Syed Ali Raza Abidi
Over the past 64 years Pakistan like any other newborn has had its ups and downs. The teens were spent under the rule of dictators, but as the country reached maturity, democracy was called in to take over the country’s affairs. But that did not last for long, as the dictators were not very much interested in letting the non-uniformed citizens govern in spite of elected representation. Then again during the 90’s power was offered by the Army to political parties, but to the one who would had promised to work under their ‘guidance’. PML-N and PPP took turn to practice their perceived operation of a democracy, but in reality, these political forces cannot be blamed totally as for most of the unpopular decisions the strings were pulled from elsewhere. This is regardless of the fact that both elite leaderships had continued politics of revenge and oppression of the smaller groups, and neither of them spared MQM from their wrath.
Unfortunately for them even in 2011 the MQM, PTI and APML still remains a threat to their power statuses.
In 1999 the dictators and the people have had enough of the democratic system, because it was becoming, hypocritical, misbalanced, and most of all divided on ethnic basis. Democracy after the golden jubilee did not get any stronger but used as a immunity cover by the selfish few who had the license to abuse power. This system also upset the military which, was not used to being told by its people and surely did not appreciate the increased civilian involvement with its internal, covert and external operations.
At 55 Pakistan was given the opportunity to take up a specially tailored military-cum-civilian setup, which formed of handpicked politicians out of the best members from the failed political parties. This ‘Militocracy’ arrangement in fact worked very well for the country, and unlike the previous governments which had added to the woes of the middle-class and the common man, this system actually performed and gained International recognition with fame for the country. With any benefit will come sacrifice, and especially when you are weakness comes control of the stronger.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf the only democracy promoting dictator started off very well, but once he was at his highest point of fame he had to be brought down, because the US felt he cannot be trusted due to his popularity and overall acceptance ratings by the countrymen and the rest of the world, which might hurt their war in Afghanistan if Pakistan increases its influence. Must note that these invasions were because of the same US secret service reports with which they went into Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction, and Afghanistan to hunt down Osama Bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. I still wonder why didn’t the US invade the countries of the nationals whom were responsible for flying the planes as destructive missiles?
At exactly 60 years of age, no one in Pakistan could have imagined that the future will become worse than the past, and whatever progress achieved by the country will destroyed within months. Musharraf made the following mistakes which I find difficult to comprehend as to why would the General not see it coming!
- Understandably, Gen Musharraf did not have much choice or any possible ways to ignore the US Military’s bullish statements “Either you are with us, or you are against us” and “We will bomb you back to the dark-ages”. I wait to see what the current rulers in Pakistan do, when the US puts its foot down, and finally says to the country “Either you give Raymond Davis to us, or forget about all and any cooperation, and we will evict him ourselves, after bombing you back to the dark-ages” This was a dire mistake Musharraf and the establishment made just at the beginning of taking on the country for pleasant reforms.
- Then Musharraf was either gullible or fell for the Maulvi’s and offered them the belt along the Afghanistan border to rule for 5 years. This was the time terrorism in reaction to the treasure hunt started by the US, which is not found to-date. MMA got to play its role in breeding terrorism, while the rest of the nation was busy with the “philosophy of enlightened moderation, progress, development, major investments, educational reforms, and improvement in the quality of life index.
- His third mistake was to trust PML-Q with the handling of the red mosque political crises, when he should have known that there were more of such extremists whom were given birth by MMA and nourished by the parties forming this alliance. Roots of this problem also lead to the first mistake General Musharraf made of agreeing with the American to fight their war on terrorism, which was later converted into our war courtesy of the religious quarters in Pakistan.
- The last nail in the coffin of Musharraf ‘s presidency was the removal of the very rebellious Chief Justice of Pakistan who he himself appointed. This remains the most mysterious case, as until today, despite of the CJP installed back (politically) in office after the roller-coaster-country-destabilizing-ride has not been asked to counter or defend the charges on which he was initially asked to go home. Most of the parties who supported CJP’s movement for restoration of “Judiciary” have disassociated themselves with extreme regrets.
- Uniform removal, NRO and Elections of 2008 cannot be called mistakes, but its fall out did help with weakening the General further.
If Osama had not attacked the towers, Pakistan would have become a true land of opportunities for the rest of the world, like it was until the year 2007. Some will never forgive the partnership of Musharraf, PML-Q and MQM as the best things that could have happened to Pakistan, setting aside your political differences. This country had just started to benefit from the excessive investments brought in all sectors, but kiya karrain, kisi buddbakht ki nazar lag gaie!
We may find all the reasons to hate Musharraf, his APML and partner MQM for continuing with the Militocracy. All the numbers, figures, examples go to waste when we see the plight of the people of Pakistan, and our currency printing up to Rs. 2 Billion burden of today, in order to keep the dying economy alive. If democracy heads for the right direction, it is a responsibility of all to help it evolve, but when it leads to disaster and mid-term changes, then it is time to compare which what you have seen or had, and what the current rulers have taken away from you!
Hey, wasn’t this supposed to be a democracy as the best revenge, but against who.. the people or the dictators?