Musharraf’s defenders


Coming out of the virtual world of the Facebook, Musharraf finds himself abandoned by former colleagues, both civilian and military, while his adversaries are anxiously waiting for his arrival to drag him to the courts. Like a scared person preparing himself to face a hostile situation Musharraf continues to repeat I am determined to go back to Pakistan almost on a daily basis without moving a step towards the direction. Getting frustrated with his own handiwork, called the PML(Q) which has disassociated itself from his unpopular decision, Musharraf has launched a frontal attack on the Chaudhrys, holding them responsible for the creation of the NRO, which he now calls his greatest mistake. Despite the PPP led government allowing him safe exit, it is no more willing to offer him further concessions. He has, therefore, opened a front against the party also accusing that its government has nearly turned the country into a failed state. Meanwhile, Mian Nawaz Sharif, for whom he reserves the choicest vocabulary, remains the refrain in all his speeches.

Anybody ruling the country has means to create a lobby, however small, personally loyal to him. We are reminded by one of the ministers who served under Musharraf that economy wise his era was the best in 63-year history of Pakistan. Many think otherwise. Vital economic decisions that had to be urgently implemented were delayed by Musharraf for political reasons, creating long term economic problems for the successive governments. The freeze on the prices of petroleum and gas and failure to add in any significant way to the energy grid have led to dire economic and social consequences which it will take long to overcome. His consumer oriented economic policies failed to add to the jobs while they increased the gulf between the richest and the poorest to a level all time high.

Musharrafs claim that a large part of the electorate which normally abstains from voting would come out massively in his support. The hypothesis can only be verified by the kind of reception he gets on return which he continues to delay, as he knows well that he is highly unpopular, postponing the date now to 2013.