Of all the institutions of state, the military is the most powerful in Pakistan. Regrettably, it has interfered in politics since the very beginning even though it played no part in the creation of Pakistan. We examine its disastrous role in civil affairs.
A meeting in Toronto on November 5, 2016, commemorated the July 8 tragic killing of young resistance leader, Burhan Wani. He was 22 when shot and killed by Indian occupation forces in a remote village. Two of his colleagues were also killed in the late night raid.3
“We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of ‘not doing enough’ in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan.”
If there is any truth in the saying that people vote against, rather than for, someone or something, then the results of the general elections in Pakistan on February 18 are a stinging rebuke to General Pervez Musharraf and the party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e Azam faction, PML-Q), that he created as a civilian façade for his brutal rule.
According to official pronouncements from Islamabad, Pakistan has never had it so good economically under the present dispensation. Officials point to the booming real estate and stock markets as well as rising sale of commodities such as cars, particularly the number of Mercedes Benzes on the road, to support their case.
All is not well in the "land of the pure": the "stans"—Baluchistan and Waziristan (both North and South)—are on fire; the dams' controversy has subsided somewhat, but has been replacedby the fury surrounding Europe's cartoons. The anger of the protests is also fuelled by the exorbitant prices of essential commodities, and Pakistan's opposition parties, sensing blood, are going for the jugular.
That Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, shook hands with a war criminal like Ariel Sharon of Israel—better known as the Butcher of Beirut—was bad enough; it was even worse that he chose to do so on the twenty-third anniversary of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres (September 14-16).
Shockwaves from the bomb blasts in London's underground system on July 7 were felt thousands of miles away in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, as well. No sooner was it discovered that three of the four bombers were of Pakistani origin, than all the accusing fingers were pointing at Pakistan.
General Pervez Musharraf's insistence on calling his surrender to India a "peace process" has left not only the people of Kashmir but also some of his closest advisors completely bewildered. His U-turn on Afghanistan, and his abandonment of Pakistan's principled stand on Kashmir, as well as the nuclear programme to appease the US, have left Pakistandangerously exposed.
Despite his rhetorical claim that he is “not scared of anyone”, general Pervez Musharraf is a worried man. The “not scared” boast flies in the face of the facts: he is in effect a prisoner in the presidential compound. Meetings and conferences are organized inside the compound so that he does not have to go out, for fear of being assassinated.
To gauge the true depth of moral and intellectual decline of the ruling elites in the Ummah, one has only to see their reactions to the plight of the Muslims in Iraq and Palestine under their occupiers. With the exception of the Rahbar of Islamic Iran, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei, not one Muslim ruler has uttered a word against the brutalities being inflicted on these hapless peoples, much less done anything to help them.
General Pervez Musharraf’s call for the recognition of zionist Israel, made during his visit to the US last month, hit the people of Pakistan like a bombshell. During a television interview on June 29, he called for an open debate in the media.
There have been two inter-related constants in Pakistan’s foreign policy: appeasement of the US, and warding off predatory India. The latter has been the bane of Pakistani policy-makers since the country came into existence in 1947; the core issue that has soured relations with India is the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.
General Pervez Musharraf is not the first Pakistani ruler to believe that he has a divine right, not only to rule, but also to rearrange the political system because he alone knows what is best for the country.
The war in Afghanistan had spilled over into Pakistan long before the car/bus bomb explosion in Karachi on May 8 that killed 16 people, 11 of them French technicians working on Pakistan’s submarine project.
Pakistan goes to the polls on April 30 (after Crescent press time) in a Zia-ul-Haq style referendum designed to legitimate general Perwez Musharraf’s continuing as ‘president’ for another five years.
General Pervez Musharraf must feel that he has shot himself in the foot. His decision to join America’s war on Afghanistan and ditch the Taliban, because of George W. Bush’s infamous threat...
Perhaps for the first time in history, a Pakistani ruler has stood his ground against India on an issue that is vital to his country’s survival. Previous Pakistani rulers often camouflaged their sell-out to India by citing external pressures or difficult circumstances.
Commentators in Pakistan as well as abroad expressed surprise when general Pervez Musharraf assumed the title of president on June 20. It is a step in the opposite direction “to the restoration of democracy”, lamented a US state department spokesman after hearing the news.