October 10, 2010

What are you doing man?

Once a general, always a general. (Photo: Dawn.com)
So Pervez Musharraf finally cracks under the pressure of realizing that his uniform isn’t there to save him anymore. I didn’t know the man was so fragile, or emotional; frankly, I didn’t even know he was this stupid. I admired him for his foresight in keeping Pakistan afloat, but of late, he’s making me realize that banking on him to be the promised Messiah for Pakistan just won’t cut it.

The problem is that when Pakistani ex-heads of states retire, or mostly go into self imposed exile to London (the second capital of Pakistan), they are expected to keep their mouths shut over the sensitive issues that pertain to a country’s national and sovereign interests. For instance, telling Der Spiegel that the Pakistan military backed the insurgent groups in Kashmir was a disaster. Not only that, it also handed India and its media golden ammo on a silver platter to start a vilification campaign against the Pakistani state. Over here, I must say that I’m very impressed with Israel’s policy of “no confirmation – no denial” which keeps the world on its toes despite the fact that everybody knows Israel has WMDs and human rights abuses of the highest order in its CV. Similarly, it would have been pertinent to keep the Kashmiri aspect of the Pakistan military under wraps even though it was a largely open secret.

But Pervez Musharraf just can’t stop maligning himself. Now he’s come up and stated on Indian TV (NDTV) that he should have stayed on in uniform for another 5 years. I beg his pardon, but seriously? This mentality just goes on to show that he is a highly incapable political figure, despite being a very good President. This is precisely the reason why all Pak army generals should retire and play golf in their spare time, and not dabble in business (politics) in which they were never trained.

This one statement has caused all the goodwill that I had accumulated for Musharraf to vaporize. While I have always maintained that he was a dictator and as such should be tried for treason, his antics of late appear to be growing out of control. No doubt he talks the talk; calling Nawaz Sharif a thick headed douche bag was no mean feat, but by stating that he should have continued as army chief he has proved that he believed, and still believes that his real power only remains embedded within the army. Consequently, all that hoopla of suggesting that the masses want him back becomes eyewash.

The former President has in fact gone so far as to suggest that the army should have a constitutionally defined role of overlooking the decisions being made in the Parliament and Senate. This is tantamount to suspending the Constitution of Pakistan and no entity, particularly the army, has a right to do that. The COAS is subservient to the Prime Minister of Pakistan; he is not a Monarch who has the right to call upon the President and hand him lists to throw people out of the governmental structure. The Pakistan army continues to reside on the belly of the Pakistan masses like a beast that refuses to stop sucking their blood (hard earned money given away as tax, over which they have no control).

The simple question to ask here is: What is Pervez Musharraf trying to achieve here? His political manifesto is as confused as Fauzia Wahab. He claimed to be an ‘enlightened moderate’ proclaiming loudly that Kemal Ataturk was his idol, but he ended up playing the religion card himself; by suggesting that his party would define its outlook within the parameters of the Sunnah and the Quran (which is a very noble thing to do), he has shown himself as having the same fallacy that the majority of our political parties have, namely the idea of following only one straight line instead of incorporating the best of everything. Why this bothers me particularly is because by using the religion card, Pervez Musharraf has unwittingly drowned out all the opposition that might have ended up as a debate within his own party because no one dares question a person who claims to be following the Quran and the Sunnah.

My admiration for Musharraf was based on his deliverance on the national and economic front. However, as I’ve learned over the past couple of days that was only possible because of his military roots and ties; because if his civilian demeanor is to be believed, I would rather he stays away from Pakistan. That is why the subtle hints that he’s throwing across to Kayani piss me off. This country deserves better than dictators, be they out in the open like Musharraf, or hiding behind their guises like Kayani.