasefire with India along the LoC.

"But you can't clap with one hand. India has to be positive about this," he added.

Pakistan, he said, expects Muslim countries to put their weight behind a just resolution on Kashmir.

Referring to his speech at the UN General Assembly session on 24 September, Mr Musharraf said the Western world should resolve its differences with the Islamic countries through peaceful means and in a fair manner and urged the West to co-operate with Muslim countries in sectors like education and health.

On the issue of his dressing in military uniform at official functions, General Pervez Musharraf declared again he would decide when to quit as Pakistan's chief of army staff.