It has been some time since I wrote a blog titled Was Musharraf Better than This Democracy? [http://blogs.thenews.com.pk/blogs/2012/01/what-happened-to-musharrafs-slogan/]
My blog had generated a lot of comment. A majority of the commentators of that time were of the view that they would support Mr. Musharraf if he comes back because they felt that the General’s era was far better than the misery which the Zardari government was subjecting them too.
One would have thought that at least half of them would have been passionate enough to go receive the leader who they thought (at least then) would be the Messiah for Pakistan. Sadly very few from the pro-Musharraf commentators on my blog to the seven hundred thousand of his Facebook fans turned up to show support and solidarity. Mr. Musharraf landed in Pakistan – and based on what is visible – he has been a lonely man with most trying to distance themselves from him. The hundreds and thousands of supporters who Mr. Musharraf thought would come help him take his vision forward are sadly no-shows. Many APML personalities had decided to part ways with him well before he had returned to Pakistan. The only people visibly with him are mainly security. Mr. Musharraf should finally have realized that it was his chief of the army status which had droves of sycophants around him in the past.
Sadly for Mr. Musharraf, he miscalculated on the quantum of his support in Pakistan. In my opinion he miscalculated because he was not trained in politics of the masses. Those workers and leaders who work hands on with the masses and take an active part in holding rallies, corner meetings, public meetings etc. do know that there are segments of our society whose representations regarding political issues and struggles should be taken with a pinch of salt. This privileged segment of our society consists of people who give the false impression that they are concerned for change but when push comes to shove to help bring about that change – they are, well, no shows. I am sure Mr. Musharraf must have learnt more about human psychology as practiced in Pakistani politics on this trip to Pakistan.
My previous blog had raised my concerns on some of the decisions which Mr. Musharraf had taken during his time as Supreme Commander and what not. Even today I remain critical of those decisions. To add to that, it now seems that there are some other miscalculations that Mr. Musharraf may have made in connection with his recent return and then his actions subsequent to the rejection of his bail. The idea behind this blog is however not to recount the blunders that Mr. Musharraf has made or continues to make but to, for a change, support him in the blatant injustice which he has been subjected too.
It should not come as a surprise to anybody that Mr. Musharraf is not really the most favourite person of the legal fraternity in general. Lawyers were beaten ruthlessly and arrested and jailed for peacefully protesting. The police would run with sticks after us in our own courts and we would hide in the Bar Room and try to lock it from inside to save ourselves from the wrath of the administration sent to beat and humiliate us. It is with the foregoing background which I myself lived in, which makes me understand why such a gentle lawyer would throw a shoe at Mr. Musharraf. While I respect the emotions of my colleague in court, it may perhaps have been better to stay away from retaliation and revenge. If Mr. Musharraf did a wrong, it does not mean that we also behave in the same manner. Members of the Bar are known for their hospitality and it is a tradition that I would like to see continue irrespective of who our guest is in the courts. The decorum of the courts must always be maintained.
I am also not fully convinced as to why the nomination papers of Mr. Musharraf for the Elections 2013 were rejected. While many serious allegations exist against Mr. Musharraf, none, according to me has reached conviction. Mr. Musharraf is still to give his defence and replies in all those allegations. Until such time as he is convicted he could not be disqualified. Specially when the nomination papers of Raja Parwaiz Ashraf and Mir Nadir Magsi were accepted conditionally. I am a fierce critic of the manner in which nominations and scrutiny has been conducted by the election commission but that is a topic for another blog. Suffice to say for the present blog that Mr. Musharraf also deserved the same treatment as Ashraf and Magsi and as a matter of fact – many others.
The cancellation of Mr. Musharraf’s interim bail by the High Court and the manner in which proceedings were conducted (as told by Mr. Amjad Malik of the APML) suggests that perhaps customary process may not have been followed. Certainly, a High Court ordering insertion of anti terrorism offences and ordering arrest in its order is not a normal occurrence for a High Court in such proceedings. On balance, it seems Mr. Musharraf has been meted out a tough hand. One would be naïve to think that Mr. Musharraf alone was carrying out all the offenses he is being accused of. There were many others with him at that time but all the sycophants around him jumped ship the moment they saw a better opportunity.
I have always maintained that I like Mr. Musharraf the person. And that is something I continue to do. He has an impressive personality and also has his own weight in the international community. He is basically a good man but maybe his training has been such that megalomania kicks in at places. I just wish he had not decided to go into politics. My advice to Mr. Musharraf would be that he should think logically – not in an army style but a good politician style – before he takes his decisions. Also, it would help if Mr. Musharraf had a slightly better caliber of spokespeople – at least not a spokesperson who – after Mr. Musharraf has absconded from the court and holed himself in his self haven – says that Mr. Musharraf is not at all bothered and is “smoking his cigar and drinking coffee”! A common man – the asset of any party – will not love you Mr. Musharraf if you so blatantly make him realize that there is a better and easier law for