ISLAMABAD, April 20: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said referendum is not a presidential election “but an issue about how to get rid of the pre-99 era of sham democracy.”

“I have said many times it is not a presidential election, so, why link it with what is going to happen in October election and in the assemblies,” he was quoted as saying by Indus Vision television while telecasting excerpts of the interview to be shown on the channel on Monday at 9.40pm.

The president said those who are writing anything against the referendum are not understanding the depth of the issue.

“The depth of the issue is how to get rid of the pre-99 era. We have 12 years of so-called democracy which I call sham democracy,” he added.

The president reminded that he has said time and again that the prime minister must govern Pakistan with all the authority.

“Instead, I have gone a step further. I said I as a president, if at all the people want me there, would like to reinforce the prime minister,” he said, adding, “I am not power hungry.”

President Musharraf said he was not against any political party. The president said: “We want democracy to function in Pakistan. Now, in order to make it function, we need to analyse why it did not function previously.”—APP

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