Musharraf says Benazir violated ‘deal’, maintains innocence over OBL

Published: July 21, 2011
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf delivers an address titled 'The State of the US-Pakistani Relationship' on July 21, 2011 at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf delivers an address titled 'The State of the US-Pakistani Relationship' on July 21, 2011 at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, DC: Twenty minutes before the event featuring former Pakistani president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was due to begin, organizers at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars began redirecting people to move to an overflowing room – such was the rush to get a seat.

Fresh from his appearance at the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, General (retd) Musharraf walked in flanked by his aides and a few security officials and was introduced by WWCIS head and former Congresswoman Jane Harman.

Musharraf began his talk with a history lesson, maintaining the military narrative and its focus on India when he relayed the series of events that began from 1947. Musharraf said that militant groups spearheaded the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan because the elite of Afghanistan had abandoned the country. Musharraf outlined the rise of militant groups in the late 80s and 90s of groups like Lashkare-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad to fight against India in Kashmir.

Musharraf took the opportunity to explain his actions in 2005 “I was trying to wean the Pashtuns away from the Taliban, we were trying to organize local jirgas.” Musharraf said that he was accused of playing a double game, whereas he was trying to wean away those who did not want to support the Taliban.

Musharraf said that he regretted missing the fleeting opportunity of achieving an agreement on issues with Kashmir. He said that they were close to an agreement on Sir Creek, Siachen and Kashmir, but that fleeting moment passed.

Musharraf also talked at length of the US-Pak relationship and the trust deficit. He said that it pained him to see the state of affairs. He said that Pakistan has to explain its reasons for not conducting an operation in North Waziristan, whereas the US must be mindful of the sensitivities. Musharraf also mentioned the drone strikes, citing the indiscriminate civilian casualties as a point of concern.

When pressed on the issue of perhaps having done things differently, he said “whatever I did, I need to repeat it” if back in power. The only regret he has, he said, was on cutting a deal with BB and implementing the NRO, “Benazir violated the agreement with me to not return before the elections.”

When quizzed about whether he knew about Osama Bin Laden’s presence in Abbotabad since he was also COAS at the time that OBL allegedly moved there, Musharraf said that he was not aware, “whether anyone believes it or not”. He also said that he did not find the high walls of the Abbotabad compound to be unusual, and said that it was negligence, and not incompetence that led to no one knowing about OBL’s presence in the area.

Musharraf also criticized the “leadership vacuum”. Both the major political parties, he said, were not delivering. Citing his approval ratings of over 80 percent in early 2007 that suffered due to certain elements, adding that they were the events surrounding the judiciary – “I will not explain why I did what I did” – and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. He said that he wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel as he knew what worked, referring to his time when he assumed power in Pakistan in 1999 when the country was at the brink of default, but “performed admirably” after he took over.

Speaking to this correspondent after the event, the former President said that he would be returning to Pakistan on 23rd March 2012. Dubbing the case against him in the Benazir Bhutto murder case as politically motivated, Musharraf said he was willing to face it, including more political cases that he expected to come up once he returned. He said that there was a leadership vacuum in Pakistan and that his party would gain momentum once he returned.

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Reader Comments (59)

  • Jul 21, 2011 - 11:54PM

    Great speech. He speak extempore.

    Without Musharaf a vacum is rightly created and we hope that he will come soon to fill this vacuum.


    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg – South AfricaRecommend

  • Sohail
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:04AM

    Every time I read Musharraf’s name, I just say to myself, what a great leader this country had, I feel proud of the days when he ruled us, days when the world respected us. When we were the 3rd fastest growing economy, when investors raced to build project such as Centaurus, Island resorts. Days when we had the real democracy, the Local elected bodies, days when media goit its first days of freedom, days when the railway minister did not say InshaAllah railway will see its end, but praised the profits it was making, the new trains it was buying nd not shutting the system. those days we had, those days will return. Love my country. Pakistan Zindabad!

    *out of all u will point the terrorism that ‘started’ in Pakistan which in fact started 1993. They may have increased but they also occurred in London, Mumbai, New York despite the fact these countries do not have a border with war ravaged Afghanistan, do not hold a million Afghan refugees and yeah still WE were not seen as terrorists.


  • Munir
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:05AM

    come back please to lead the nation again.


  • Mawali
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:21AM

    Best Pakistan had in a long time. I would take Musharraf any day any time of day over the demagogues aka the fuedal lords of Pakistan.

    By the way the only person I know in the recent past who was held in high esteem by the US and European officials. Stood up to the Indians and put them in their place and that is why they despise him. Is there enough Preperation-H for the Indian Mafia on this forum?


  • Jul 22, 2011 - 12:25AM

    Nice picture.- ‘Innocence’


  • Rehan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:37AM

    Never come back, please! You’ve already stolen enough from us. One day your assets will be shown publicly (Military has refused to make them public) and then the world will know just what kind of man you were. So please just leave us alone, Mr. Dictator.


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:42AM

    Musharraf said that “Benazir violated the agreement with me to not return before the elections”.

    Had Benazir Bhutto not violated the agreement with Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto would have been alive today.

    Asif Ali Zardari has many times said the he knew who killed Benazir Bhutto.

    This is the only reason that Musharraf is wanted by the Court in Pakistan in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.

    Is Musharraf going to return to Pakistan on March 23, 2012? I doubt very much what Musharraf is saying. Time will speak.


  • Ali Ammar
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:47AM

    @ all three above…really people? Let’s not compare him to the current leadership. Because comparing to the current leadership, even George Bush would look like Quaid e Azam. Take him on his own merit.

    He was a dictator. Broke a constitution that he swore to protect. now don’t give me the usual “That’s how it works in Pakistan” because it doesn’t and that’s not an excuse.
    He sold the Pakistan army and all its strength to the US on a phone call.
    The corrupt leadership comprising of worthless sycophants that he gathered around himself Where’s the Shokat Aziz that he made prime minister in a week.
    The NRO that brought the evil of the current government upon us.

    These are just the salient features. If someone breaks into my home illegally and starts cleaning and doing nice things around the house, I won’t start saying he is a great man. I will call him a burgler.

    So let’s be objective here and before you go out voting for an ex dictator again…Remember, he brought in the most corrupt leadership upon us and sold us out for personal gains.

    I rest my case


  • Hassan Farooqi
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Like all successful dictators, Musharraf was meritocratic. Rise of Pakistan under Musharraf was no different from the rise of Nazi Germany under Hitler. The only difference is that dictators can not tolerate institutions and they destroy it. Musharraf on the other hand liberated and strengthened judiciary, media, and local bodies. All dictators have a Waterloo and Musharraf’s was his clash with Chief Justice. He knows he was set up, but as a commando he is too arrogant to admit he was fooled by his enemies.


  • Haseeb Minhas
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:59AM

    @Munir @Sohail @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    What in the world are you guys commenting about. Musharraff was the one of the most pathetic leader Pakistan has ever had. He got us into a war that was not ours. Thousands of innocent Pakistanis have been killed. He implemented the NRO that has lead to the state we are in today. He dissolved the Supreme Court of Justice going against the constitution. What democracy are you even pointing at. The guy barged in and took ownership of the office.

    We need a brand new leader who looks out for the interest of his own nation instead of external factors. It because of idiots like you that we keep electing the wrong leaders. When will you guys ever learn,


  • Siraj Ahsan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 1:24AM

    He may not return. We are nation who has never understood priorities. We destroyed ourselves for Afghans and every other tom dick and harry. His exit was unfortunate. I think he was alot better than these clowns in power.


  • khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 1:57AM

    i love the how tribune chooses the pic.. complete bias ..


  • Ali
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:15AM

    “I will not explain why I did what I did”
    He still has the mentality of a dictator


  • AnisAqeel
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:20AM

    General Sahib,There are two things about your statements that you did not know the presence of OBL in Abbotabad. If you and the high brass did not know about OBL then we have a rogue military that means atom bombs can be stolen and high brass will not have a clue. Impossible, don’t deceive this nation.


  • nasir
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:39AM

    lol i love the picture the tribune has chosen to go along with this picture. Musharraf was the worst leader ever for Pakistan


  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jul 22, 2011 - 2:43AM

    Pity I did not know he was here; I would have gone to listen to his spin and lies.

    In any event, this narrative does not speak about the questions he was asked for which he had no good answers. You can only go so far with the typical military bluff-and-bluster. That does not impress western audiences.

    For example, the only way his government avoided default is by conning the IMF into giving Pakistan another loan.


  • Sheraz
    Jul 22, 2011 - 3:17AM


    Nasir, where would you rank the person who is leading us to hell right now? I guess way better than anyone who lead us before.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Jul 22, 2011 - 3:26AM

    whatever he did economically maybe good – but he seems to be an impulsive lunatic – going by his Kargil adventure…..and if you read historical narratives of the episode, he didnot even keep his navy, airforce or even other parts of the army informed!!


  • Farz
    Jul 22, 2011 - 3:34AM

    He was the best. Pakistan’s Obama. Nonetheless, it saddens me to see what this nation of jahils did with such a great man.

    I feel he is the only one who has the capacity to steer Pakistan out of this economic meltdown and political instability.

    Hopefully, we will see him as Pakistani President/Prime Minister again.

    Long live Musharraf and APML.


  • Jul 22, 2011 - 4:30AM

    There is a saying in Farsi, Ta ke Ahmaq dar Jahan bashad, Muflis dar namemanad,
    Until there is one stupid in the world, the fraudelant people will not lose!

    You guys (those who commented in his support) reminded me of this saying, really sorry if offended!



  • Abid Mohiuddin
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:34AM

    Pakistan Musharraf ; A true patriot after QUAID E AZAM . My Allah give him along life
    Musharraf hopefully will return to Pakistan soon and change the fortune of our country and people.Pakistan


  • Pakistani
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:51AM

    Only a good speaker is enough to be your ruler … ? What has he done to improve the institutions … What was his contribution for basic education n health sectors ? He had 9 yrs to beef up the power/energy capacity knowing that the crisis would hit soon enough but he kept silent on the issue of much viable kalabagh dam. He is just taking credit of the economy which inflated during his time mainly due to US military aid n some foreign investment during telecommunications roll out in Pakistan the bubble blew off soon after his departure.


  • Adil
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:53AM

    LOL!! Agree

    But to be honest there were a number of great initiatives that took place during the regimes of both Musharraf and (Late)Ayub Khan…even though one cannot justify the undemocratic routes both the former presidents took along with several other controversies attached to their records.

    Anyways, he’s a RETIRED Army General now,so he CAN contest elections as per the current constitution. PTI has also shown signs of forming a coalition with APML and Musharraf had also appreciated Imran Khan due to his stands.


  • Mirza
    Jul 22, 2011 - 5:12AM

    Mush said ” they were close to an agreement on Sir Creek, Siachen and Kashmir, but that fleeting moment passed.”

    He ruled Pakistan for almost a decade with dictatorial powers and before that as army chief, yet he talks about this time a fleeting moment! When he could not solve these or any major problem in a decade of dictatorial powers in a decade, how long would he take in a democratic set up? In the US the president has at the most only two terms equal to eight years, while dictator Mush calls his decade long dictatorial and totalitarian rule a fleeting moment? He still dreams of being a lifelong dictator. One only wishes that he come to Pakistan and land in any city other than Karachi and get the kind of reception that great leaders get. That would prove his popularity in the heart of Pakistan. However, he would not dare do that. He has gotten the taste of good safe and secure life in the West and he can only be a paper tiger while sitting pretty. No wonder he is keeping himself relevant by making political statements. The world knows that he was responsible for stationing OBL in military garrison safe house.


  • Blithe
    Jul 22, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Sold Pakistan down river!
    Sold state secrets in his book,
    Ransacked Geo TV, trampled on the
    constitution and the judiciary, promoted
    himself over Pakistn at ever opportunity, gave
    “out of box” solution on Kadhmir,
    actually allowed India to fence the LOC, had
    people like Sher Afgan Niazi supporting him,
    etc, etc, etc.

    I’m amazed at his sense of proportion
    after all that has happened – does he
    actually think that he can even win a single seat in parliament!??!


  • Hairaan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Sorry to correct the commentators here. He was not a leader. He was a dictator.


  • R
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:20AM

    This is called laughing all the way to the bank and President’s office.

    Started a war – became Uncle’s favorite naughty nephew
    Ousted a PM – Uncle embraced him more
    Appointed himself as President and chief – Uncle looked the other way
    Hitched Pakistan to USA after 9/11 – Uncle wrote blank checks
    Called for Pakistan First – But was Ok when Uncle made him first
    Left power – Uncle made him a multimillionaire and “statesman”.


  • bunty
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:30AM

    i still cant forget the fists he used to make especially on 12 th may.. one of the many days when karachi bled


  • Amjad
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:30AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: You really have no idea of how Musharraf is belittled as just another Third World dictator. Pakistan’s current problems are largely due to the misguided policies of his 9 years dictatorship. Musharraf wants to make himself relevent and justify his past mistakes by repackaging everything he did. Sorry doesn’t wash with me any more than most Pakistanis.


  • rock
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:44AM

    @Mawali: You said “Stood up to the Indians and put them in their place” Please Explain.


  • Frank
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Pervaiz Musharraf is the best leader Pakistan has ever had whose rule has turned out to be the worst Pakistan has ever had.


  • naeem
    Jul 22, 2011 - 7:55AM

    musharrf will not come back in the larger intrest of country ooooooooooo don’t disgrace commando wing


  • Cautious
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:41AM

    Doesn’t it strike anyone as “odd” that a famous Pakistani who is implicated in the BB assassination is free to travel the World getting paid large sums to make speeches – even though he has an outstanding arrest warrant. Says something about how the rest of the World views Pakistan’s justice system.


  • abid mohiuddin
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:57AM

    Why all Indians hate him if you were winning in Kargil??


  • abid mohiuddin
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:58AM

    Please check with Nawaz what he has taken and what he has given to contry


  • Butt
    Jul 22, 2011 - 9:00AM

    Musharraf the best leader Pakistan ever had. Dear Sir we love you and waiting for you.


  • Javed Khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 9:55AM

    The only politician, he is better than, is Imran Khan.


  • Yasir
    Jul 22, 2011 - 10:04AM

    I don understand. Man everythin is so messed up here, and information provided to masses is so deficient to make an informed decision about our leaders. I dont think that anybody can be rated above anyother because information is discrepent.


  • Umair Hasnain
    Jul 22, 2011 - 12:33PM

    You must study the economic changes in the Musharraf’s era first. you are talking about some investment, dear in that era we enjoyed the most Civil Investment ever done in Paksitan. The common man had the money to spend. The prices of food items, like pulses, rice and groceries didnt increase by 160% each year( please study the inflation indices ). Come on dont be just blinded by hatred for some one. Appreciate the goods in a person. By the way what gud do u find in the present govt or our current leaders that u can appreciate??dont think so much dear. the best option we hv got..n i believe it would not be any of these chaudhrys n Sayeens…Pakistan Zindabad..Praying for our country..praying for our people.praying for our religon..FiamanillahRecommend

  • khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 1:07PM

    @ nasir come out of ur bubble… which seems financed by the govt.. all honest peace loving ppl will support musharraf.. and imran khan. fact!


  • Malik Tabeer
    Jul 22, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Still like him


  • grinz09
    Jul 22, 2011 - 3:57PM

    Indeed the world views our justice system intently. They realise that it’s nothing but victimisation!


  • Sohail
    Jul 22, 2011 - 4:29PM

    all u constitution protection dealers, I think u might want to decorate the constitution in ur drawing room when there will be no Pakistan… he broke a clause of the constitution to save Pakistan, a country that has just fought a war, a country on the brink if default, u protect the clause, a man made clause and let the country begone…Recommend

  • Jul 22, 2011 - 6:29PM

    Your criticism is understandable as you leave no stone unturned to vent your venom against Pervaiz Musharaf.

    So called democracy can’t do anything what Musharaf has done in his era.

    Just a few questions to those who think Musharaf is incapable:

    The national reserves were highest in which era?
    The GDP was highest in wich era?
    Foreign investment was highest in which era?
    Unemployment reduced from 31% to 26% in which era?
    Poverty level reduced from 36% to 28% in which era?
    Industrialization, IT and Agriculture was at its peak in which era?
    The telecommunication sector which hardy existed boomed in which era?
    In which era the most universities were opened in Pakistan?
    In which era did we have the first ever satellite in which era?
    In which era 90 private channels were started?
    In which era did all of Balochistan became A-grade area from being 80% b-grade area?
    In which era did the Pakistani army became more well equipped than the Indian army?
    In which era corruption was reduced to 500% in Pakistan?
    – Oh and lastly, in which era did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visited Pakistan and served the affected areas?

    There’s only one answer to all of these questions and that is IN MUSHARRAF”S ERA!

    If still people want to talk about assumptions such as what happened in Lal Masjid, what happend with Bhugti, blah blah then they are most welcome. But, before you do that you must know you are only pulling the country downwards and nothing else. For all I know is that all those who blame Musharaf are the ones who are driven by our black media. courtesy: Amasch


    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg – South Africa


  • Salman
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:31PM

    Constitution is for Pakistan – Pakistan is not for constitution. If no Pakistan then we have no respectful life. Pakistan First.


  • shahid
    Jul 22, 2011 - 8:48PM

    Can you pl.substantiate your statement why was he worst leader ? I say he is the best leader and tell you why. The most important thing for Pakistan is not the form of government.I would happily accept a king to rule Pakistan as long as he is providing the need of country, What are the needs of Pakistan ? education ,food safety for everyone,economic development,health facilities and pride to be a Pakistani. Musharraf provided all these elements. We do not need sham democracy which is a code ward in Pakistan for perpetuating looting the country.The biggest supporters of democracy in Pakistan are also the most corrupt people. We are in habit of shooting our own feet.Now we wish for a true leader,Well musharraf was the one.Had he stayed few more years Pakistan would have become another Korea. Sorry President Musharraf we did not appreciate you.


  • hamza khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 9:47PM


    no…in fact the reason is because he’s trying to not create a storm at this point. revealing the reasons or going into the detail would only creat controversy and he’s not doing that right now. come up with a better reason to cast aspersions on him.


  • hamza khan
    Jul 22, 2011 - 10:02PM


    yeah thanks to iftikhar chaudhry, who did everything he could to bring the musharraf regime down on the instructions of nawaz sharif and co. the delay in announcing the presidential election and unnnecesary suo moto notices for the most minor cases belies the fact that this man had anthing but his self interest in mind. the situation the judiciary is in today verifies that. Recommend

  • asim
    Jul 22, 2011 - 11:47PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi: “Oh and lastly, in which era did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visited Pakistan and served the affected areas?”
    Wow…seriously? Game. Set. Match to your argument that Musharraf was the greatest everrr.Recommend

  • Os1
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:25AM

    @ Dr. Saleem,

    Indeed, but i believe the vaccum is not created with PM but due to the fact that he has raised the leadership bar so high that these incompetent morons can never ever match his qualitiies. If nothing else, he is the only leader to have instilled the PAKISTAN FIRST spirit amongst all Pakistanis! God Bless!


  • ashok sai
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:16AM

    If BB had been alive and taken the leadership at the least Pakistan would have taken the right path to growth, even if the journey is very slow the results can be expected around 2020.


  • ordinary paki
    Jul 23, 2011 - 2:19PM

    well i dont really care who is president and was. As ordinary pakistan. Mushi time was better.Everything thing was prosperous in our country. No lead shedding,Economy was growing and development was changing the shape our country .. JUST LOOK AT IT NOW !!


  • Jul 23, 2011 - 2:25PM

    Musharraf the great leader, the man who brought democracy to Pakistan at gross root level after holding Local Government Elections twice in his tenure.


  • Aamer
    Jul 23, 2011 - 3:09PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:

    “In which era did the Pakistani army became more well equipped than the Indian army?”
    Never in any era, not atleast in Muharrafs era thats for sure.

    Let me tell you one thing, the era that Musharraf ruled in, China became from nothing to the super-power to be, and Indian turned from snake charmers into software gurus and a powerful economy, in short in that era this entire region was booming, albeit Pakistan.

    Proof you ask?
    In 1999 at the time of Musharrafs take over Pakistan’s share in world trade 0.21%
    in 2009 when he left, Pakistans share in world trade 0.13%

    Period. So we didnt even keep up with the world, forget about progressing


  • Dr,A.K.Tewari
    Jul 23, 2011 - 5:57PM

    Only that person can rule Pakistan successfuly who has blessings of Bush .Blair, Bajpai ,?


  • wah wah
    Jul 23, 2011 - 6:53PM

    I blame him for not doing enough – he could have taken tough decisions early on during his reign; on dams, on kashmir and on more provinces. He ended up just how other military leaders end up in Pakistan, by patronizing the elite and the corrupt to cling on to power. Nawaz & BB’s dirty politics resulted in a lost decade for Pakistan, were stagnated during the 90s while the rest of the region laid the foundation for their economic progress. We are already on the verge of another lost decade of progress and i don’t think we will be able to survive this one.

    There is a leadership vacuum in Pakistan, our civilian leadership is ethically and morally corrupt and has no match when it comes to incompetence and our judicial leadership, well, at least the judges have their jobs and perks back. no seriously,they are as corrupt as the rest of them. And the Skipper Imran Khan sometimes talks such nonsense that you want to bang your head against the wall.

    Mushy in the end was at par with the rest – except maybe he is the best orator we had after Zulfiqar Bhutto.Recommend

  • Dr,A.K.Tewari
    Jul 23, 2011 - 8:20PM

    Musarraf has attempted to resolve the bone of contention between India and Pakistan in one stroke , The Kashmir issue is a sentimental issue for both the country and can not be solved through normal political or diplomatic negociation but through an understanding between the top leaders of the two countries facilitated by the top leaders of the world who can compunsate the country through its economic development .
    Pakistan can cross the stormy sea if she intend to crack the kashmiri nut in one stroke as it was attempted by Musharaf, in the past Musarraf has attempted to resolve the bone of contention between India and Pakistan in one stroke.Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jul 23, 2011 - 11:01PM

    He was atleast better than what we have now!


  • Jul 30, 2011 - 7:34AM

    The speech delivered at the woodrow wilson international center of scholar by former president of pakistan was really highly laudable because he rightly said leadership vaccum is created in pakistan and due to the wrong policies of the current government of pakistan we whole nation confronting with the different challenges like hike prices of electricity ,high inflation rate , down fall of the GDP day to day ,changes of patrol prices ,devalue of currency and many more like terrorism uncontrolled. yes during his tenure he had delivered the best,by all means i would endorse his views and all what he narrated in in the speech in america and also during interview all facts and figures are true . when he took over the charge from mian nawaz sharif we were at the brink of default he was the angelof that time who very smartly and through the dadicated services and acumen level managed all the matters of pakistan and very smoothly run the country on the road of sucesss.i wish him great success in future


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