Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Why Musharraf alone?


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

FORMER president Pervez Musharraf resigned from the presidency on Aug 18, 2008. He had taken over on Oct 12, 1999, a total period of nine years and six days and not 10 years as people are told falsely by his opponents. On Aug 18, 2008, he was given a guard of honour by Pakistan’s three armed forces.

He returned to his homeland on March 24. Since then he has been a victim of witch-hunt by some people who are after his blood.

People should know that British General Cromwell was tried for treason for dishonouring the British parliament but no action was taken against him in his lifetime. After two generations, he was tried and found guilty. His body was exhumed, hanged and then again buried. His head was stuck on a pole. We are also having the British system. Therefore, it is imperative that in our case those rulers who violated the constitution by imposing martial law should be tried. The start must take place in the following sequence:

Field Marshal Ayub Khan for declaring martial law; Gen Yahya Khan for declaring martial law; the late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first civilian martial law administrator, and Gen Ziaul Haque for declaring martial law.

Musharraf did not abrogate the constitution and did not impose martial law; he only imposed emergency, as was done by Indira Gandhi. She was allowed to contest an election which she won and became prime minister a second time.

In Musharraf’s case, the constitution was operative and he himself took up the designation of Chief Executive. A rule of three years and the authority to make minor changes to the constitution were given to him by a full bench of the Supreme Court for carrying out the seven-point agenda he had outlined in his first speech after taking over the rein of government.

It is, therefore, beyond a doubt that he did not abrogate the constitution and as such cannot be and should not be tried for treason. He improved the economy and looked after the welfare of the have-nots of Pakistan for the first three years. These three years should be written in golden letters in the history of Pakistan.According to the Supreme Court order, he managed to have an election before the end of the three years and brought a parliament back into existence after fresh elections in 2002.

After another five years, Musharraf managed to have a new election in 2008 and ruled as president for five years with the help of the parliament, federal cabinet, provincial governors, chief ministers and the assemblies. He resigned himself. Now he has come to his homeland without any fear.

I am a very senior citizen and a former MNA, and the first chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council. I participated in the Pakistan movement in my college days, campaigning for Dr Ziauddin Ahmed, the Vice Chancellor for Aligarh Muslim University, for the Imperial Legislative Council.

Last but not least, my appeal to the people of Paksitan is to remain united and become a force to reckon with. As Pakistan’s first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan said unity is our main weapon.


Space for former president THE caretaker federal information minister has stated that space be given to former President Musharraf to contest the elections. May I ask him when and who will ever consider giving space to the common man of this unfortunate country so that they can live in peace, free from threats of extortion, targeted killings and kidnapping for ransom? When will there be space for the constitution and writ of law to reign supreme, for tax evaders to be caught and law-abiding citizens of Pakistan to feel secure from the powerful land mafia that rules this country by default with an iron hand?

Will the constitution ever be more supreme than the whims of individuals and dictators who consider it no more than a piece of paper?

lf space is to be given to Musharraf, then why not amend the constitution and eliminate Article 6 or completely abrogate the document and replace it with a simple sentence that reads: “Whosoever holds fort in Islamabad through the ballot or the bullet, his word shall be law and the judiciary will have no right to hold such a man accountable”.

If the present disregard for rule of laws and compromises on constitution continue, then nobody can ever stop military adventurers or elected abusers to make a mockery of laws and the constitution.

Did we get liberated in 1947 for colonial rule to be replaced by elected monarchs and dictators, capturing Islamabad every few years, while at the same time conceding our territory to unruly fanatics coming down from mountains in Afghanistan, ruling and abusing the people through brute force?


Comments (13) Closed

qais Apr 14, 2013 04:10am
ZAKERYA KAZMI conveniently overlooked how musharaf allowed a foreign government to fly planes in Pakistani air-space and murder Pakistani citizens without any trial. How Musharuf allowed the killing of millions of muslims in Afghanistan just because Amreeka said they will do this and that. Is this guy really a leader in any definition of the term?
Khota Apr 14, 2013 12:04pm
Well, well well, the author has written, 'In Musharraf?s case, the constitution was operative and he himself took up the designation of Chief Executive. A rule of three years and the authority to make minor changes to the constitution were given to him by a full bench of the Supreme Court for carrying out the seven-point agenda he had outlined in his first speech after taking over the rein of government.' Then what was he doing there for the next 6-7 years, playing "gulli-danda"? And no elections for the prime minister by an elective assembly of main parties. And his slave Johny-Joe.
Kamal Apr 14, 2013 02:11pm
Exactly right. What I also found interesting in that letter was the statement that MUSH did not abrogate the Constitution and his assuming the title of Chief Executive in 1999 was OK. Really?
Syed Ahmed Apr 14, 2013 02:32pm
Beggars can?t be choosers. Foreign super power will do whatever she wills. A good administrator using his diplomacy can only retard or minimize any adverse action and that is what Musharraf had been doing.
Farrukh Apr 14, 2013 05:26pm
Musharraf didn't shed the uniform even after televised commitment with the nation as stipulated.And he didn't resign himself; he got weakened and forced to resign by pressure groups and civil society after his heinous crimes. Then he became fugitive under self-banishment act for almost 5 years. He was the master of the game.He doesn't deserve sympathy. Farrukh
Masood hussain Apr 14, 2013 05:27pm
With due respect to the writer and commentators ot this article let us find out the facts about the Kargil episode and take over of the Govt. by the Army Chief.
Badar Munir Apr 14, 2013 06:45pm
I found ZAKERYA KAZMI comments to be really interesting. You should read the Constitution. Only PM or President can enforce emergency. No one can declare them self 'Chief Executive', nor dissolve Parliment, sack and/or imprison PM, CMs. Governors, MPs and other elected officials. Constitution correctly defines such actions as Treason and order Death as punishment. Its pretty simple. COAS is a grade 21 govt servant who reports to Defense Secy. He has no such authority.
kausik Apr 14, 2013 09:30pm
I wonder why President Clinton allowed dismissal of duly elected nawaz Sharif govt. Musharraf had no choice but team up with president Bush after 9/11 as He cleverly thought he will befitting financially and politically.I wonder what he did with billions of dollars any body questioning.The military dictators ruined Pakistan.
hyderphd74 Apr 14, 2013 11:54pm
Musharraf was not Afghanistan's president so how could he allow the murder of millions of "muslims"? Was it not the responsibility of Afghanistan's president to protect his people?
Khota Apr 15, 2013 12:49am
MUSH did all of this while obeying his elder brother BUSH.
Assad Apr 15, 2013 01:09am
You want to make an example, as many are clamoring for, then do as Zakarya sahib is stating. Dig up the sons of the soil from the Punjab, Sind and NWFP, both those in uniform & civvies, from their graves who have essentially shown or forced the hands the officers of the Pakistan Army to take over when Pakistan, as a Country, is in danger. Anything less than this exercise seems unfair and actually smells of putrid provincialism. What Musharraf did in Kargil was neither wrong nor illegal. Kargil is on the LoC. For those of you who want to ignore history should realize that Kargil was with Pakistan in 48 and 65, it was taken over by the Indians by force of arms and never returned to us post 1971 war. Pakistan Army does not require the parliament's permission to carry out local action across the LoC as this is not the IB. If someone has credible proof that the PM of the day was kept totally out, let him bring it to a tribunal. Since there are ample indications the then PM was privy to some of the planning, what case is there against Musharraf? On one hand we wake up to the naray baazi of "lay kay raheingay Kashmir", as if the Indians are going to offer it to us on a platter, and then we are after the heads of our officers who actually broke no law and wanted to put Pakistan in a position of strength on the Kashmir issue. Allowing the American strikes was of mutual benefit. The TTP are operating against Pakistan. They are murdering our men, women and children. Unless Pakistan wants to opt out of the UN charter, we cannot have people from our tribal areas traveling across the border to attack Afghans and the NATO/ISAF forces. Musharraf had to balance the obligations of Pakistan towards the UN sanctioned operations in Afghanistan vs. letting Pakistan become an open adversary to US/ISAF. Any leader of Pakistan would have done similarly unless they had the ability and wherewithal to withstand the US pressure diplomatically, militarily and monetarily. The reality is that we had nothing. So all the armchair experts here should give Musharraf a break. Give the chap a chance to try his luck at politics through the appropriate channels. If we can give all these blood thirsty, selfish leeches that we have come to know as the "democrats" of Pakistan multiple chances, Musharraf surely deserves another chance as well.
Syed A. Zafar (USA) Apr 15, 2013 05:53am
I fully agree with the writer and commend his courage on giving his honest opinion on Mr. Musharraf. It is unfortunate that we as a nation are mind set on issues, love to go with the flow and of course we apply our bias needs when making decisions on national issues or personalities. It is highly important that we keep our school of thought and affiliation/loyalties with parties and tribes aside and be honest and impartial before giving our opinion/verdict on issues and personalities. Before I write my opinion, I assure the readers that I do not belong to any political party of Pakistan including APML. My party's name is Pakistan. Besides I have an unbelievable painful experience with Mr. Musharraf and his cronies in Pakistan and Dubai. However, I should keep my personals aside and give priority to what is good for our nation and national integrity. We should assess how good or bad Mr. Musharraf was for our country without being prejudice and compare him with other past leaders in terms of services, ability, honesty, and commitment. Here is my take in form of questions to sworn enemies of Mr. Musharraf. 1. What if Mr. Musharraf have served the interests of religious extremists as Zia did, Would not he be their hero, ruling now and his uniform and declaring emergency with the approval of current justices and law makers would have been no problem and there would have been no need of raising CJ and army of lawless lawyers against Mr. Musharraf and other opponents? 2. Are these haters of Mr. Musharraf not the same people including mullahs who danced on streets and distributed sweets when he was compelled to coupe and take over the government, but when he said "NO" to religious extremists, a war against him was announced by JI leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad and other personal enemies? 3. What if Mr. Musharraf was born in land of pure, spoke their language and his last name was Waraich, Khan, Chaudhry or Tarar, and he belonged to right wing like Zia and Niazi's did, would he be still declared a traitor and murderer? If all of the above is not true, then the mind set opponents of Mr. Musharraf must tell what was different and good in their past military dictators/heroes who not only gave away half of our country but also gave us extremism/terrorism, economic crisis, anarchy and world wide shame? And why their military heroes/dictators were not declared as traitors and tried for treason? Why only Mr. Musharraf? I believe it is nothing but "Bughz-e-Muaavia (sworn enmity) and ethnic/ideological bias against Mr. Musharraf. I urge the people of Pakistan to stay away with bias practices, know the difference between thugs and the leaders and oppose those who are desperate to prosecute and punish Mr. Musharraf at any cost, just because he is not from land of pure.
Assad Apr 15, 2013 02:28pm
You give too much credit to, and assume too much power resides with, the Americans over what happens in Pakistan. Americans are NOT king makers in Pakistan. They don't control the strings and we are not their puppets. The day you realize this, that'll be the day we decide to own up to our own follies and learn from them. As a nation, we are prone to blaming others for our own self-created problems. First step in fixing these issues is to realize that 99% of what is happening in Pakistan is self inflicted.