President Musharraf Receives Visitors At Army House
In his latest appearance, former President Musharraf receives students from LUMS Lahore and NCA Rawalpindi. Here, one of the students, Amyn A. Ghulamali, says the former President was gracious and upbeat. He answered questions about his government but did not blame others where responsibility was his own. According to this student, Mr. Musharraf left his latest visitors with the impression of ‘a simple God fearing patriotic Pakistani.’
Picture & Story By Amyn A. Ghulamali
Monday, 13 October 2008.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan—We were invited to the Army House on Saturday to have a one-on-one discussion with the Ex-President Pervez Musharraf. What was a half hour discussion between the students of LUMS Lahore and the students of NCA (Rawalpindi Campus) was one of the most fantastic experiences that I have had.
As we drove into the Army House there was immense security all around I thought we would just have a quick formal meeting and then told time was up and then leave. The officials showed us to the Ex President’s residential part of the Army House. We were seated in his sunroom and I noticed that it was very simple and there were no trophies (like pictures of his achievements or meetings with famous people or memorabilia from his army days). It was an elegantly decorated simple room. I had a special feeling, sensing that this could be one of the places where, for eight years, most of the key decisions regarding Pakistan were made.
There was no pomp and ceremony. And after three minutes he simply walked out wearing a trouser and a casual shirt and walked into the breezy, well lit room. He seemed well and in the highest of spirits, casually joking with all the students.
I was amazed to find out that even though he was asked various questions about his government he never put the blame on any one or try to have any political motives. He came across as a very down to earth man who had a pragmatic sense of reality as to what governance was.
The fantastic thing was that the ex-President knew so much about world affairs from an unbiased point of view and was not at all opinionated about many key issues that were brought about by the students of LUMS and NCA.
He did not have an agenda or political motive he was there as a friend and a mentor as someone who had seen life in the hot seat for the past few years and now wanted just to be a normal human being. His simplicity really impressed me and most of all his honesty.
I cannot go into detail but I can say one thing: I have had the honor of meeting many important people in my life when they were in power and even when the chips were down but none of them left a mark on me as this simple God fearing patriotic Pakistani.
The half hour meeting was extended to a lot longer as one could see the twinkle in his eye as he was really enjoying meeting with the young minds of tomorrow. He did make a comment to the fact that we are the youth of today and the government of tomorrow and we should all take ownership of our country in the true sense. I’m sure to each one present it meant something different.
I went to see an Ex-President who was depicted in many forms by our media. I left happy that he was at peace with himself and was a unique superb human being just like so many citizens that we have out there.
Attached please find a picture outside the sun room at the ARMY HOUSE Dated Saturday 11 October 2008 at around 1400 hours.
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