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New York meeting was a turning point: Musharraf

By B. Muralidhar Reddy


ISLAMABAD, FEB. 25. The Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, has said that his meeting with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was a turning point and there is light visible "at the end of the tunnel."

In a essay covering his personal, professional and life as President of Pakistan on his website www.presidentofpak.gov.pk, Gen. Musharraf threw light on several interesting aspects including how he almost lost his job in the army but for the 1965 war with India.

On the peace process Gen. Musharraf has said that Pakistan and India have finally ended in a rapprochement with CBMs and a Composite Dialogue process and the New York joint statement between him and Dr. Singh on September 25, 2004 "finally is a quantum leap forward towards resolution of all disputes including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir."

`Almost lost job'

On episode in the Army where he almost lost his job, Gen. Musharraf says, "while at the Pakistan Military Academy, I almost got thrown out for some disciplinary lapse. As a young Second Lieutenant, Court Martial proceedings were initiated against me for another disciplinary infringement. War with India broke out just in time to block the proceedings. My subsequent war performance and a gallantry award finally saved me from the Court Martial. As a young officer before marriage my bluntness and indiscipline landed me in many a serious trouble with `red ink entries' piling up in my service record".

He says his bluntness was a problem at every stage of his career. According to him, in spite of his high professional performance on ground his discipline record almost obstructed my promotion to Lieutenant Colonel rank. "As a Brigadier on course at the Royal College of Defence Studies, London, my name was initially dropped from the list of recommended promotees to the Major General rank by the then Prime Minister for some unknown reasons".

It was a repeat story on his promotion as Army Chief. "My promotion as the Army Chief is next only to a miracle [in spite of my qualitative edge], seen within all the seniority manipulations, negative propaganda against me and character assassination. Together with this turbulence in my career, I was lucky to escape certain death three times [other than during war] before I became the Chief".

Gen. Musharraf says there has never been a dull moment in my life. "The international accusation of Pakistan being a nuclear proliferator. All fingers pointed towards the scientist hero, Dr. A.Q. Khan. The nation loved him but the world saw in him a rogue to be punished. I found myself between the devil and the deep sea. I manoeuvred a decision and tried to sell it internationally and domestically with fingers crossed. I succeeded in easing the pressure on Pakistan and moulding domestic public opinion in favour of my action."

On relations with India he says Kargil has proved "a lesson to the Indians and a rude awakening to the world of the reality of Kashmir."

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