Full Transcript of Musharraf Interview

Musharraf: Yes. Because they were not behaving responsibility. Elements in there. Yes. We had to do that. So now this media with the tele-- with dozens of television channels-- which we allow. Otherwise there was one PTV (Pakistan Television Network) before. We allowed these dozens of TV channels. And I allowed that, may I say, because there was a lot of opposition not to do it in 2000-- back in 2000 when I took this decision. But I overruled all of them. Made-- maybe 90 percent of the people were saying, "No, we-- we don't-- cannot do this." But I overruled.

Now this media is very vibrant, which is the good part. They should see any government, and they should exercise the checks and expose any government which is mis-performing. So these are elements which give me optimism for the future.

[OFF-MIC CONVERSATION]

Cuomo: I have one more question -- about the -- Madrasas. The -- you're very intent on having a better public education in this country. The concern about the Madrasas. What is your position on them? What do you think about whether they're growing? What's going on in there? What you're doing to control them. 'Cause I know it's something that you've promised in the past. You wanna get after. What is the condition? Musharraf: Yeah, it's [unintelligible]. Cuomo: What's the problem? What's -- what are you doing? Musharraf: Yes. Again, this is a good criticism-- on-- my lack of achievement. Madrasas. Now Madrasas-- first of all, in the West there's an impression that all students of Pakistan go to Madrasas. Only about three, four percent of students are in Madrasas here.Ninety-seven percent are in regular schools. Let that be very clear through this television. This is not known.

The perception created in the media is that everyone goes to Madrasas here in Pakistan. So only three percent. The other issue, now what have we done. Madrasas strategy was a part of a complete strategy of reducing extremism from the society. Now what will we do? And let me-- maybe it's a-- a little bit of a long response, sir. First part was we have to-- ban organizations. Extremist organizations.

I spoke about those who were masked men with Kalashnikovs. We have met about 75, 80 percent success. Some groups come up with different names. Their don't carry Kalashnikovs. They don't have any kind of protection now. So we have met about 80 percent success.

We needed to control misuse of loudspeakers in mosques. We had people who were being charged up against extremism. Indoctrinated. And I don't think we much-- met very great success. But we have made about 25 percent success. And I am pursuing it because there hundreds of thousands of mosques.

Through the local government system I am trying to impose these restrictions on this extremism in mosques. The third area was we needed to look at our syllabus and curriculum. There were elements with-- it was leading to extremism. We removed that. There's a new curriculum. A new syllabus introduced. Then we needed to look at the hate materials that was being published. Posters being distributed outside every mosque. We have met 90 percent success. You will hardly find people distributing this hate literature or you-- if you go to the bookstores, you will hardly find books on this hate and extremism. About 90 percent success.

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