Full Transcript of Musharraf Interview

There's a feudal culture here. A person who may be anything, in a tribal culture they will vote for him. [unintelligible] you liked him or not. He may be [unintelligible]. He will get elected. So this is Pakistan's culture. Okay?

So now the issue is only after that that you have to have some checks. That is why the importance of this element which you -- I know in the West you think that this is not democratic. That the president can dismiss or dissolve the assembly.

It is very democratic if you have a check on the president. If you have a check on the president who has to use it, and we instituted this check through the National Security Council. And the other thing -- why I am optimistic of the future yes, for many reasons. One is this National Security Council where the prime minister, the leader of opposition, the chief minister, the military men, and the speaker and the -- chairman [unintelligible] will be sitting. We will make sure many things. Number one, that the prime minister governs -- because otherwise he's going to be [unintelligible], "What are you doing? The economy's going down?" Do we see there was no such institution? Only the president could tell him that you're not governing well. And it used to happen.

For 11 years it happened four times. And that is why every time president had to fire the -- the -- all of the assembly. Now this forum will ask. So therefore the prime minister hopefully will remain on track. The president cannot dissolve the assembly one fine morning getting up because he had some differences with the prime minister. This institution is there. And the people will [unintelligible] you [unintelligible] you don't have to dissolve the assembly.

The third is the army chief. He cannot for -- take over the government. He has to come here. And then he said, "Everyone think that government in Pakistan is going down. We need to dissolve," or anything, that is the National Security Council is there. So --

Cuomo: There's more power sharing than ever?

Musharraf: : Yes. It takes a [unintelligible] these checks. The other issue is I think the people of Pakistan, the biggest issue, know the development that has taken place. The economic rise that we are in. The upsurge --They know th -- mega-development projects going on. The construction activity. The telecommunication boom. The infor-- information technology. The industry going up. Education and health. They will know that now what the hell is happening? It's going down. And thirdly, the media. I must give all the credit to the media now, although I have my critics against them.

Cuomo: Now they're getting...the credit.

Musharraf: --they're not responsible enough. They-- because of the freedom of the media, which we have given them, and because we are--

Cuomo: You also--took it away though.

Musharraf: Pardon?

Cuomo: You gave it to them but you also took it away.

Musharraf: No, we have given it back to them again.

Cuomo: Right. After you took it away.

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