The Oct. 1 editorial "Gen. Musharraf's Lies" was unfair.
Wide-ranging reforms have empowered women in Pakistan, which has the highest number of female representatives in local, provincial and national legislatures in Asia. At a regional conference on violence against women in Islamabad last month, President Musharraf affirmed his determination to penalize offenders vigorously. Progress has been made, including laws against "honor" killings and the creation of crisis centers for women.
The president and most Pakistanis believe that the country is on its way to becoming a modern, Islamic and democratic state, despite the difficult element of extremism. The Pakistani economy is growing at the rate of 8.4 percent annually. Pakistan has an elected democratic government and is working for peace with India. With the United States, it is fighting terrorism along its Afghan border.
To those who insist that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan, we issue this challenge: Tell us where he is, and we'll go get him right now. Our soldiers, who have sacrificed much, would welcome the chance to bring Osama bin Laden to the justice he deserves.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of Pakistan to the United Nations
What The Post called Pervez Musharraf's "lies" about rape and the mistreatment of women in Pakistan was Mr. Musharraf's unsophisticated attempt to distance himself from his own stupid remarks. Ideally, Mr. Musharraf would have owned up to his words and then apologized for them; as a Pakistan watcher, I believe that he is neither anti-woman nor pro-rape.
What The Post called Mr. Musharraf's lie about extremist Taliban elements and madrassas in Pakistan is a blowback of a mess left by the United States after the Afghan war in the '80s.
The mix of truth and lies that now comes out of Islamabad falls under a Pakistani strategy to safeguard its national interests in the global arena.
Yasmeen Hassan's Oct. 6 op-ed about the abuse of Pakistani women was timely and insightful. However, Gen. Pervez Musharraf should not be allowed to blame the weakness of his military government on a "certain mind-set" of the people.
Pakistanis elected a woman, Benazir Bhutto, as their leader in 1988 and again in 1993. By many accounts, Pakistanis would have elected another woman to be their leader as far back as 1965 if not for extralegal manipulation of the election. Fatima Jinnah would have been just the second elected female leader of any country.
Throughout history, female politicians, activists, educators and artists have been highly respected contributors to Pakistani society. The blame for society's regression does not lie in the mind-set of its people; it lies with the mind-set of its leaders.
Jersey City, N.J.