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‘Dealing with ex-dictators’

Published May 10, 2013 09:30am


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THIS is apropos Niaz Murtaza’s article ‘Dealing with ex-dictators’ (May 5), which has traced the history of some of the dictators from home and abroad but has failed to mention the reasons for such takeovers.

I am not here to advocate the cause of military rulers but one-sided criticism will serve no purpose at all except creating a sensation.

In Pakistan every military takeover was the result of poor governance by politicians who would only grapple with each other and do nothing for the people. As a result, all coups were hailed by the people of Pakistan except the aggrieved party and that is understandable.

Statistics prove that the country benefited more under military dictators as compared to civilian rule. Look at the reception given to a president of newly-born country when Gen Ayub Khan visited the US in 1961. American president Kennedy was present at the airport to greet him. Both travelled in open car waiving at the crowd which had thronged the roads.

Now our president is received by an officer of the level of deputy secretary. Although Gen Ayub and Gen Yahya were detained after they were deposed but were buried with full military honours, while Gen Ziaul Haq also received the same honour.

We talk so much about Nov 3 emergency in 2007. The question arises: who will decide whether the emergency is to be imposed on the country, the sitting government or the outside forces. Certainly it is the prerogative of the government and nobody else.

Let us see the concluding paragraph of the emergency. It reads: “And whereas the situation has been reviewed in meetings with the prime minister, governors of all four provinces and with the chairman of joint chiefs of staff committee, chiefs of the armed forces, vice-chief of the army staff and corps commanders of the Pakistan Army. Now, therefore, in pursuance of the deliberations and decisions of the said meetings, I, Gen Pervez Musharraf, chief of army staff, proclaim emergency throughout Pakistan.

“I hereby order and proclaim that the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan shall remain in abeyance. This proclamation shall come into force at once.”

Naturally you don’t put hundreds of signatures.

It is always the head of state who puts his signature. The constitution was not abrogated but held in abeyance.

I do agree with the writer that Musharraf must be prosecuted and not persecuted, but that is exactly what is happening.



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Comments (10) Closed

Zahid May 10, 2013 05:18am
I endorse your point. Musharraf is a good Pakistani and was a better leader than what we have actually experienced in the past 5 years of so called shameful civilian rule. If the same chaotic governance continues another five years, Pakistan may decline into anarchy and self destruction.
Jude Allen May 10, 2013 07:43am
100% in agreement with your point of view
dr aftab May 10, 2013 09:58am
i think musshraf is far better than those in power . now, dr aftab.ksa
Assad May 10, 2013 12:53pm
Mukhtar Sahib, Yours is one of the few voices of sanity around here. General Musharraf is being scapegoated for the sake of some politicians and due to the vindictiveness of our judiciary. There is nothing impartial about this quest to lock up the General so the judiciary and some politicians can stick their thumbs in the face of the Army while satisfying their selfish egos. This witch hunt is laying the groundwork for a far more bloody and brutal military dictatorship in the country in the near future. If things are to be set straight, there is a need for reconciliation, not vendetta! Free the general otherwise serve justice to all involved in the episode of the 1999 takeover!
Tanvir May 10, 2013 02:25pm
Or let the military take over for saving Pakistan.
sal May 10, 2013 02:53pm
Forget him. what about his successor who has made threatening remarks against democracy under the veil of "protection" - which he and his comrades rake in billions and hand nothing back.
sal May 10, 2013 02:56pm
I ask what can a government do when one hand is already tied behind its back. Finance, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Economic issues and Defence all taken by the rulers. What's left to do. What can they do?
SAL May 10, 2013 04:02pm
Let me correct you sir. Ayub retired as a Field Marshal and not as a General. Also, Musharraf cannot be called a Dictator, as he never dictated to Pakistan. What Pakistan needed was a whip from day one, then all this crap would not have happened. His simple motto is "Pakistan First". Did any other leader from 'Democracy Lot' ever said or thought so? There motto is "Milk Pakistan". Long live Musharraf.
Fazal Karim May 11, 2013 01:04am
Fully agree with the writer. It is the bad governance of civilian rule which invites army. The civilian government comes through sham democracy. To avoid army take over, first purify democracy.
Waseem May 11, 2013 03:06am
They can do one thing, at least. That is: "not involve in corruption".