Media Coverage: Former President of Pakistan at Augustana College

The 2009 Boe Forum on Public Affairs at Augustana College featured former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. Thousands of listeners came to the event, including numerous media outlets. View media coverage of the event:

KELO-TV: Former President of Pakistan In KELOLAND

Argus Leader: Former Pakistani President Shares Highs, Lows of Tenure

Madison Daily Leader: Musharraf brings perspective to Augustana's Boe Forum crowd

Yankton Press & Dakotan: Musharraf: Multifaceted Approach Needed For Taliban

USA Today: Musharraf: U.S., Pakistan 'Suddenly' Lost Track of bin Laden

The Star Tribune: Musharraf says multifaceted approach needed to deal with Taliban in Pakistan

The Fresno Bee: Musharraf: Multifaceted approach against Taliban

NEWKERALA.COM (India): Multifaceted strategy must to deal with Taliban: Musharraf

Express India: Taliban needs to be eliminated by force: Musharraf

 

KELO-TV:

Former President Of Pakistan In KELOLAND

Cherlene Richards, KELO-TV

Some call him a dictator; others consider him a powerful ally. But no matter what you think of him, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has had an international impact. Thousands gathered at Augustana college tonight to listen as Musharraf shared his personal role in the global war on terror and addressed concerns about Pakistan's nuclear assets.

The former president spoke of his time as the country's leader during and after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, and his country's decision to support the fight against the Taliban.

A standing ovation greeted former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at the Elmen Center tonight.

Musharraf first thanked Augustana College for inviting him to share his story and talk about the political dynamics of Pakistan and the world. While Musharraf was president, Pakistan joined the effort to fight the war on terror by helping direct raids against Al Qaeda, and tracking Osama Bin Laden. But, his decisions were met with controversy.

“When we talk about terrorism and extremism, decisions after 9-11, certainly, we were pulled in different direction, while some people thought we should not have been part of it,” Musharraf said.

Before 2001, Musharraf says there was no relationship between his country and the US.

“In the negative perception of the Uited Sates, and the people of Pakistan, therefore joining the coalition, with the United States, who left the scene and left us high and dry in 1989, now after 12 years, asking us to join them,” Musharraf said.

Musharraf's decision created tension between Pakistan's neighbors. The former world leader is both praised and hated - he's survived 2 assassination attempts. But, by coming here tonight, he hopes to clear up misconceptions. And Augustana students appreciate his willingness to reach out to the American people.

"This is a great opportunity to see real world leaders,” Ellen Kress said.

"I think it's great that so many people my age are here and interested in what’s going on,” Keanna Casanova Dyce said.

Augustana's Boe Forum has a history of bringing in world leaders. Past speakers include General Colin Powell, George Bush Senior, and Al Gore. 

 

Argus Leader:
Former Pakistani President Shares Highs, Lows of Tenure

Among missed opportunities: 'We lost track' of bin Laden

Jeff Martin, Argus Leader

The United States and Pakistan were closing in on Osama bin Laden about five years ago, but suddenly lost the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, former Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf said Friday.

"I don't know whether he's dead or alive," Musharraf told a near-capacity crowd at the Elmen Center at Augustana College.

"It was some five years back when there was some intelligence that got picked up of a broad location," he said. "Then suddenly, we lost track."

The comments were in response to a question from a student during the final portion of Friday night's Boe Forum, which has hosted several world leaders over the years.

"It was a failure of Pakistan and a failure of U.S. intelligence also," he said of the search for bin Laden.

Musharraf, who was described by political opponents as a military dictator when he led Pakistan, was president from 2001 to 2008. He sided with the U.S. in the war on terrorism and has said in the past that he did not want the Taliban to take control of Pakistan.

Musharraf, 66, outlined what he considers several threats to Pakistan, including al-Qaida and other extremist groups.

"There is al-Qaida in our mountains, and al-Qaida are foreigners," he said. "They have been reduced in numbers, and in those small numbers they are still in our mountains ... The only solution is to use force and eliminate them from that area," he added.

Musharraf outlined what he considers several blunders made by Pakistan's leaders in the years leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, but he also took credit for several accomplishments, including improving the nation's economy and introducing "an essence of Democracy" to Pakistan.

"This gives me pride to say, that although I was a military man - a man in uniform - I did believe in real essence of democracy," he said. "I take pride in declaring that I introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan."

He did this, he said, by empowering citizens. Women, he said, gained political power and were given more seats in the local and national levels of government - a comment that drew a standing ovation from the crowd.

Ryan Hebner of Sioux Falls said he liked Musharraf's response to the final question from a student about the search for bin Laden.

"I think that's something that was on everyone's mind," he said.

Kermit Staggers, a University of Sioux Falls professor who also serves on the Sioux Falls City Council, said Musharraf "seemed to be very frank in his presentation and his responses to a number of tough questions."

On Tuesday, Musharraf met with some members of Congress to discuss Afghanistan.

"Musharraf provided his personal and candid insights on Afghanistan and Pakistan and shared his perspective for strategies to stabilize the region," according to a prepared statement from Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind. "President Musharraf's thoughts will be very helpful to us as Congress works with the administration in crafting a successful way forward in Afghanistan." 

 

Madison Daily Leader:
Musharraf brings perspective to Augustana's Boe Forum crowd

Jon M. Hunter, Publisher of Madison Daily Leader

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf spoke in Sioux Falls on Friday evening, the latest in a distinguished list of speakers at Augustana College's Boe Forum on Public Affairs.

TIME magazine once described Musharraf's position as "the most dangerous job in the world." He positioned Pakistan as a critical ally to the United States in the Middle East, positioned right in the heart of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

He survived two assassination attempts, rooted out militants in his own government and hunted for Osama bin Laden, believed to be hiding in the lawless border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. At the same time, he worked to build the democracy in his country, empowered citizens to participate in local governments, opened up the media and liberated women to participate in all levels of government.

Few of us in South Dakota, or the United States for that matter, understand the dynamics of that region of the world, or the conflicts that persist. Perhaps we better understand it after Musharraf's presentation.

That's the whole point of the Boe Forum. Former governor Nils Boe envisioned a lecture series that would bring the world's decision-makers to South Dakota. He believed the people of this region are as deserving as citizens anywhere of sharing in the thinking of world leaders.

The Boe Forum, established by the former governor and his sisters, has delivered: General Colin Powell, President George H.W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, British Prime Minister John Major, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mexican President Vicente Fox, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and more.

We're very impressed with this lecture series, and believe the citizens of our region are better for it. We'd encourage everyone to take advantage of the Boe Forum's generosity in a future year.  

Yankton Press & Dakotan:
Musharraf: Multifaceted Approach Needed For Taliban

Dirk Lammers, Associated Press Writer

SIOUX FALLS — Al-Qaida needs to be eliminated from Pakistan by force but dealing with the Taliban requires a military, political and socio-economic approach, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said Friday night.

Musharraf, speaking at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, said the Taliban was not a monolith.

“There is no one commander who can be removed and the Taliban structure destroyed,” he said. “We have to deal with them piecemeal, wherever it is.”

Musharraf, a stalwart supporter of the U.S. in the war on terror, was deeply unpopular when he ended his decade-long rule and resigned as president in August 2008 to avoid a power struggle with rivals who vowed to impeach him.

Since his departure, the 66-year-old leader has given several speeches at think tanks and universities around the world. His address Friday night was part of Augustana College’s Boe Forum series, which in past years has drawn Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Mexico President Vicente Fox and Vice President Al Gore.

Musharraf said that in addition to al-Qaida and the Taliban, Pakistan should also be concerned about what he calls “Talibanization,” the spread of the Taliban’s extreme views of Islam to the districts of Pakistan.

 

USA Today:
Musharraf: U.S., Pakistan 'suddenly' lost track of bin Laden

Jeff Martin, Argus Leader (picked up by USA Today)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D — The United States and Pakistan were closing in on Osama bin Laden about five years ago, but suddenly lost the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, former Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf said Friday.

"I don't know whether he's dead or alive," Musharraf told a near-capacity crowd at the Elmen Center at Augustana College.

"It was some five years back when there was some intelligence that got picked up of a broad location," he said. "Then suddenly, we lost track."

The comments were in response to a question from a student during the final portion of Friday night's Boe Forum, which has hosted several world leaders over the years.

"It was a failure of Pakistan and a failure of U.S. intelligence also," he said of the search for bin Laden.

Musharraf, who was described by political opponents as a military dictator when he led Pakistan, was president from 2001 to 2008. He sided with the U.S. in the war on terror and has said in the past that he did not want the Taliban to take control of Pakistan.

Musharraf, 66, outlined what he considers several threats to Pakistan, including al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Musharraf also described what he considers several blunders made by Pakistan's leaders in the years leading up to Sept. 11, but he also took credit for several accomplishments, including improving the nation's economy and introducing "an essence of Democracy" to Pakistan.

"This gives me pride to say, that although I was a military man – a man in uniform – I did believe in real essence of democracy," he said. "I take pride in declaring that I introduced the essence of democracy in Pakistan."

He did this, he said, by empowering citizens. Women, he said, gained political power and were given more seats in the local and national levels of government – a comment that drew a standing ovation from the crowd.

Kermit Staggers, a University of Sioux Falls professor who also serves on the Sioux Falls City Council, said Musharraf "seemed to be very frank in his presentation and his responses to a number of tough questions."

On Tuesday, Musharraf met with some members of Congress to discuss Afghanistan.

"Musharraf provided his personal and candid insights on Afghanistan and Pakistan and shared his perspective for strategies to stabilize the region," according to a statement from Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind. "President Musharraf's thoughts will be very helpful to us as Congress works with the administration in crafting a successful way forward in Afghanistan."

 

 

The Star Tribune:
Musharraf says multifaceted approach needed to deal with Taliban in Pakistan

The Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ' moo-SHAH'-ruhv) says al-Qaida needs to be eliminated from the country by force, but dealing with the Taliban requires a military, political and socio-economic approach.

Musharraf spoke Friday night at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He says the Taliban is not a monolith, but rather a spread out organization with no single commander who could be removed for the command structure to be destroyed.

Musharraf is a stalwart supporter of the U.S. in the war on terror. He ended his decade-long rule and resigned as president in August 2008 amid threats of impeachment.

Since his departure, he's given several speeches at think tanks and universities around the world.
 

 

The Fresno Bee:
Musharraf: Multifaceted approach against Taliban

The Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ' moo-SHAH'-ruhv) says al-Qaida needs to be eliminated from the country by force, but dealing with the Taliban requires a military, political and socio-economic approach.

Musharraf spoke Friday night at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He says the Taliban is not a monolith, but rather a spread out organization with no single commander who could be removed for the command structure to be destroyed.

Musharraf is a stalwart supporter of the U.S. in the war on terror. He ended his decade-long rule and resigned as president in August 2008 amid threats of impeachment.

Since his departure, he's given several speeches at think tanks and universities around the world. 

 

NEWKERALA.COM:
Multifaceted strategy must to deal with Taliban : Musharraf

Islamabad: Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said a multifaceted strategy is needed to deal with the Taliban effectively.

Musharraf, who is on a lecture tour of the US currently, said that while the Al-Qaeda should be eliminated from Pakistan by force, dealing with the Taliban would require a military, political and socio-economic approach.

Addressing students and delegates at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Musharraf underlined the fact that the Taliban was a widespread organization with no central command.

“The Taliban is not a monolith, but rather a spread out organization with no single commander who could be removed for the command structure to be destroyed,” The Nation quoted Musharraf, as saying.

 

Express India:
Taliban needs to be eliminated by force: Musharraf

ExpressIndia.com

Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says al-Qaida needs to be eliminated from the country by force, but dealing with the Taliban requires a military, political and socio-economic approach.

Musharraf spoke yesterday night at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He says the Taliban is not a monolith, but rather a spread-out organization with no single commander who could be removed for the command structure to be destroyed.

Musharraf is a stalwart supporter of the US in the war on terror. He ended his decade-long rule and resigned as president in August 2008 amid threats of impeachment.

Since his departure, he's given several speeches at think tanks and universities around the world.


Charlene Richards
KELO-TV
crichards@keloland.com

Jeff Martin
Argus Leader
Phone: 605.331.2373
jemartin@argusleader.com