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Scrutiny
  
Give me my legal right this time!
Ex-President Pervez Musharraf’s desire to enter Pakistan’s politics, again, has some good and some bad with it. However, the good seems to surpass the bad at the moment
18/03/2010

Few were ready to denote General Pervez Musharraf’s Presidential exit and his unannounced exile as his walk into the sunset; the general view was that he would return to fight another day. It seems that the time has come, as he seeks the company’s top post again, albeit via the democratic route this time. In his address on Feburary 16, 2010, to the Chatham House think-tank, he said, “I love my country and I would do anything for Pakistan. However, it is for the people of Pakistan who need to decide… I have to come through the political process, through the process of elections. But I think it’s very good, it’s very good because I think I will have that legitimacy, which I never had…” This remark of Musharraf shows that he still lives in the belief that this reign (rather eight year long dictatorial regime) was the most successful political period in the history of Pakistan. In addition, he expects the Pakistani people to now vote for him and bring him back to power. And as he admits himself, being a dictator wasn’t helping his cause either.

There is no denial to the fact that Pakistan, today, is in a process of utter disintegration. A brief recall of Pakistan’s past will make it clear that the ground for Pakistan’s disintegration was all set during Musharraf’s presidency. It was actually during Musharraf’s time that corruption found its new highs within the whole bureaucratic hierarchy. Today, Musharraf stays in one of London’s most expensive areas. Covertly and overtly supporting terrorist and extremist blocks and even manipulating their actions against India, Musharraf is an excellent example of how shrewd scheming and manipulation can be diplomatically window dressed in hyperbole words.

Musharraf has himself admitted boldly that the Kashmiri insurgency was fathered in Pakistan. But in the same voice, he also says that the Indian Muslim youth are increasingly feeling alienated. Strangely, one doesn’t hear him commenting on Pakistani Muslim youth that much. While stating his desire to return to power – and commenting that the Pakistani people need to decide on the issue – Musharraf forgets that it’s the same people who want him to be punished for the mammoth money laundering case that is still pending against him.
But then, Pakistan also saw something remarkable in Musharraf’s time. Between 1999 to 2007, Pakistan’s economy, revenue, per capita income, exports grew by 100% while foreign reserves, stock exchange, foreign direct investment grew by a jaw dropping 500%. The country also saw marked reductions in poverty and illiteracy levels. In 2006, Pakistan was the 3rd fastest growing economy of the world and a preferred destination for investment and also saw its ranking in almost all international lists improving. This dictator also gave licenses to almost 50 TV channels to operate.

But then, the current gloomy future of Pakistan is not safe for India’s internal security. Undoubtedly, if Pakistan disintegrates, the probability of the power and nuclear weapons falling into the hands of extremists will be quite high. In the given situation, would Musharraf be a good choice for India to support as the President? That’s a choice between the Devil and the Deep Sea, as India stands a loser whichever way the Pakistani cookie crumbles. Irrespective of any person in power in Pakistan, India would be seen as a legacy enemy and a violator of the rights of Kashmir. To that end, the American hold over Pakistan – however managed – is not only to India’s benefit, but to the whole region as well.

A joke in Pakistan goes like this. With 50% of Pakistani citizens illiterate, at any given moment only half of them make sensible statements. Musharraf qualifies on that statistic pretty well. He makes sense only half the time.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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