THE RESTLESS GENERAL – MUSHARRAF

On Jun 7, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf can conditionally file his nomination papers to contest the general elections on July 25 and also directed him to appear before the court on June 13.

This celebration was cut short for the General (who is aspiring to create a “third political force”) as Pakistani authorities threw a googly at him the very next day, by suspending his national identity card and passport. The Express Tribune reported that the National Registration and Database Authority (NADRA) suspended the former Generals CNIC which resulted in the default suspension of his passport. It further reported that after his passport was blocked, Musharraf would not be able to travel to any country. And he can either seek political asylum or have special documents arranged if he desires to return to Pakistan.

This move most certainly is an orchestrated move in order to deter him from coming to Pakistan to file his nomination. And no points for guessing, that the suspension of CNIC and the passport are verily at the behest of the despot – the deep state.

Talks of Pervez Musharraf returning to Pakistan started doing the rounds much before the six-member caretaker federal Cabinet under Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk took oath on 5th Jun. Ironically, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) had announced his return after Eid, just a week before the caretaker government was sworn in.

In Nov last year it was reported that he had formed a “grand alliance – Pakistan Awami Ittehad ” (PAI) of 23 political parties (including the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Sunni Itehad Council, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Muslim Conference (Kashmir), PML-Junejo, PML-Council, PML- National, Awami League, Millat Party, Jamiat Ulma Pakistan (Niazi Group), Aam Loug Party, Aam Admi Party, Pakistan Masawat Party, Pakistan Minority Party, and Social Justice Democratic Party) and Iqbal Dar was appointed as Secretary General. Addressing media persons through video conferencing from Dubai, he said all parties representing Muhajir (migrant) community should be united; he invited the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) to join the new political alliance. Same time he expressed hope that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi would join his grand alliance as well. He is even ready to enter into an alliance with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

He had stressed on the need to “create a third political force” to introduce better practical democracy” and said he was not keen on becoming the prime minister of Pakistan. Inviting PTI’s Imran Khan to join the alliance he said “I say openly I have no desire to become the prime minister of Pakistan. I am not insecure and I can guarantee that I am ready to shake hand with Imran Khan and for that matter anyone on this planet who is against the PPP and PMLN”. Musharraf’s party will now look to form an alliance against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) by aligning with PTI, PML-Q, PML-F, BAP, and MQM-P.

Viewpoint

By now it is well understood that this is an act well orchestrated as the deep state clearly doesn’t want Musharraf back. Also, there is no denying that despite facing charges of treason and being declared an absconder in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, the General still manages to attract considerable attention in Pakistan. However, the general seems to be living in a la la land, being way too optimistic to contest elections. Given the fact that the people of Pakistan have tolerated him for almost a decade it is very unlikely they will give him (a military ruler) a second chance. A history of failed military dictators has sapped much of the public’s confidence in the Pakistan Army’s ability to solve Pakistan’s political problems.

The General knows his beans and wouldn’t jump the gun. In the present circumstances, his return to Pakistan seems very unlikely, but cannot be completely overruled. In any case, his return would leave him with less than two months to woo voters which leaves the arena open for the dirty fight between Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif; which Imran has already begun to taste with his ex-wife Reham Khan going all guns blazing making him nervy already.

08 Jun 2018/ Friday                                                              Written by Afsana