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Musharraf says Pakistan will not initiate war
(Updated at 2100 PST)
KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf said Monday in a message to the world community that Pakistan does not want war, and that it would not initiate a conflict with India.

"I would now like to convey a message to the world community. Pakistan does not want war. Pakistan will not be the one to initiate war. We want peace in the region," he said in a national address.

"Pakistan will never allow the export of terrorism anywhere in the world from within Pakistan," he said.

Musharraf also said that Pakistan had taken "bold steps" since a January 12 speech where he vowed to crack down on terrorism.

"I urge the world community to ask India to move towards normalisation of relations... and reduction of tensions on the borders."

"We do not want war. But if war is thrust upon us, we would respond with full might, and give a befitting reply," he said.

"Tension is at its height. The danger of war is not yet over," he said in an address to the nation.

Musharraf blamed India for the current escalation of tensions, saying it had reacted badly by fingering Pakistan for a series of terrorist attacks on its territory including the bloody assault  on its parliament in December.

"This was a terrorist attack which we had fully condemned and said that it was a terrorist  attack," he said. "But the Indian leadership acted in a hasty manner and adopted extremely irresponsible behaviour. This was a demonstration of their traditional enmity towards Pakistan."

"By showing enmity towards Pakistan, they put the blame on us and consequently brought their forces on the border."  

"The entire nation is with the armed forces and will shed the last drop of their blood, but would not allow any harm to come to the motherland."  

Musharraf pledged Pakistan’s support to Kashmiri people against Indian rule, but said, Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used as a base "for terrorism against anybody".

"But I want to make one thing clear. Liberation movement is going on in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan cannot be held responsible for any action against Indian tyranny and repression."

He appealed to the the comity of nation to witness the cruelties of India against Muslims in Kashmir and Gujarat and against other minorities and Hindu scheduled castes.

Paying rich tributes to late Abdul Ghani Lone he said his murderers are yet to be arrested. He said this kind of acts are being taken to wage a war against Pakistan.

President denies infiltration to Held Kashmir
(Updated at 2045 PST)
KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf Monday said no infiltration was taking place across the Line of Control (LoC).

Parliamentary elections to be held between Oct 7 and 11: President
(Updated at 2040 PST)
KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf announced on Monday that parliamentary elections will be held between October 7 and 11, 2002 inviting international observers to monitor the October elections.  

"I want to assure (the politicians) today before the nation that the process of democracy will begin in the month of October," Musharraf said in a nationwide broadcast.

He promised the elections would be "fair and transparent”.

"I think at this crucial juncture, national unity is the need of the hour. We must all think in terms of national interests by rising above personal and party interests."

Musharraf also acknowledged some irregularities were committed during the  April 30 referendum, although he said  "no official interference of any kind was permitted."

Musharraf admitted he had received reports that "at lower level due to unnecessary enthusiasm and carelessness, inefficiency and ignorance there might have been some improper cases of voting in some areas." "If this is true I regret it from the core of my heart. I feel sad and sorry for it." he said.

Pakistan at the crossroads of history: Musharraf
(Updated at 2035 PST)
KARACHI:
President Pervez Musharraf told the nation on Monday in a national broadcast they stand "at the crossroad of history" and called for national unity in the face of tensions with India.

"Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture. We are faced with a grave situation and we are standing at the crossroad of history”, he said.

"Today's decisions will have serious internal and external effects on our future," Musharraf said at the start of his address to the nation.

NEWS UPDATE