“PAKISTAN is the most happening place in the world where there is never a dull moment.” So pronounced the Commando to a “packed audience” at Chatham House in London, to much laughter and mirth.
‘Happening place’ did the man call our poor and bleeding country that is reeling under the onslaught of murderous yahoos who do as they will, wherever they will?
Pakistan is a ‘happening place’ when a women’s bazaar in Peshawar is attacked and over 100 defenceless women and children are blown away to kingdom come? Or when Lahore’s Moon Market is wantonly attacked and over 60 innocents, again mainly women and children, die needlessly and cruelly? Or when an army mosque in the heart of Rawalpindi cantonment is assaulted by people who knew what they were doing, and who identified the children of senior army officers and then brutally killed them? Or and indeed, when a bus full of junior ISI functionaries, clerks and the like is blown up, again in Rawalpindi cantonment?
There is ‘never a dull day’ in Pakistan when according to the latest estimates of none other than the ISPR, 30,457 Pakistanis — 21,672 civilians and 8,785 military personnel — have been killed so far in the war against terror; when in 2009 alone over 10,000 people were killed; when in 2009 and the first two months of 2010, 78 officers and 2,273 soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed and 6,512 injured, many of them horribly disfigured and maimed?
Never a dull day, what?
Ask the mothers and the fathers who have lost their sons and daughters; ask the sisters and brothers and the sons and daughters who have lost their loved ones to this mad orgy of killing by fiends in human shape. Fiends, let us quickly point out, who were suckled at the ample breast of the security establishment that the man himself headed for far too long. A period, let us also not forget, in which they were allowed to grow stronger and stronger still, due to his own disastrous policies of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.
Should he not be deeply ashamed of himself for talking so lightly of the hellfire our poor country is passing through?
But wait. Gen Musharraf also said: “I love Pakistan and I would do anything for Pakistan. I took this oath at the Kakul Academy. For Pakistan one would be prepared to do anything.” Hang on a minute. He took an oath at the ‘Kakul Academy’ did he say?
What was the Kakul Academy to him, a man who violated one of the most basic precepts, an almost holy covenant, upon which every military academy is based: that of the honour system? When as a so-called gentleman cadet, he cheated in the nine-mile run and boasted about it in his nonsensical and ludicrous In the line of fire, even the title of which was plagiarised from one of Clint Eastwood’s films of the same name? (Stand up, Humayun Gauhar).
For the information of the ‘bloody civilians’ who might be reading this, a cadet would be relegated for taking a packet of cigarettes from the mess bar without signing for it.For cheating on the scale that Musharraf indulged in i.e. taking a shortcut in an endurance test, the punishment would be no less than being disgracefully drummed out of the academy after the badges of cadet rank (if any), shoulder flashes and cap badge, were cut off in front of the whole First Pakistan Battalion formed up on the parade ground.
So what ‘oath’, what ‘academy’ does he talk about? I should have thought that the ‘happening place where there is never a dull day’ would be Edgware Road, London and its shisha bars, where he lurks these days and not poor, bleeding Pakistan.
By the by, could he please explain even at this late date especially now that he is, as we say in the vernacular, ‘weighing his wings’ before jumping into Pakistani politics (!), why Adm Shahid Karimullah, the ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia at the time, was present, hands respectfully folded in his lap, as Bilal Musharraf and his boss, one Asad Jamal, chairman and CEO of ePlanet Ventures, Global Venture Capital, were meeting Prince Alwaleed bin Talal?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the federal government is going on making a laughing stock of itself by repeatedly first doing something stupid and then when the going gets tough, making shameless U-turns. And then doing nothing about the flunky/functionary who put it in difficulty in the first place.
Witness the judges’ appointment issue and the embarrassing loss of face the government had to suffer. I am told by people who should know that Babar Awan (yes, of the judges’ restoration fiasco fame) was principally to blame — surprise, surprise. Yet, the man continues as heretofore as law minister. Whilst one supports democratic rule by the elected representatives of the people one has to condemn such lackadaisical governance.
However, the politicians will be sorted out by the people at the next elections if they are perceived to be inept etc; what upsets me is that no one, not the government, not the opposition reacted when the army announced last week that the COAS needs no such approval to give extensions in service to generals.
What is the difference between giving extensions and promoting generals when an extension can put someone within reach of the next higher rank obviously at the cost of other officers waiting in line to be promoted?
If the army arrogates more and more powers to itself at GHQ outside the writ of the government, nothing is going to work. Doesn’t the opposition understand that whilst it may snigger at the present government’s discomfort when the army takes it head-on (such as the ill-considered public outburst of ‘fury’ by the generals at the Kerry-Lugar Bill, whilst themselves asking for American aid the very next week), it might be the next government of Pakistan. How will it rein in the (already) rampant army then?
As pleaded many times in this column, might one say to the political forces to come together on the main principles of governance, the first of which should be the elected government’s suzerainty over all the departments of the state?
Source: Dawn, 02 Mar, 2010