One-sided story of CJ issue being reported: Musharraf lashes out at media
ISLAMABAD, May 18: President General Pervez Musharraf on Friday warned against giving ethnic colour to May 12 incidents and said he will abide by the Constitution on the issue of re-election.
In an interview with Aaj television aired on Friday night, President Musharraf said: “I will not violate the Constitution of Pakistan.”
He said: “The National Assembly, with a two-third majority, had endorsed that I retain the post of the chief of army staff as well as that of the president.”
The president said: “Legally and constitutionally, I have been allowed [to retain dual offices] till 2007.”
He said his position was “fully legitimate, in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan and with judgments of the Supreme Court”.
Rejecting the oppositionÂ’s claims of a crisis of legitimacy, he said a political and democratic system was in place.
When asked whether he will seek a vote from the current parliament or the new one after the elections, the president referred to the Constitution under which he had to be elected at least a month or at most two months prior to the expiry of his term.
About the uniform, he said it was up to the “two-third majority, that is the spirit of democracy and the will of the people — and (it) is in accordance with the Constitution.”
President Musharraf said the opposition’s strategy was to disturb the government and was trying to link every thing with him.
He said there was no crisis and the opposition was only using various issues to show its political strength.
The president said there was no military rule in the country and the prime minister and his cabinet were running government affairs, adding that he was only ‘facilitating and contributing’ by focusing on areas needing care like the energy crisis and the problem of safe drinking water. He said that other matters were being run by the government of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
On the uniform issue, he said he believed in open and free discussion. “There is no question of me imposing my will, or using it [uniform] to impose myself.”
He said hundreds of people wanted to meet him because they wanted to discuss their issues as they found his suggestions to be useful, adding that it would not have been the case if they felt threatened by his uniform.
Referring to May 12 incidents in Karachi, President Musharraf said: “If ethnic violence starts in Karachi, we will drift back to the ’90s to the detriment of country,” the president said.
About the media’s handling of the Karachi situation, the president said that the bad situation in the city was aggravated by media.
He said media was reporting the issue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry minute-by-minute, like an ongoing cricket match. “Many images (are) repeated time and again till people get sick (and tired) of thoseÂ”.
The president regretted that a legal issue had been politicised that had led to political answers, both at Islamabad and Karachi.
He said that Justice Chaudhry was offered a helicopter but “all these things” were overlooked and a one-sided image was presented.
“The cause was hidden and (only) its outcome was projected,” the president added.
The president said that political workers had come out on to streets as if it was their political right. He said it was yet to be determined who had started firing and who was involved.
“I am disappointed and extremely annoyed and dismayed,” over the heavy loss of lives, the president added.
He said that MQM had staged a large rally as they had strong (public) backing. The lawyers’ rally was planned to pass through ‘several areas’ that were MQM ‘strongholds’ and could have led to serious repercussions.
He questioned the need for politicising the issue which was being looked into by a full bench of the Supreme Court and said: “Why a legal issue is being politicised?”