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October 12, 2010


Pervez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, spoke at Elon University on October 12, 2010 photo credit: Elon University

Former Pakistani president speaks at Elon’s Fall Convocation By Madelyn Smith

Throughout Pakistan’s turbulent history, its leaders have endured death threats, assassination attempts, and an overall unstable political and economic environment. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president from 2001 to 2008, was no stranger to these experiences. Musharraf spoke at Elon University’s Fall Convocation on Tuesday and gave students, faculty and community members insight into the history of the Middle East and his hopes for Pakistan’s future. After serving as the self-proclaimed chief executive of Pakistan and later as popularly-elected president,


Musharraf was thrown out of power in 2008 and went into self-imposed exile in London. Musharraf recently returned to the forefront of Middle Eastern political talk after announcing earlier this month that he has started a new Pakistani political party, the All-Pakistan Muslim League. He has created a Facebook Page to spread the word of this new political party, and the page already has more than 320,000 members. Wth his new internet presence and campaign, he is spreading the message of his overarching goal of fighting the conflicts that have faced Pakistan for decades.

“Islam and the Muslim world are certainly not all about terrorism and extremism,” he said. “We are literally plagued by poverty, illiteracy, social backwardness, and also intellectual stagnation. This is aggravated by religious intolerance and violence by a small majority.” Musharraf also discussed the relationship that the Western world has with the Middle East. “We are the victims of very negative profiling,” he said. “During the four wars that began in 1948, the United States was seen to have a proIsraeli approach.” He added that this pro-Israeli attitude caused much resentment by the

ELON UNIVERSITY October 12, 2010

“The military is only a shortterm objective. My belief is that we cannot just address these problems with force. My strategy of enlightened moderation is to shun terrorism and help resolve this dispute along with the West.” Pervez Musharraf

Musharraf cont. Pakistani people toward the U.S. Musharraf said that the Middle East’s negative opinions of the United States also stem from the current U.S. military presence in the area and the lack of U.S. involvement during the conflicts in Kashmir in the early 90s. Musharraf said that the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and extremists resulting from these groups have caused “years of disaster” in the country that he once ruled. He said there is much stress over resolving the issues surrounding terrorism, and he stressed that he is fully committed to promoting his new political party and working with the West to help resolve the political dispute and bring more peace to the region. “There are economic and political inequalities among developing and developed nations that cause crime, terrorism and destabilization,” he said. “Terrorism is used by


people affected by these issues. To help resolve them, we can use the military. But the military is only a short-term objective. My belief is that we cannot just address these problems with force. My strategy of enlightened moderation is to shun terrorism and help resolve this dispute along with the West. That will pull the rug from underneath all of the terrorists.”

For more information on Pervez Musharraf’s visit to Elon, visit For more information on Musharraf, visit his Facebook page at pervezmusharraf

Pervez Musharraf  

News story: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf recently spoke at Elon University.