Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Musharraf's legacy and a broken republic

Musharraf is out but he has left Pakistan in a mess which would not leave us easily - or at all. It is clear Musharraf wasn't in power all the time and that Americans forced him to go naked on many things. For one, Americans used him to use our army against our own people. And we can see what may be achieved when you start killing your own sisters and daughters and young men after calling them localized terrorists.

He has left a legacy which is absolute and has left Pakistan with deep scars. CIA men and Israelis would be glad to know that Pakistan is weaker, and not stronger, after Musharraf. In fact, every successive government has left Pakistan weaker at the core. Now, young generation is not thinking of staying back in the country; everyone wants to leave at any cost and people can swear by God that Pakistan is lost. That is the charm of long-term US planning of the region. They wanted to leave a total mess in the region and with the help of Musharraf and so-called Pakistani Taliban, ably funded by US-led CIA and Afghan puppet govt., the entire region from Swat to the borders of Russia and in the south towards Iran, the entire area is just too dangerous in any and every sense of the word. Next step, if Americans get yet another Musharraf look-alike would be to create ultimate chaos in Iran, and the Muslim states of former Russia. Off course Russians aren't happy and are looking over their shoulder for any suspicious movement behind their backs.

It is also a part of US Think Tank planning structure to divide the entire region in manageable, smaller chunks of land (instead of big countries as they are presently) and rule over their resources. It is a return to old colonial mind-set and every move in that direction is emphatically termed as a victory for democracy (sic).

Musharraf has also left another legacy, that of hate towards Pakistan Army. Many Pakistanis, especially those who have a religious bent, favour in some sense destruction of the power of our army. That is the most dangerous thing and Musharraf successfully helped Americans achieve that target in a very short period of time. Constant bombings of madrassahs and masjids has caused this sense of anger and revenge. Just imagine what would happen to a country whose people are against its own army? It is a terrible thought, one that would have long lasting effects on the country.

Musharraf, for all his faults, atleast got some able men and women for the job. We know that many foolish army men were appointed at civilian posts (like SUPARCO's chief, KPT chief, etc...) but he still managed to get some good work going. For instance, his work along with MQM in Karachi is commendable. They joined his ranks and were amply rewarded lucarative contracts some of which led to some of the finest road projects in the country. In earlier times, Nawaz Sharif with his typical Punjabi mind-set had totally ignored Karachi causing massive capital flight from the city in his second term in office. (And this was one major reason why Musharraf was so much despised by the Punjabi Bureaucracy; he was an Urdu speaking General). Musharraf will be surely remembered for all these roads for which Centre provided fast funds to Mr. Mustafa Kamal, the ever-present and ever-talking MQM-appointed Nazim-e-Karachi.

Other legacy of Musharraf is ultimate insecurity. Before Musharraf travelling cross country was far easier and less hazardous. Now, that has unfortunately changed much to the chagrin of travellers like myself. FATA is off-limits so is much of Swat valley. Now, much of Baluchistan (in fact all of Baluchistan for Punjabi speakers) is also off-limits and may only go there with life in total danger of being destroyed at the earliest. We constantly recieve reports about daylight murders and it appears to me that India is finally catching up and providing arms and training and maybe satellite support to BLA, a terrorist outfit which wants Baluchistan hacked away from Pakistan. (This strategy of India's RAW is due to our support for Mujahedding whom we allowed easy access to Indian-side of Kashmir. Now, thankfully, Kashmiri muslims are fighting a peaceful battle against Hindu kingdom).

Musharraf will also be remembered for a press which is mainly bonkers. Take GEO for instance. It is free, alright, but in a FOX style. It reports things which are at best useless or dangerous for the country. And it closely follows the tradition of CNN where selective reporting is used. It hides lots of things and dares not speak against the atrocities committed by MQM goans. (Now, PPP goans are proving that MQM was a child play 2). But despite its many set-backs Musharraf can claim that he was much better than all the previous leaders combined in terms of freedom of expression. He allowed press to abuse him, to scrutinize him, and to challenge him. Let us see if Zardari would do the same.

Overall, Musharraf has been a good leader in his first four years and then started to drift away in egoistic behaviour and lack of common sense. He could have done lot of good things for us like not kicking out CJ and his party, not bringing Zardari and his ilk back; he could have also opened cases against land mafia and could have eased the business issues of our business community. Unfortunately, he failed in many respects and Kashmir being one of them. He will be mainly remembered as yet another dictator but will surely come out better than the likes of Zardari and Nawaz Sharif.

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