Pakistan

Beginning of the end of Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf

Image via Wikipedia

Pakistan’s political parties are getting ready to impeach President Musharraf. They will be bringing out the motion to impeach soon (probably by Aug 11). This move could further complicate the already complicated situation in Pakistan!

For Impeachment to succeed, 2/3rds of the combined majority of the lower and upper houses of Parliament need to vote in favor. Musharraf is obviously undeterred and is gearing up for a fight.

If Musharraf is indeed impeached then it will be a first when the tables were turned on an Army General by politicians! Pakistani Army folks meanwhile are secretly whispering into his ears to simply relinquish and avoid the ignominy of impeachment.

Needless to say, Musharraf has had an interesting stint at the nation’s helm. Some of his actions and “accomplishments” – at least from Pakistan’s perspective:

1. He orchestrated Kargil and nearly succeeded. He totally misread the Indian response and that Indian airforce could be so lethal in the last stages. And finally the diplomatic aggression from India succeeded in bringing his leader to Washington to negotiate without any quid-pro-quo.

2. Changed history in world’s eyes after 9-11. He showed the world that he was ready to “give up” his and his government’s support for Taliban and Islamcists – which had been used for what Pakistani Army had hitherto called “Strategic Depth” against India. In the ultimate analysis, it is now clear to the US (as it was to India at the onset itself) that his alignment away from Taliban, Al Qaeda and the like was only on paper. Nobody was really caught and the border areas complexity remained a favorite excuse (although Khalid Mohammad, the touted 2nd in command for Al Qaeda was caught in Rawalpindi in a hotel in full camera glare – quite a distance from the famous caves of Pak-Afghan border).

3. Got the maximum bounty for every “terrorist” he produced for the US. He must have single-handedly increased the bounty on terrorists head by producing one at every juncture of Pak-US relations (as deterioration would set in and questions come pouring in, a new one was produced). At last count, some 4 No. 2’s of Al Qaeda had been produced!! And in return he got money in Billions! The average per capita GDP was not affected, so the conjecture is that all those billions made it to the terrorist camps/supplies and the Swiss bank accounts of most Army personnel. It certainly did not go into creating better schools (madrasas yes), or better and more hospitals, or better institutes for scientific research!

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4. Finally, put to rest the discussion of bad treatment of Mohajirs in Pakistan. He is a Mohajir – folks who have not done well in Pakistan. Some even loathe such folks over there. Mohajirs are people who migrated from India (well, who didnt? :)) – but basically non-Punjabis (or Urdu speaking people although Urdu is the National language). He made it to the top posts in the country including the coveted President of the country. But now, he may be the first President to be impeached. So, has he proved the Mohajir-bashing wrong? Maybe.. then maybe not.

5. He is a die-hard Pakistani patriot. As an Indian, whose family member was in Kargil and who hated what happened to Lt. Saurabh Kalia [Wikipedia . Rediff tribute] and his team (that’s the lowest any human and any Army specifically can fall to!), I have to still grudgingly admit that Musharraf has only and only made Pakistan’s National interest his obsession. He is obsessed about Pakistan, even if it hurts him. He is prone to fantasies which Kargil amply showed, but his love for his country is, probably, unparalleled in that land amongst the political class. You cannot say that about many there or in India either!

Treatment of Late Lt. Saurabh Kalia

The enemy indulged in the most heinous act of burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing ear-drums with hot rods, removing eyes, chopping off various limbs and organs of these soldiers besides inflicting all sorts of physical and mental tortures before shooting them down. Lt. Saurabh Kalia’s skull was fractured and most of the bones and teeth broken. The genetalia, ears and tongues had been cut off. He had a bullet injury in the temple indicating that he was finally shot dead.

Here is a chronology of his journey over the years. If something has been missed please point it out in the comments.

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1999

October 12: Musharraf overthrows prime minister Nawaz Sharif after Sharif sacks him as army chief.

2000

May 13: Supreme Court validates coup.

December: Sharif is freed from prison on hijacking and corruption charges, exiled to Saudi Arabia and banned from returning to Pakistan for 10 years.

2001

June 20: Musharraf declares himself president after the incumbent, Mohammad Rafiq Tarar, resigns.

September 11: Musharraf drops support for Taliban and allies Pakistan with Washington after 9/11 attacks.

2002

April 30: Musharraf wins controversial national referendum on his rule.

October 10: Pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League-Q wins general elections.

November 16: Musharraf sworn in for a fresh five-year term.

2003

December: Musharraf escapes two assassination attempts, one by Islamist military officers and the other by Al-Qaeda.

2004

January 1: Musharraf wins parliamentary vote of confidence affirming his unelected rule until 2007.

February: Musharraf pardons nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan for leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

December 30: Musharraf reneges on promise to quit as army chief.

2007

March 9: Musharraf sacks chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, sparking protests. Chaudhry reinstated by Supreme Court in July.

July 10: Pakistani troops storm the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad, killing scores.

October 6: Parliament elects Musharraf to another five-year term as president in a vote boycotted by the opposition.

October 18: Benazir Bhutto returns from exile.

November 3: Musharraf imposes state of emergency, sacks chief justice, suspends constitution.

November 25: Sharif returns from exile.

November 28: Musharraf steps down as army chief and hands control of military to General Ashfaq Kayani

December 15: Musharraf lifts state of emergency.

December 27: Bhutto assassinated at election rally.

2008

February 18: Parties of Bhutto and Sharif trounce Musharraf’s allies in general elections.

March 24: Parliament elects Bhutto aide Yousuf Raza Gilani as prime minister.

August 7: Coalition says Musharraf to face impeachment.

(Chronology Source: Hindustan Times)

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Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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