Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pakistan going gaga...

After the 1999 coup ,when he ousted the corrupt and unmanly PM Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharaf promised to bring in democracy, freedom from tyranny and corruption and prosperous economy.

How much did he accomplish during his stance till now?

When he came to power, Pakistan was embroiled in internal struggle for power and the borders with India and Afghanistan weren't helping the situation either. Numerous Pakistani mujaheedin were trained on Afghano-Pakistani border and sent to Kashmir to conduct guerrilla war against regular Indian army. His claim to secularism, from onset, set many separatists and radicals against him, although he was able to retain his grasp on power through military contacts and infamous ISI (InterServices Intelligence) agency. Two years into consolidating his power around the country and establishing himself a name of a "peace advocate" in the region, his loyalty was put to test.

9/11 made Mr. Musharraf commit himself "fully and wholeheartedly" to the cause of fight against al-Qaeda and other radical Muslim elements, commonly threatening Western interests. Mr. Musharraf, however, was never unambiguous nor to bright to improvise boldly. Whereas he sided with the US to fight the Taliban after 9/11, he was also instrumental in escape of several thousands of pro-Taliban fighters and radical Islamic Pakistani fighters (in Afghanistan) to Pakistan when the coalition forces finally took over the northern enclaves of Afghanistan. This was never publicly disclosed.

His perpetual links with Islamic charity organizations, known to fund extremist all over the Gulf region and Middle East, his dubious stance towards resolution of dispute over Kashmiri territories, his indulgent attitude towards ISI and its spoilings, brought even more chaos inside the country and around it. His only way to control the country became military oppression. The derisory state of his image was aggravated even more when the infamous A.Q. Khan, father of nuclear proliferation, openly admitted his role in spreading the nuclear technology for nothing better than satisfaction of personal greed. Mr. Musharraf's apologies were a joke.

Even moderately lucid American politicians were acutely aware of a double-game, not well-conceived one for that matter, that he was trying to play. And still America went on supporting him and pouring millions of dollars of humanitarian and developmental aid ending up in pockets of few generals and other military, who wisely used it for their own ends and agenda, which assuredly was contrary to the Western one.

Pakistan's economy declined further into abysmal state, people's morality was perpetually sagging, leaving no choice but for feeble, and otherwise undaring types such as Bhutto, twice a failure PM, to raise her voice and make substantial noise during this year's elections. Even the same spineless Nawaz Sharif with his party had a media coverage.

There is no need to say that Mr. Musharraf would have lost these elections, were it not for a last minute accord to abdicate his military position in case of having presidency and his reluctant half-cooked agreement of power sharing with considerably more charming but still adamantly not too bright Ms. Bhutto.
Not only things didn't happen as people hoped but just the moment the Supreme Court was about to pass a verdict whether Mr. Musharraf was eligible to run for elections while being the army chief, the country infrastructure is being handcuffed, knocked out and dragged into dungeons. How else will you call the situation where just before making the final verdict, the Supreme Court was surrounded by police and troops, and all roads were blocked. All opposition leaders and dissidents were arrested. Roads to and from Islamabad were heavily manned with paramilitary and troops.

No one expects an invasion here or?

Tough new media restrictions are controlling the news available throughout Pakistan: all non-state TV stations and some radio channels, including international services such as BBC World TV, have been taken off air. Independent newspapers have been allowed to continue publishing, but Mr. Musharraf's decree severely limits what they can report.

Reminiscent of something??

Guess what is the common pretext Mr. Musharraf throws at everyone caring to listen?

"I suspect that Pakistan's sovereignty is in danger unless timely action is taken. Extremists are roaming around freely in the country, and they are not scared of law-enforcement agencies," Mr. Musharraf says. "Inaction at this moment is suicide for Pakistan and I cannot allow this country to commit suicide."

He is referring to a recent minor suicide attack and a set of defeats dealt on the border by pro-Taliban forces to Pakistani military. A "good" reason to chase everyone into a corner and declare an emergency state. A good pretext I would say OR rather a good insurance policy against an inevitable verdict....

Let's see how far will Mr. Musharraf allow himself to go... and even more importantly, how far will Mr. Bush allow his "priceless" ally to go before it is too late...

No comments: