Former Pakistani President in Philadelphia

January 26, 2009 8:39:06 PM PST
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has survived several assassination attempts and presided over what some call the "most dangerous place in the world in Pakistan." Monday night he discussed the prospects for peace, Central and South Asia and the war on terror.

"There is no quick fix solution."

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was blunt. Calling South Asia the most polarized region in the world. Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are a hotbed of conflict. Whether it's the recent attack in Mumbai, the Indo-Pakistani conflict or the rise, again, of the Taliban.

President Pervez Musharraf believes the U.S. and the world must focus on the region and root of instability, which he said is poverty, especially in Afghanistan a renewed front on the war on terror.

"We need to assist them monetarily to develop the area. Now they get their money through drugs or the Taliban through fighting."

Musharraf also believes his country's ongoing fight with India must be resolved. If not, extremism will only continue to foment. And leave these two regional powers in tatters and the world far less secure.

"We cannot afford to go to war both India and Pakistan. There will be damage to both of the countries, tremendous irreparable damage."

About 50 people gathered to protest outside the Franklin Institute.

Musharraf's government was often accused of corruption and he twice suspended his country's constitution. When asked about that, he essentially sidestepped the question.

While some who attended said the speech wasn't exactly inspiring, they do believe the former President is a serious man trying to achieve peace.

"He really offered a more broad viewpoint on how they are dealing with terrorism on many different viewpoints," said Namir Shah who attends Eastern Regional High School.

"I think he's a man driven to achieve peace in his lifetime if possible," said Maureen Austin of Berwyn.

And the former President said he believes the war on terror can be won and will be won.

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