Tag Archives: Pervez Musharraf

What is the Future of Gen Pervez Musharaf in Pakistan

August 4, 2013

What Can Happen to Musharraf!

By Saeed Qureshi

16706-mush-1364625706-852-640x480“Musharraf was lucky because instead of being removed as Army head, arrested or even blown off in the air, he became, in matter of hours, the chief executive of Pakistan or in simple word a powerful sovereign. This was mind boggling phenomenon on October 9 1999 when Nawaz Sharif and Musharraf’s fortunes were diametrically swapped.

He is goofy and imprudent because despite all prior warnings and dire indications he decided to return to Pakistan. Now confined to his palatial mansion in Pakistan, Musharraf faces three mammoth criminal cases. Over his head are dangling the trials under clause 6 of the constitution for treason and the involvement in assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti, the Baloch renegade leader.

He was bewitched and misled by half a million face book entries deluding him to return to Pakistan as the redeemer of a chaotic Pakistan. Thus he out of sheer miscalculation got himself trapped in a stranglehold from which he cannot be liberated.

As if adding to his miseries, the government in power is inveterately hostile to him and for good reasons. It is a situation that reflects quid-pro-quo or a kind of unforeseen nemesis. The plight of beleaguered former Pakistan’s president is blatantly reversed as the tormentor of the past is a condemned and hapless captive and the victim of the past is now in full power regalia as the prime minister of Pakistan.

 Such are the tricky pitfalls and thorny paths in politics more specifically manifest in third world unstable societies. The MQM, a political surrogate for Musharraf has climbed down the political ladder and its influence is considerably dwindled as a result of the general elections. The chief of MQM Altaf Hussain himself is locked in a maze of criminal cases that could finally land him in jail if proven.

So it is a kind of double jeopardy for General and erstwhile president in that he faces a hostile government and there is no group and party to stand beside him. These are indeed bad omens for him. He perhaps thought that the PPP would win the elections and he would be immune from any judicial or political backlash. But as ill luck would have it, a party won whose chief whatsoever, cannot have any soft corner for him.

There was a glorious past of Pervez Musharraf and there is a complete bleak future staring right in his face. The process of prosecution is going to be excruciating and protracted and at the end who knows what comes out. But to hope and predict that he can walk out of judicial rigmarole unscathed would be to watch the sun rising from the west.

Musharraf took some bizarre decisions like declaring the emergency rule on November 3, 2007, suspending the constitution, firing the Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, arresting the judges and confining them to their houses, deployment of troops on state run Television and radio stations. Yet he was still a lot better than other similar military rulers and civilian dictators. He did some good deeds also one of which was to give a modicum of freedom to the media and press. The economy looked better during his tenure.

On one hand he was hard pressed and caught up between the radical Islamic militants and the overbearing dictation of the United States for Pakistan’s support against the former. Practically and logically he had no choice or guts to defy the United States that was hell-bent against the militants especially al-Qaida in the aftermath of 9/11 catastrophe. He cannot be squarely blamed for towing the bandwagon of United States and her allies with regard to the so called war on terror. Not even a most liberal or conservative government in Pakistan could have refused the American stern call for the support.

The role of a submissive ally for the United States was not exclusive to Musharraf alone. It was initiated by a former Military dictator Gen. Ziaul Haq when in December 1979; America started a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan through the Islamic warriors. That proved to be the first lethal step towards an un-mitigating disaster in the region.

It led to the continual involvement of Pakistan in American war in Afghanistan, later spilling over to the territories of Pakistan during the Taliban era. While American forces would leave war-torn Afghanistan next year, Pakistan will continue to suffer as the victim of the resurgent Islamic radicals, particularly Taliban and Al-Qaida.

Musharraf being the proponent and initiator of enlightened moderation wanted Pakistan to not turn into a haven for the radical Islamic forces. But that mission and thrust could have been most repugnant to the radicals who saw in Pakistan as a ripe land for enforcing a rigid and fundamentalist version of Islam.

The enforcement of the Islamic Sharia started in Islamabad when Burqa-clad women started beating and dragging in the streets and markets, the women without veils. The students from the religious school affiliated with Lal Masjid, forced the shopkeepers to throw away music and movies’ filled videos and other electronic appliances.

Now Pakistan is not a Mauritania, Somalia, Mali or Yemen that the state would submit before the reactionary elements, bent upon imposing upon the people, their decadent and mutually controversial creeds and beliefs. The state had to retaliate to stop that dangerous onslaught that in due course, could have engulfed Pakistan.

That is what Musharraf did and I believe he was doing it for the national cohesion and saving Pakistan from falling into the hands of hardcore fanatics, who could trigger a sectarian mayhem in Pakistan. He should rather be applauded rather than condemned or maligned.

Before opting to come back to Pakistan, Musharraf might have believed that people would pour out all over the country to greet and support him. He should have pondered that if it could not be done for a highly populist leader Bhutto, how it could happen for a non-political minion, who by sheer accident, rose to power.

 Perhaps he became delusional in assessing his popularity and the hell he was going to fall in. He might have concluded that the army would not allow his trial. But he failed to comprehend that Army itself was under enormous pressure in the changing pro-democratic times to come to his rescue.

Moreover he belonged to a middle or lower middle class family and was not blue eyed member of an elite or aristocratic family who could garner support for his rescue behind the doors.

As for perceived support and backing from MQM, PMLQ and his own faction APML, these were non-entities on national political spectrum.

The PMLQ and MQM received a severe thrashing and colossal setback in the recent elections turning them into political dwarfs. Even otherwise the strident judicial activism would not have allowed or entertained any attempt at influencing the judicial decisions that would be forthcoming sooner or later.

So these were the probable murky scenarios that must have crossed the mind of Pervez Musharraf before embarking upon a return odyssey to Pakistan for retaking the power and grafting his watershed vision of making Pakistan an enlightened, modern secular and democratic state. Per say and supposedly, if by a miracle, he would have come into power and formed the government, would his religious adversaries allow him to proceed unchallenged and uninhibited?

The liberal lobby in Pakistan that could lend him support is also aloof in his affliction because of his permitting drone attacks as well as assuming the role of a bounty hunter. He cannot be absolved of the stigma of taking bounty money in return for catching the suspicious Pakistanis branded as terrorists and handing them over to the United States.

So Musharraf, as the metaphor goes is “in thick soup”. And one may shudder to speculate that in order to prevent future military chauvinism, the present government as prosecutor and the judiciary as upholder of justice may make him a dreadful example by sending him to gallows or long prison term.”

The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat

For Comments qureshisaeed50@hotmail.com

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How Pakistan Army has been Abused by Politicians

THE USE AND ABUSE OF ARMY IN PAKISTAN
By Akhtar Malik  –  5 Aug 2013
“If you want to destroy a nation, just deprive them of two assets- their ideology and their armed forces”. Akhtar Malik

Latest-Pakistan-army-SSG-commando-wallpaper-and-pictureIdeology and the armed forces are vital for the survival of any nation. Ideology inspires will to survive and the armed forces thwart any external (and at times internal) aggression against the integrity of nation. Both these facets complement each other and one cannot survive without the other.

Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947 our enemies had been curiously working on the agenda to finish Pakistan. India had never accepted the partitioning of subcontinent and had always worked to dismember Pakistan. Nehru is on the record to have said that newly created state Pakistan will not survive for many years and will soon revert back to its ‘mother land’. The Indian-sponsored movements like Bengali nationalism, Sindhu-desh, Pakhtunistan and Azad Baluchistan were all meant to achieve the same aim.

Apart from attacks on the ideology of Pakistan there have been many lethal assaults on the armed forces of Pakistan, both from inside and outside the country. The analysts around the world had believed that the center of gravity of Pakistan lies in its armed forces, and no substantial gains against Pakistan can be acquired without damaging this prestigious institution of the country.

ZA BHUTTO CAMPAIGN TO HUMILIATE ARMY

The first ever well planned attack to undermine the armed forces of Pakistan was launched not by any foreigner but by one of our own political leaders- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Being a young minister in the cabinet of President Ayub Khan he knew that he cannot achieve his aim of ruling Pakistan without decimating the Army. In 1964 Bhutto was instrumental in creating situation that led to India- Pakistan war of 1965. Bhutto was sure that Pakistan Army will not be able to endure a war with an enemy which was six times bigger and stronger. However Bhutto was baffled when Pakistan Army successfully beat back Indian attack on international border and emerged as the most respectable institution in the country. India was compelled to sign the Tashkent Declaration with Pakistan. The legendary tales of heroic deeds of armed forces have become the part of our folk songs and literature.

Duly frustrated by the failure of his scheme Bhutto quit the government, formed Pakistan People’s Party and launched a movement against President Ayub Khan. He told the nation that the President had sold the interests of Pakistan to India in Tashkent Declaration and that he will soon reveal the secret behind this deal- a promise which he never fulfilled.

General elections of 1970 gave another opportunity to ZA Bhutto to materialize his dream. The sweeping victory of Sh. Mujeeb ul Rehman from East Pakistan thwarted the ambitions of Bhutto to rule the country. He therefore acted in a very discordant manner by not accepting the mandate of Bengalis and prompted President Gen Yahya Khan to initiate military action against the ‘traitor’ Sh. Mujeeb and his party. The logical result of such action was the Indian military intervention and subsequent dismemberment of East Pakistan on 16 December 1971 and paved the way for Bhutto to rule the remaining part of the country. Pakistan Army was made to surrender in East Pakistan due to none of its fault, and the country was humiliated. The individual gallantry actions of our officers and soldiers who were made to fight a war under worst ever conditions will be written in golden words.

But Bhutto was as satisfied as ever. His body language and behavior would never show any resentment or dismay which a leader should display whose half of the country was lost. ZA Bhutto also took some other initiatives to molest the Army. He violated all the rules of merit and made Gen Ziaul Haq as Army Chief by superseding six general who were senior to him. Bhutto also opened a political cell in Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) thus paving the way for military interference in civilian politics- a practice that cost the nation heavily in times to come.

Bhutto committed rigging in elections 1977 in order to secure his rule. A mass agitation started against him. Bhutto refused to undo his mistakes and behaved in an arrogant manner. There is no doubt that Martial Law of Gen Ziaul Haq was an outcome of Bhutto’s apathy, lack of sensitivity fro people’s feeling and ineptness of his part to resolve crisis at national level. The result was that Pakistani nation had to bear with military rule for 11 years.

MISUSE OF ARMY DURING 1988-99

The period from 1988 to 1999 saw a musical chair play between Ms. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. As and when one party would assume power the opposition would start a campaign to overthrow the government through conspiracies. Both of them used the Army to destabilize the sitting government. A popular stance of the opposition would be to ask Chief of the Army Staff to interfere and play his role as the country was at the brink of destruction. The politicians in opposition would conduct secret meetings with COAS and try to convince him to topple the government. All the four civilian governments were terminated either by the President or by direct intervention of Army. This was a severe blow to democracy due to ineptness of the politicians but at the end whole blame was placed on Army who allegedly did not allow democracy to prosper.

During his 2nd tenure in late 1990’s Nawaz Sharif also committed the same mistake. He made Gen Pervez Musharaf as Army Chief by superseding many senior and more capable generals and thus set the stage for his own downfall. The ‘Kargil Operation’ was the turning point in his relations with Gen Pervez Musharaf and the Army. I am not a supporter of Kargil operation and feel that it was an unnecessary adventure but I am also against any apologetic attitude of Pakistanis once this even had taken place.

THE KARGIL OPERATION AND ARMY BASHING

Our analysts say that Kargil was an uncalled for and unjustified intrusion in India. I ask how many ‘uncalled for’ and ‘unjustified’ intrusions have India launched against Pakistan in the past? Was Indian intrusion in East Pakistan in 1971 justified? Was unilateral occupation of Siachen Glacier by India in 1984 justified? So once Pakistan Army had achieved a tactical advantage in Kargil over its arch enemy, it should be seen in the backdrop of the peculiar relations between the two countries since 1947.

While bashing Pakistan Army on Kargil issue our intellectuals forget to mention factors which led to this event. No one goes into the depth of reasons which forced the whole episode. No one talks of the Indian intentions and placing of Indian 70 Bde in Mashkoh Valley contrary to its usual deployment in Srinagar Valley during winters and our preemptive move. No one highlights the absence of move of our strategic forces which encouraged the Indians to move all assets up and achieve the 15:1 parity. The role of Indian Artillery and Indian Air Force is totally over bloated. It can be gauged from the facts that a total of only 12 individuals sustained injuries on gun positions on the entire front of 400 Km and the IAF could knock out only 16 individuals and some stores through over 1500 sorties. One can have long sessions on this issue, I’ll leave it at that. My heart goes out to all those brave men and officers who roughed it out in those trying conditions. It’s easy to criticize and in hindsight everyone becomes a thinker. We never lost although suffered few casualties in withdrawal. Indians have accepted their casualties as 587 in this Conflict and very heavy losses of equipment and ammo. The Indians were short of 155 mm ammunition and they purchased from South Africa.

As I remember, Kargil area was occupied by India in 1971. This was no violation from Pakistan but a reply at a suitable time. Even if we are convinced that Kargil operation was a mistake this mistake should have been owned by Pakistan and justified at political and diplomatic level. We should have told the world community in 1998 that this ‘violation’ is similar to that committed by India in Siachen. And if India wants us to vacate Kargil they should also vacate Siachen simultaneously. That was not a difficult option. Recall the event when Indian Prime Minister Rajev Gandhi during visit to Pakistan in 1990’s committed with Ms. Benazir Bhutto that India will withdraw from Siachen. But when Rajev went back he telephoned Benazir and regretted his commitment on the plea that his Army Chief was not agreeing to withdraw from Siachen. When Indian PM could give that much weight to his Army Chief why couldn’t our PM? It was a total political and diplomatic failure on the part of our civilian government of that time who could not handle the situation with courage and dexterity.

On assuming power in 1999 Gen Pervez Musharaf visited India. A brief interview was conducted by a female host of ND TV of India with Musharraf where she asked him, ”Do you have any regrets about Kargil, now that you are such a welcome visitor in India?” Gen Musharraf smilingly gave her a very apt reply, ”Do you expect me to ever say that ‘Yes, I regret it’ ? If somebody was to ask Indian Prime Minister ‘Do you regret having divided Pakistan and made Bangla Desh?’, would he say ‘yes, we are very sorry’? How would you expect that I would regret?” Leaving aside all criticism of his policies I like the way Gen Musharaf rebuts such questions of our arch enemy.

THE MUSHARAF RULE AND DEFAMATION OF ARMY

The era of Musharaf rule saw the worst kind of criticism being unleashed against Pak Army and ISI, mostly due to wrong policies of the ruler. During this period the war on terror was brought on our soil which has so far resulted in over 40,000 Pakistanis losing their lives, including 5000 troops. The country suffered heavy financial loss and was set decades beyond in terms of economic development. The war and the loss still go on unabated. Pakistan Army became unsafe on its own soil. Though the fateful events of 9/11 had placed Pervez Musharaf at a sheer disadvantage but we feel that he could still have saved the country from the colossal loss with little better diplomacy and strategy.

DEMOCRATIC ERA AND ARMY BASHING

When Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power, he also became a so-called ‘anti establishment’ leader. During his exile to Saudi Arabia and as an opposition leader after the Elections 2008, Nawaz Sharif always remained at dagger drawn with the Army. He could not distinguish between the armed forces as a state institution and an over ambitious Army Chief, who topples the civilian government and enforces martial law. He equated both of them in one bracket.

After Elections 2008 the dignity and respect of the Army was rescued to certain extent by Gen Kiyani as Army Chief when he disengaged the institution from politics. Though the Army virtually got itself detached from civil affairs but the criticisam against it continued with full force.

The PPP government under Zardari was no exception to this Army-bashing. Though Mr. Zardari apparently maintained good working relationship with Army, mostly with an aim to prolong his stay in power, he was no less an evil as far as damaging this institution is concerned. Whenever he felt that his grip was becoming loose on state affairs due to his inept governance, he would usually divert the attention of the people by saying that ‘There is a conspiracy of pen (judiciary) and bayonet (Army) cooking up against his government”. The notorious Memo-gate Scandal and behavior of Zardari after Abbottabad Operation of the US against Osama bin Laden, are clear indicators as to how the highest functionaries of the state, including the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces have been conspiring to decimate the defensive strength and capability of Pakistan.

The writer can be reached at akhterhayatmalik@yahoo.com

Who All Have Abrogated the Constitution in Pakistan

By Akhtar Malik

24 June, 2013

IS PERVEZ MUSHARAF THE ONLY ONE WHO ABROGATED THE CONSTITUTION?

16706-mush-1364625706-852-640x480Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef has announced in National Assembly on 24 June 2013 that Federal Government has decided to prosecute Gen Pervez Musharaf under Article 6 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Gen Pervez Musharaf, as the Army Chief, had abrogated the constitution twice; first in 1999 by toppling an elected government of NS and second in 2007 by imposing emergency plus and sending the judges of the superior courts into illegal custody. Obviously he has committed a grave offense that merits proper punishment under the law of land. He had voluntarily surrendered himself before the law in March this year to face all the pending cases against him.

But the question arises; is Musharaf the only one who has abrogated the constitution? Is no one else in Pakistan guilty of the same heinous crime? Let us have a quick analysis of the situation.

I am neither a supporter of Pervez Musharaf nor I condone this crime of high treason. I believe that Pervez Musharaf is responsible for majority of the ills and problems through which this country is passing today. But what about a large number of other people who are guilty of the same crime of flouting the constitution and still are enjoying immunity on one pretext or the other. Let us see how the constitution of Pakistan has been violated and desecrated time and again.

Article 11 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

(1) Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form.

(2) All forms of forced labor and traffic in human beings are prohibited.

(3) No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Article 25 (1) of the Constitution says:

‘All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law’.

Article 32 of the Constitution says:

‘The State shall encourage local Government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and in such institutions special representation will be given to peasants, workers and women’.

Article 38 of the Constitution reads:

‘The State shall-

(a) secure the well-being of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, by raising their standard of living, by preventing the concentration of wealth and means of
production and distribution in the hands of a few to the detriment of general interest and by ensuring equitable adjustment of rights between employers and employees, and
landlords and tenants;

(b) provide for all citizens, within the available resources of the country, facilities for work and adequate livelihood with reasonable rest and leisure;

(c) provide for all persons employed in the service of Pakistan or otherwise, social security by compulsory social insurance or other means;

(d) provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing , education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment;

(e) reduce disparity in the income and earnings of individuals, including persons in the various classes of the service of Pakistan; and

(f) eliminate riba as early as possible’.

Tell me which government, ruler, leader or political party, since inception of the constitution in 1973 has:
• Taken steps to stop concentration of wealth in few hands.
• Provided facilities for work and adequate livelihood to citizens.
• Provided basic necessities of life like food, shelter, education, medical etc to its those citizens who are unable to earn.
• Reduced disparity in the income and earnings of individuals (rather this disparity has increased over the period of time)
• Made even slightest effort to eliminate Riba (interest)
• Ensured an equal and just treatment to all its citizens under the law.
• Eliminated slavery and forced labor. Even today there are private jails of feudal lords and sardars in Sindh and Baluchistan.
• Encouraged local governments. The military dictators had encouraged it but the democratic governments have always avoided this constitutional responsibility.

All the successive governments and their functionaries since inception of constitution in 1973 have continuously been abrogating the constitution with impunity. They have played havoc with the life, property, honor, dignity and respect of the citizens. They have kept the nation illiterate and prone to diseases. Instead of eliminating disparity of incomes they have created islands of prosperity through corrupt practices and nepotism. With ‘Thana’ and ‘Patwari’ culture and a corrupt electorate system, they have plunged the nation in worst kind of slavery, whereby the MNAs / MPs are no less than a demi gods for their people. Aren’t these rulers and political parties guilty of abrogating the constitution?

And finally Article 218 (3) of the Constitution reads:

‘It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against’.

Think over it. Have the elections been conducted in accordance with the spirit of constitution? Haven’t the corrupt, the tax evaders, the loan defaulters, the liars, the holders of fake degrees been given safe passage to contest elections and to make their way to assemblies? Haven’t the fake votes, the votes surplus to the registered vote been cast, the results on polling stations been withheld / delayed unjustly, the presiding officers been intimidated on gun point. Haven’t the polling stations in Karachi and elsewhere been made as ‘No Go Areas’ even for the media? All this happened right under the nose of the caretaker governments, the Election Commission, the Judiciary and the law enforcing agencies. So, aren’t these institutions guilty of flouting the Constitution?

Coming back to the crime of Pervez Musharaf, let us have a comparison. Pervez Musharaf abrogated the constitution to the extent of suspending some of its provisions related to the functionality of the parliament and the judiciary, that too for a limited period of time. These provisions had little to do with the daily routine of a citizen. A citizen is always obsessed with his safety and livelihood and is hardly concerned with suspension or functionality of few provisions of the constitution. On the other hand the successive governments in Pakistan flouted the constitution and made the life of a citizen miserable and unbearable. A common poor citizen has become so disgusted that he chooses to commit suicide and sell his siblings in the market, just to make his both ends meet. Ask any person on the street and he will tell you who all have committed more serious crimes in relation to the Constitution.

I am neither a fan of Pervez Musharaf nor a supporter of his policies. But all those who have violated and abrogated the Constitution should be brought to book and punished accordingly. Singling out one person from a crowd of criminals seems to be against the norms of dispensing justice.

The Unlawful Behavior of Lawyers in the Case of General Pervez Musharaf

By Liaqat Toor
mush“A very ugly incident transpired inside the premises of Pakistan’s Superior Courts when a dirty bunch of lawyers attacked and beat with shoes, the officially deputed guards of the former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf. Most unfortunately however, the court did not take any notice of that attack, although when Ali Musa Gelani had been arrested by ANF from outside the court premises, in the notorious ephedrine case, the ‘honorable’ judges had jumped with shocking speed to claim that the sanctity of the Supreme Court had been violated and they ordered the ANF to produce the accused before them in less than one hour. And of course when that order was obeyed, the accused was granted a bail within minutes.
The most distressingly painful aspect of this episode of dishonor, is that the Commanding Officer of the two soldiers beaten by the lawyers, has so far done nothing to defend the dignity of his troops, nor has the DG Rangers moved, nor has the ISPR reacted to repeated and extremely insulting display of the ugly incident on Geo tv, nor any FIR against the lawyers has been registered in any police station ………… and nor have the ‘honorable’ judges jumped with their previous ‘on the record alacrity’ of coming to the rescue of ‘the oppressed’. The Interior Minister, Secretary Defense, COAS, Defense Minister and the Supreme Commander are all tragically mum on this despicable conduct of the lawyers. And most, most unfortunately, no political leader, prominent social figure or even pseudo intellectual has uttered one word in condemnation of the attackers. This indeed reflects the terrible degree of moral degeneration, that we as a nation have undergone over the years.
I think the DG Rangers should resign in protest if he can do nothing else and if the Interior Minister doesn’t budge, then GHQ should take up the case with the Supreme Commander for exemplary punishment to the lawyers involved and and also to the reticent Chief Justice of the the court where this crime has transpired. The trial of the lawyers must be completed within 72 hours and nothing short of that should be acceptable.
No compromise should be tolerated on this matter of common soldiers’ dignity. No, the honor of our soldiers is not for sale. It’s incumbent upon the Pakistani Nation to demonstrate that we are with the soldiers who defend us against every threat and are there to help us in every crisis, even to the peril of their lives. “

Understanding the Politics of Pervez Musharaf in Pakistan

Return of Musharraf

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Pervez MusharrafIf not you at least I find it perplexing to fathom out any reason for the return of Musharraf at this juncture of our political commotion. No sane person in his proper senses would return from the safe havens of Dubai and London to face three murder trials – Benazir, Lal Masjid and Akbar Bugti, a number of high treason petitions and violation of article 6 charges, a host of hostile political parties and civil society organizations, an army with a no nonsense and an indifferent attitude and on the top of it all with no political future. Agreed, he is not that brilliant but he is not that stupid also to return to a starving lion’s den waiting excitedly for his prey (lion in the literal sense and not the symbolic PML-N’s NS’s lion).
Does he have a hope in hell to win a seat or two for his APML party other than probably his own? Would he be just contented to be an MNA and listen to the speeches of the ones whom he once never considered his equals?  Is he made of the material that would let him play what to talk of the proverbial second fiddle the third, fourth or the more likely umpteenth fiddle?  If not, what the heck is he doing and at this time of the history in Pakistan?  I asked my more knowledgeable friends and some of their answers baffled me further. Gen Hamid Gul said that Musharraf was a fool and one could expect anything from him. To reinforce his assessment he added, “Had he not been one he would not have ventured Kargil”. Well … fool he might be when others’ skin is involved but I don’t think he is that fool to put his own neck under the guillotine that willingly! 
Another confidante of Musharraf who had served under him for long – name withheld on request – opined that having been a near sovereign for nearly 10 years he had become “power drunk” and you know Sir, power is an addiction that one can’t get rid of easily. Power? I thought , with two or three seats? Does Musharraf think he could manage or maneuver a coalition of any sorts? NO, he certainly has some brains somewhere though with plenty of grass around!!  Well … well … why the hell has he come was the question which kept coming back to my mind again and again till it suddenly struck that could be he is ‘sent’!  But again, sent? What use is anyone without power?  Wait a minute … power? How does one get it? Through elections, stupid.  Oh, what if elections are not held?  For Pete’s sake, WHAT? elections not held?  Are you in your senses? Yes, but look at the chain of the recent events. And it was here that a vista of different scenarios started unfolding themselves;  whirl wind Qadri comes out of nowhere …  articles 62, 63, 215 & 218 hereto unknown become a common language …. an independent ECP supported by the SCP …. Unexpected Care Takers at the national and provincial levels …. Reopening of cases of NRO, Fake Degrees, Asghar Khan petition, funding of politicians -media persons, bank defaulters etc, all aimed at disqualifying the bulk of the stalwarts of all political parties.  But, wait, if 62/63 are implemented strictly would the huge number of the disqualified bigwigs take it down lying?   I don’t think so. Then what? Of course agitations, strikes, forcefully shutter downs, laying off of public and private transport – even stoning and burning of vehicles and bloody clashes. MQM has already denounced lack of trust in the ECP. So has PML-N said though mildly. Others affected parties may follow suit. Punjab caretaker CM has said in a press conference that he can’t guarantee full implementation of 62/63!!
What does it all boil down to? Chaos and confusion. Near anarchy and the law and order situation at the time of the polls. The man in the street is already crying hoarse that Musharraf’s period was thousand times better than that of these democratically elected ones!!  So, why hold elections?! Would you, therefore, be surprised if Musharraf is ‘given’ again to the nation to assuage its miseries! Now don’t ask me how and who could ‘give’ Musharraf to us.  Who gave us Sethi, who was incidentally in London the day he was shortlisted and that too without his consent! So did he say in his press conference. Don’t they have to pull out of Afghanistan next year with almost 600 billion dollars of war machinery and equipment? Would they not need an assured safe passage for that ? Do you think Imran will provide them with that?”
   
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Pakistan
Tel: (051) 5158033
E.mail:
jafri@rifiela.com