By Farman Nawaz
The last two years of Musharaf were full of condemnation and blames for him. He was presented as the root cause of all the problems. Once a woman was selling her children and the anchor of private news channel asserted that it is all because of the policies of Musharaf that people are selling their children and committing suicides.
It is said that even snake – a very poisonous and dangerous creature of nature – is beneficial in some ways but it was felt at that time that Musharaf is even more poisonous, lethal and dangerous than snake. Every one was throwing shoes at Musharaf to get “Sawab-e-Dareen”. But it was the same Musharaf who was once welcomed as knight in shining armor not only by public and politicians but even judiciary allowed him to rule for three years. We Pakistani are in habit to welcome the new ruler with garlands of flowers and say goodbye to the going one with garlands of shoes.
He was given a title of “American agent”. It was preached by media and politicians that he works for accomplishing American projects. He was declared as cause of terrorism, poverty, suicides, collective corruption and many more evils. His decision of becoming part of war on terror was condemned as a compromise on the sovereignty of Pakistan. But now the same war on terror is owned by the major political parties and media. He was kicked out of presidency by giving threats of impeachment and even now he will have to face the courts.
But the question is why this dictator is respected all over the world? If he was an American puppet so why he is invited by countries like China to deliver lectures in different institutions. China is the country where strict laws of censorship are imposed on media. But Musharaf is invited and allowed to speak to the public. By delivering lectures he is earning more than his salary package of presidency. Besides this he is paid attention and a respected as an authentic and legitimate source on war on terror and policies of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He is playing a more active role than our foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Last time when Zardari visited America to attend a session of UNO, Musharaf was also there and paved the way for him. Both were preaching the same ideas to Americans.
If we look at the Musharaf period impartially so one will feel that he was not at all an evil spirit. Educational budget was raised 400% times. We can see now that hundreds of Pakistani students are abroad for Ph.D. Private Sector was allowed to start news channels. For the first time religious extremism was condemned after the long Jihad era. The free and fair election of 2008 is the last gift of Musharaf. He has done a lot for Pakistan but the problem is we don’t know how to measure good governance.
If we study our history books about united India, they are written in a very unscientific way. One ruler is praised for his personal virtues but on the other side we see that his period would be of downfall for Muslims. And other ruler is criticized for his personal shortcomings but his period is considered golden age and even praised by non Muslims for his good policies. The same happened with Musharaf.
Actually the problem is with our mentality. We want to live in this corrupt system but we expect revolutionary changes from our rulers. It is not possible. In this system we will have to compromise and wait for the time when democracy will flourish. But if we wish for sudden change so revolution is the sole solution.
Pakistan People’s party should not make an issue of Musharaf statement in American newspaper. Because his lawyer has clarified his position. And suppose Musharaf has blamed Zardari for his disloyalty so why he is presented as an exceptional case. PML-N, Imran Khan, JI, civil society and media is also expressing the same feelings about Zardari. Why Musharaf is targeted only? PPP is repentant on its several decisions. This time they must not make a hustle.
Musharaf has started a series of change in Pakistani society. We may not feel it but the impartial analysts are well aware of it. That is the reason that he is welcomed every where and his views are given preference. Because whatever he says it is spoken with proofs. He has the ability to clarify the western analysts. Someone can’t make fool the western media by telling them self-made stories. Whatever Musharaf says in the Western world it shows that he is a nationalist. Being deserted here in Pakistan, he is not angry but confesses his mistakes and still he supports Pakistani government and Pakistan Army. What else should we expect from him?