Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf said in a national address that Pakistan was on the verge of destabilization and he could not allow his country to commit suicide.
Musharraf urged people to understand the criticality of situation inside and outside Pakistan. "Inaction at this moment means suicide and we could not allow Pakistan to commit suicide", Musharraf said.
Musharraf pointed out that Pakistan underwent three phases of transition to democracy with the first one from 1999 to 2002 and the second one from 2002 to 2007.
Pakistan will complete its third phase of transition in just a few months, Musharraf said, adding that he had pledged to shed the uniform and become a civilian President if elected.
Pakistan is doing well in terms of democracy and improvement of civil rights and human rights, Musharraf said and stressed that western countries should not impose their standards of democracy and human rights on Pakistan because those standards were established through centuries.
Musharraf on Saturday declared a state of emergency in the country and issued a provisional constitutional order (PCO), citing the ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks, and the abuse of the judiciary in the country.
Under the PCO, the Constitution of Pakistan has been put in abeyance. But the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan will remain functional. The Prime Minister and his cabinet, Chief Ministers and provincial cabinets and the governors and all those in the service of Pakistan will also continue performing their duties.