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NEW YORK – Muslims for Peace and Universal Muslim Association of America delegates meet privately with President Pervez Musharraf to discuss the rise of targeted Shia killings in Pakistan.
Calling the current suffering of Pakistan, “a terrible law and order problem” stemming from government inaction, former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf said the upcoming election will serve as “a make or break moment” on whether Pakistan can lift itself from its current state of darkness.
“We can’t just sit back and watch,” he said in private meeting with MFP and UMAA delegates in Queens, New York. “There’s a leadership problem.” He cited government inaction as the reason for rampant sectarian violence in areas like Baluchistan, Quetta and Karachi, with the people responsible for the slaughter claiming to do it “in the name of Islam”.
Musharraf said such acts go against Islam’s teachings. “I don’t think I’m a better Muslim (than them). But they can’t say they’re a better Muslim than me, either” he told a raucous crowd in Urdu before the meeting. Musharraf, who served as president from 1999 to 2008, said the root causes of the problem are weak leadership and corrupt political parties who are playing a behind-the-scenes role in the violence inundating Pakistan. Many of the killings are the result of people being influenced by the Taliban and gang warfare, said Musharraf.
Musharraf said sectarian violence, among other longstanding problems Pakistan faces, can be abated by focusing mostly on economic development issues. He left open the door for a possible return to the political arena of the nation he served in uniform for over 40 years, but said there must be popular support from the ground up for his political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League. In an appeal for support and grassroots organizing, he asked attendants to reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances to help him garner support and momentum in the coming months.
He urged supporters to take action in restoring Pakistan to a state that resembles founder Quaid-a Azam’s vision. “If we don’t try, I have a feeling the status quo will remain for five more years,” he said. “We must have the urge, the determination, the courage, the conviction,” otherwise the ills that ail Pakistan will continue unabated.
MFP and UMAA delegates shared over 50 pages detailing the current Shia genocide in Pakistan to President Musharraf. After a brief presentation, the former president reiterated his determination to establish peace and justice in Pakistan. The purpose of this meeting was to illustrate the close and inseparable relationship between al-Qaeda and its progenitor and mentor, the Wahabism phenomenon, and to document the gruesome and brutal massacre of Shia Muslims in Pakistan over the past two decades, as a precursor to al-Qaeda’s global terrorism. A Musharraf administration in Pakistan would ideally create a more stable environment for all citizens of Pakistan and restore the equality and freedoms these innocent people deserve.
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