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Return of Musharraf

01 April, 2013

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)


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If not you at least I find it perplexing to fathom out any reason for the return of Musharraf at this juncture of our political commotion. No sane person in his proper senses would return from the safe havens of Dubai and London to face three murder trials – Benazir, Lal Masjid and Akbar Bugti, a number of high treason petitions and violation of article 6 charges, a host of hostile political parties and civil society organizations, an army with a no nonsense and an indifferent attitude and on the top of it all with no political future.

Agreed, he is not that brilliant but he is not that stupid also to return to a starving lion's den waiting excitedly for his prey (lion in the literal sense and not the symbolic MLN's NS's lion). Does he have a hope in hell to win a seat or two for his APML party other than probably his own? Would he be just contented to be an MNA and listen to the speeches of the ones whom he once never considered his equals? Is he made of the material that would let him play what to talk of the proverbial second fiddle the third, fourth or the more likely umpteenth fiddle? If not, what the heck is he doing and at this time of the history in Pakistan?

I asked my more knowledgeable friends and some of their answers baffled me further. Gen Hamid Gul said that Musharraf was a fool and one could expect anything from him. To reinforce his assessment he added, “Had he not been one he would not have ventured Kargil”. Well … fool he might be when others' skin is involved but I don't think he is that fool to put his own neck under the guillotine that willingly!

Another confidante of Musharraf who had served under him for long – name withheld on request – opined that having been a near sovereign for nearly 10 years he had become “power drunk” and you know Sir, power is an addiction that one can't get rid of easily. Power? I thought , with two or three seats? Does Musharraf think he could manage or maneuver a coalition of any sorts? NO, he certainly has some brains somewhere though with plenty of grass around!!

Well … well ... why the hell has he come was the question which kept coming back to my mind again and again till it suddenly struck that could be he is 'sent'! But again, sent? What use is anyone without power? Wait a minute … power? How does one get it? Through elections, stupid. Oh, what if elections are not held? For Pete's sake, WHAT? elections not held? Are you in your senses?

Yes, but look at the chain of the recent events. And it was here that a vista of different scenarios started unfolding themselves; whirl wind Qadri comes out of nowhere … articles 62, 63, 215 & 218 hereto unknown become a common language …. an independent ECP supported by the SCP …. Unexpected Care Takers at the national and provincial levels …. Reopening of cases of NRO, Fake Degrees, Asghar Khan petition, funding of politicians - media persons, bank defaulters etc. all aimed at disqualifying the bulk of the stalwarts of all political parties. But, wait, if 62/63 are implemented strictly would the huge number of the disqualified bigwigs take it down lying? I don't think so. Then what? Of course agitations, strikes, forcefully shutter downs, laying off of public and private transport - even stoning and burning of vehicles and bloody clashes. MQM has already denounced lack of trust in the ECP.

So has MLN said though mildly. Others affected parties may follow suit. Punjab caretaker CM has said in a press conference that he can't guarantee full implementation of 62/63!! What does it all boil down to? Chaos and confusion. Near anarchy and the law and order situation at the time of the polls. The man in the street is already crying hoarse that Musharraf's period was thousand times better than that of these democratically elected ones!!

So, why hold elections?! Would you, therefore, be surprised if Musharraf is 'given' again to the nation to assuage its miseries! Now don't ask me how and who could 'give' Musharraf to us. Who gave us Sethi, who was incidentally in London the day he was shortlisted and that too without his consent! So did he say in his press conference. Don't they have to pull out of Afghanistan next year with almost 600 billion dollars of war machinery and equipment? Would they not need an assured safe passage for that ? Do you think Imran will provide them with that?

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