M A I N   N E W S

Leave country or surrender, Pervez tells militants
K J M Varma

Islamabad, February 18
Stepping up pressure on foreign militants, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today asked them to leave the country or surrender and pledged not to allow them to carry out their activities against any other country.

Foreign militants should leave Pakistan and go to their respective countries or surrender, said the General apparently referring to Al Qaida while addressing a gathering of religious scholars here.

The government would not hand over the surrendered militants to any other country if they laid down their weapons and hand themselves over to the Pakistan army, he said, “failing which they will be dealt with full force”.

“No foreigner should stay in Pakistan illegally,” Musharraf said adding that most of the foreigners arrested or killed in operation in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan belonged to Uzbekistan.

In his speech aimed at winning the support of the hardline Islamic clerics in favour of reform process initiated by him, Musharraf in his speech called for a sustained movement against terrorism and extremism and appealed to the Islamic religious leaders to extend a helping hand in this endeavour.

Over 1,500 religious leaders belonging to various sects of Islam attended the conference organised by the government.

On proliferation by its nuclear scientists, he said “Pakistan will have to demonstrate to the world that it is a responsible nuclear state and it has not and will not indulge in proliferation. The strategy adopted by the government to deal with the issue of proliferation best suited the interests of the country,”.

“Pakistan will not only preserve its nuclear and missile capability but also develop it further. We will demonstrate this in two months,” he said referring to his previous announcement that Pakistan would test fire its long range Shaheen-II missile which could hit targets at 2000 km range.

Musharraf also directed the Governors and Chief Ministers to launch a campaign against terrorism and militancy in provincial headquarters to carry forward the movement to eliminate extremism and forge national unity and harmony. PTI

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |