NRO was my mistake, says Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf makes a candid apology to the nation for making ‘political mistakes’ in the past.

Salman Siddiqui October 02, 2010

KARACHI: Former president Pervez Musharraf made a candid apology to the nation for making ‘political mistakes’ as he began his political career on Friday with the formal launch of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party in London.

The event took place just 11 days prior to the 11th anniversary of his October 12, 1999, coup that toppled the then elected government of Nawaz Sharif.

“I apologise to the nation for my mistakes. (But) I’ve learned from my mistakes,” the ex-military dictator said at the outset, stressing that all he wanted now was to start his political life with a clean slate.

He pledged that if the people of Pakistan gave him their support, he would bring them out of the “current” state of misery.

In a question and answer session with the media later on, he clarified that he had apologised only for the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). “The NRO was my mistake,” he said, adding that he had struck a deal with the slain chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto. He claimed that under the terms of the agreement, Bhutto was not supposed to return to the country until the elections were held.

In his speech, Musharraf said the people of Pakistan today were unhappy. And “the country where the people are unhappy gets wiped out,” he said.

He claimed that his nine years in power were his first attempt at bringing about a change in Pakistan.  Between 1999 and 2008, “we empowered the people, gave them respect and improved their economic conditions,” he said. He said the time had come for all ‘patriotic’ Pakistanis to stand under the banner of one flag and work towards its progress. “Pakistan comes first,” he mouthed his pet phrase.

“We will remake Quaid’s Pakistan under the banner of the All Pakistan Muslim League,” he said, amid frequent applause and sloganeering by a sizable audience. When asked whether the MQM’s slain leader Imran Farooq was planning to join his party, Musharraf dismissed the reports. Lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who famously wrote the controversial letter that precipitated the stand-off between Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and Musharraf in 2007, showered praises on the ex-military leader in his introductory speech.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2010.


Qasim | 11 years ago | Reply Musharraf compromised everything. Almost compromised Pakistan's stance on Kashmir by aiding the Indians against the Kashmiri struggle. He chronically lied about everything, he engineered Kargil where the army suffered because of his poor planning. The current government is a gift from Musharraf, he gave these people the NRO that they needed. Zardari could not even land in Pakistan without going right back to jail because of Zardari's corruption cases. Zardari was forced to claim that he was a mental patient to avoid being caught in foreign courts(which Musharraf spent hundreds of millions on) and then went back and "forgave" all that corruption like it was his own money and not stolen from the Pakistani public. He handed hundreds of people to the US parade on their news media so they could show that their war on terror was a success and they were capturing terrorists. Handed over Dr. Aafia Siddiqi and so many others like her who were not fortunate enough to come into the public view. All the people who rave about Musharraf because of the economic boom he created, do not understand fundamentally that economic bubbles expand(the boom phase) and then the bubble bursts. The housing market bubble burst in Pakistan, and in part, the economic crisis we are now facing is because of his following policies(with his whiz-kid imported PM) that artificially creating short-term booms that were bound to be followed by an economic downturn. Ofcourse, the economic downturn got greatly exacerbated by the NRO-cleared govt he left us to deal with, and we now have to deal with the consequences of his actions even after he fled the country.
Liaquat Ali | 11 years ago | Reply 2013 President Musharraf Prime Minister from the MQM That is THE solution for Pakistan
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