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Ex-general for making an example of Musharraf

03 June, 2008

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RAWALPINDI: Lt Gen (retd) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani on Monday stressed the need for making an example of President Pervez Musharraf to block the emergence of future dictators in the country.

Talking to Dr Shahid Masood in the Geo TV programme Meray Mutabiq, he said General Musharraf had committed basic mistakes such as the Kargil debacle, surrender to the US threat of pushing Pakistan into the stone age and the Lal Masjid destruction.

He said no power could stay in the face of the power of the people. He said he had seen the period of Ayub Khan, who could not face the wrath of the people. When asked whether the Army was with Musharraf, he said the armymen would never say anything about it and such things were never discussed in the Army.

He ruled out the imposition of martial law, saying that the president could not use Article 58-2(b). Gen Gulzar said Musharraf`s departure from power was close at hand. He said the president should not have given in to the US threat in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. He said the Pakistan Army was the best professional Army in the world. He said Musharraf had options at that time and he should have held a referendum to ascertain the will of the people.

Gen Gulzar said the referendum Musharraf held for himself was a fake exercise as Gen Zia did the same during his rule. He said Musharraf was clearly told about this mistake and afterwards he accepted his mistake.

He said today everybody believed that Gen Musharraf was fighting the American war on the soil of Pakistan and "we are paying for that today." departure from power was close at hand. He said the president should not have given in to US threat in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. He said the threat to push Pakistan into the stone age was delivered by the then secretary of state Colin Powel and not by the American president. He said the president arrested and handed over Pakistanis to the US. Where have these unknown people gone? he asked.

He asked what was the crime of Mullah Zaeef and as a diplomat did he deserve such insulting behaviour? He said the ISI was used to commit wrong acts. He said he was in the ISI and advised against such acts but his advice fell on deaf ears. As a result today Musharraf was the most unpopular president. If he had accepted the advice, he would have been the most successful president of Pakistan today.

He said suicide attacks that were beyond imagination before 9/11 are difficult to control now, he said. He said he was not a supporter of suicide attacks but these reflect an easy reaction that cannot be stopped by anyone.

He said there were suicide attacks one after the other in the wake of the Lal Masjid and the Jamia Hafsa operation. He said if there were foreign elements in Lal Masjid, where did they go? He said innocent students were targeted with phosphorus grenades, that he added come in the fold of chemical weapons. He said he had never seen such an act of tyranny. He said when a bullet crosses the body it is not a wrong use of power but that is a tyrannical act. It tantamounts to killing an ant with a hammer.

He said ex-servicemen should have come forward a long time ago but they have not been an organized body that could be activated on one call. About the economic situation, General Gulzar Kiyani termed the present period the worst when it was difficult for the poor to get even one meal.

When asked about his appointment and expulsion as Chairman Federal Public Service Commission, Gen Kiyani said the real differences started after the 9/11 episode. “After retiring from the Army on Oct 14, 2004, when I reminded General Saheb his commitment to doff his uniform during a meeting, he said that the nation needed him.”

He said it was a reaction to his policies that suicide attacks started in the country. He said force was used in South and North Waziristan and 80 students were killed in a Bajaur Madrassa in an American operation. What was the crime of these students, he asked.

He said he remained Chairman of the Public Service Commission for three years. At that time the prime minister was Jamali whose first demand was to give power of appointments in CBR and FIA to ministers. He said if this power was given to ministers they would have gotten their own way.

He said one of the two officers approved by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz faced a NAB corruption case while the other had no chance of promotion. “I requested them that this would cause great demoralisation among the bureaucracy. I humbly submitted to them that this was a wrong step but in a short period the chairman’s tenure was reduced from five to three years under the PCO to remove me.”

He expressed regret over the suicide attack outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad adding there was no conception of suicide bombings before 9/11. The policies of President Pervez Musharraf in the post-9/11 scenario led to suicide attacks in Pakistan.

Pulling the curtain off past events, Lt Gen (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani denied a hand in the removal of Nawaz’s government on October 12, 1999. “I was major general then and I was promoted on November 1, 1999. After that I took the responsibility of corps commander Rawalpindi and successfully held the post for two years.”

Commenting on the 9/11 events of 2001, he said undoubtedly a hell was unleashed on New York but he never reconciled with the practical course President Pervez Musharraf adopted after the incident.

To a question, he said no aspersion could be cast on the loyalty of the Army and so on the corps commander. A corps commander also remains loyal to the army chief. However, different views came up at the corps commanders meetings in the wake of 9/11. Big differences emerged then. When General (retd) Musharraf asked as to what were their views to the threats of pushing Pakistan into the stone age, a difference of opinion emerged in the views of the corps commanders. It was three to four days after 9/11. Some commanders openly told Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf that they had reservations. These pertained to an outright and open support to the US. They believed that the US should not be extended support blindly. The corps commander is a professional soldier and ignoring his advice leads to losses.

Regarding the 1971 war, he said he was on the eastern border but never became a prisoner of war. He said there is no doubt that excesses were committed against the people of Bengal. He held then General Yahya Khan responsible for the same. General Niazi totally failed in East Pakistan and his role was very embarrassing which is a matter of regret.

General (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani said according to his information Nawaz Sharif did not know anything about the Kargil episode. He was never thoroughly briefed on the same. He supported holding of a probe into the Kargil fiasco, adding factors behind the scene, about which people do not know, would also come into the limelight.

Asked what was his plan, General Kiyani said he had briefed Nawaz Sharif and told him that it was a very sensitive issue and he could not unveil all the details to him. He was only apprised of the ongoing situation. Nawaz time and again asked about the truth from senior officials including Sartaj Aziz who was the foreign minister. He also tried to persuade the chief of army staff. General Majid spoke in detail on the issue. General Mahmood was the corps commander then.

Kiyani said our Jawans (soldiers) bravely fought the Kargil War. I think they revived the memories of the 1965 war. Our officers fought more fiercely than in the 1965 War and repulsed enemy attacks time and again. Despite the fact that supplies were disrupted due to extreme cold, the Jawans continued the war. He repeated that arguments will come up when there will be a probe.

He termed Nawaz’s travel to the US a bid to save the prestige of the Pakistan Army. He said in the meeting of May 17 Nawaz gave a green signal to the operation. He assured conditional support to General Musharraf that the government would back the operation when he successfully moved forward. If unfortunately the same failed, he would not be in a position to support him (Musharraf). When the army was caught in an awkward situation, he again travelled to the US to save the symbol of the country, the Pakistan Army.

To a question about the use of nuclear weapons in the war, General Kiyani said the war could have not been kept limited to the Kargil sector or a particular front particularly when the two countries possessed nuclear weapons.

Referring to the book authored by General Musharraf, Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani said whatever has been written there is against logic. If you catch your enemy by the jugular vein he would react with full force. If you cut enemy supply lines, the only option for him will be to ensure supplies by air. That situation the Indian Army was unlikely to confront and it had to come up to the occasion. It is against wisdom that you dictate to the enemy to keep the war limited to a certain front. After that Nawaz went to the United States. But an attempt was made to create the impression in the print media that Nawaz Sharif was at fault to surrender there. He said this impression was created by General Pervez Musharraf which was totally wrong.

End.

Reader Comments:

musharaf

It is all very easy to say that musharaf should have not buckled under the US threat of bombing pakistan to stone age.But one has to be pragmatic and realistic in approach to a situation that could have endangered the very existence of pakistan.The whole argument by retd general gulzar kayani is based on speculation.
Yes. It was not just colonel powell who threatened him but also general armitage of the US armed forces.They obviously spoke on behalf of the president who probably used these too people to send home the message. Neverthless it was something to worry about.Especially considering the shocking reality of the state of Iraq today. Did the US waste any time in destroying the world's most ancient and powerful civilisation?They have killed 1.2 million people half of them children and women,destroyed the economy completely,thoroughly damaged the infrastructure including age old invaluable historical buildings like museums libraries,killed some 4000 university intellectuals ,destroyed factories industries business centres so much so that Iraq according to world opinion experts wouild never rise again. This is the satanic mind and the sense of fiendish revenge of the US govt.If it wants to do something it will do it. What would have stopped the US from doing the same thing to pakistan. they had all the advantages with india openly offering them support. Musharaf also realised this. He knew that India was just waiting for this opportune moment to finish the story once and for all.India's greatest friends are america and israel.Lets not forget that.Lets not also forget that america fought Israel's proxy war in Iraq.It could have fought India's proxy war in Pakistan. Yes paksitan is militarily a very strong country but is it strong as the US.According to jimmy carter the US is in possession of 1200 nuclear warheads and israel some 200 warheads.
Sometimes we have to use our commonsense more and our emotions less.Musharaf was wise to do this.Musharaf beneifited equally by keeping his head cool. Pakistan became the greatest beneificiary of US financial aid after israel and egypt. Moreover from what could have become a pariah state pakistan became a partner with the world's biggest superpower.This was musharaf's biggest achievement.
But to gain something one has to lose something.Like the saying goes:' One has to amputate a leg to save a life'. This is what happened to pakistan .The arresting and handing over suspected terrorists top the US was a tragic error.Musharaf could have gone a big slow in this.Surely he could have used another alternative. He could have also avoided the lal masjid tragic episode. There was no need to spill innocent blood of young students. Why was he not able to avoid this remains a mystery. Also the US had no business to bomb civilians in the territory outside the jurisdiction of its own.The US has not business in waziristan ,NWFP or even afghanistan for that matter. Musharaf should have stood up to this. 'Friends,not masters' just like ayub khan said should have been the motto of Musharaf. This was his biggest blunder leaning a bit too backwards for the americans.America is nobody's friend.These imperialists of the west can never be a friend of any country of the east.Let's remember that.
If the US used musharaf, musharaf used the US too.
But in doing so he lost more than he has gained.
The question still remains.Was pakistan actually saved because of musharaf?
The answer is tricky as the question.
Probably yes.This probability is more comfortable that the imagined horrific scenario that could have ensued if musharaf had to challenge this insane superpower that does not hesitate to annihilate countries with civilised populations just because they are not with it!
Pakistan could have become another Iraq.
How else could have others handled it if they were in power.Could they have challenged the US? That could have been very stupid.
Nawaz sharif did not appear to be very patriotic or showed any respect to the institution of pakistan's army when he stopped musharaf from landing in karachi.Such disrespect and contempt for an army general of paksitan? When musharaf asked astonishingly where else should he land then sharif advised him to land in bombay!! Are these the actions of a responsible leader?
With this one can understand how responsible and loyal to pakistan will he be if he attained power.
Musharaf may have blundered but he was always devoted to the upkeep and safety of pakistan and its peoples.He thought of himself as a pakistani and nothing more.He did not believe in ethnic narrow mindedness like many of the pakistani politicians who secretly harm the interest of pakistan while pretending to be loyal to it.
On the contrary they are loyal to accumulating wealth and holding on to power not because they love the palistani people but because they love their wealth and power longing for fame and admiration.

Rezan, United Arab Emirates - 03 June, 2008

Sovereignty Sold!

Musharraf sold his nation's Sovereignty to the highest bidder, in order to keep himself in power. Let alone the follies he so gallantly performed against his own
nation can be forgiven! But as nation's President to take orders from deputy Secretaries of another state highly disgraceful for the country. It takes a person of moral courage to accuse his former chief of gross negligence. Now Musharraf has only to lower the flag of Pakistan, raise the flag of his mentors on the three pillars; Legislature,Judiciary and Executive and the ARMY will stand by him?

KHALID RAHIM, Canada - 03 June, 2008

Ex-general

Its very sad when Generals are in the forces they say nothing but when they retire they start speaking against the very set up in which they were also contributors. Why do they behave in this manner? He is saying against General Musharraf but when economy was at the brink of bankruptcy General Musharraf took the charge and Pakistan had GDP over 7% for more than 4 years. Today government is in the hands of civilians and look at the economy its gone to 5% and KSE down by more than 400 points. Treasury has also lost more than $4Billions because no one is working but delivering speeches and travellings in bulk. They got to change their attitude and then economy might start picking up. Though there were more than $7 Billion invested in mobile phone industry and more to come. Credit must be given to a guy who is still very honest and not a rogue like many there.

Mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 03 June, 2008

A jealous and foolish general

Apparently this fellow has never seen pictures of heavily armed students in Lal Masjid, neither has he seen video of children being trained as suicide bombers in Waziristan. I wonder how this fellow came to a general's rank.

Aamir Al, Pakistan - 03 June, 2008

Hypocrite and opportunist

This Jamshed Gulzar fellow repeatedly took promotions under Musharraf, and after retirement a civilian job. Now he is trying to get into Nawaz Sharif's good books. He has no credibility or honor.

Aamir Ali, Pakistan - 23 June, 2008

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