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The Grand Delusions of Mr. Musharraf

It is fascinating, and a bit embarrassing, to watch the daily drama that has now become a life for our erstwhile dictator, patriarch, general and commando leader. PMThat once his word was law and his will was carried through the extended power of his corps commanders (all heavily rewarded during the years of Musharraf’s unconstitutional regime) now seems like a mere murmur from another era, another age.

I remember the high days of his rule when he had sacked an elected leader and then consolidated his power to “save” Pakistan. That several generals have taken it upon themselves to “save” Pakistan from itself is no secret: that all of them had been shamelessly supported by United States, the so-called purveyor of democracy to the world is also no secret.

But this new shift in Pakistan, this new public accounting for one’s actions in a court of law is something new and refreshing. Yes, maybe there is some personal vendetta involved but at least it is a public and juridical vendetta and all the courts want is for Mr. Musharraf to finally learn that just like anyone else in his country, he too is subject to law and hence must account for his  actions. That the generals, some of whom Musharraf had himself promoted, have stood by and watched is also not new: we used to say that in the army the friendships last only until you leave through the gate. This is a prime example of that kind of loyalty: the very people that Mushrraf promoted and appeased are now the one’s standing by witnessing his daily humiliations.

Yes, he has a handful of followers but he is not a popular leader and has no public following and no amount of willing or asserting so by our great general would convince us otherwise.

On more thing that he also needs to account for is the Kargil debacle. As the chief of army staff, he was the  one who launched this ill-planned offensive that caused the deaths of so many of our soldiers. What made things even worse was the fact that these soldiers were abandoned by their own leader after the illegal offensive became public.

So, bring him to justice and let him answer for his actions!


By M R

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Raja tweets @masoodraja

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