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Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Calls for World to Confront Terrorism, Economic Disparities

By Russell Guerrero ’83

The former leader presents “The World as I See it” as part of Trinity University’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

Photo: Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf

September 2009 – Saying that we are all now living in a very large village, Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan, called for the world to understand the major problems it faces and to address them both globally and domestically. 

“We have to show a collective will to address these problems,” he said.

Flanked by the flags of both the United States and Pakistan, Mr. Musharraf addressed an audience of 2,200 in Trinity’s Laurie Auditorium on Thursday, Sept. 17. He was the first speaker of Trinity University’s 2009-10 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Mr. Musharraf highlighted political disputes, extremism and terrorism, and economic inequalities plaguing developing nations as some of the major problems that must be confronted.

He pointed to the Palestinian dispute as a political struggle that has destabilized not only the Middle East, but the entire Muslim world.  Mr. Musharraf believes that the rise of Al-Qaeda and the 9-11 attacks can both be attributed to the turmoil over Palestine.

Mr. Musharraf also brought up other recent conflicts, including the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya. “This all is happening in the Muslim world. Muslims happen to be at the receiving end in all of them.  And therefore, this is the root cause of terrorism and extremism within the Muslim world,” he said.

Mr. Musharraf went on to say that the fight against terrorism must continue unabated. “This is a menace for the whole world and we have to defeat it, whatever the cost,” he said. “We have to be able to accept casualties.”

Another cause for the world’s great woes is the great economic divide between developed countries and third world nations. Many underdeveloped areas suffer from abject poverty and illiteracy.  Mr. Musharraf warned that if the economic inequities were not addressed, “the islands of prosperity will be drowned in the oceans of poverty.”

He concluded by saying that the information and technological revolution are changing the world at an incredible pace. “Let this revolution not be denied in the developing world. Let us share knowledge and let all humanity progress.”

Trinity seniors Isaac Medina and Sidra Qureshi talk about meeting former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf
Trinity seniors Isaac Medina and Sidra Qureshi talk about meeting former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mr. Musharraf attended a meeting with 35 Trinity students in the Coates University Center Fiesta Room.  During that encounter, students asked the leader questions ranging from America’s war in Afghanistan, the fight for women’s rights in Pakistan, and the political dispute with India over Kashmir.

Following the hour-long meeting, a few Trinity students said they were pleased for having the chance to meet with the former world leader.  “It was nice to hear what he had to say, especially coming from a controversial part of the world,” said Rahaman Navaz Gangji, a first-year student from Canada.    

“It was nice to meet my country’s (former) president,” said Mohsin Rahim, a first-year student from Pakistan.  “It was nice to hear his point of views regarding my country.”  Mohsin added that, although he lived in Islamabad when Mr. Musharraf was president, the student meeting at Trinity was the first time he had a chance to see him.  “That was great,” he said.  

The Trinity University Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by an endowment gift from Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Brown of San Antonio.


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