Musharraf must first learn to become a civilian politician
The examination results from the AFIC and media reports leave little doubt that a malingering Musharraf is in fact using illness as an excuse to avoid appearing before the court where he is to be indicted on charges of high treason. Musharraf’s blood pressure is what most in his age group aspire for, the reports do not indicate a heart attack, his doctors have not debarred him from appearing in the court and he has reportedly walked and held an hour long consultation with his legal team. But for minor non-debilitating ailments like pain in the knee, frozen shoulder and high cholesterol which can be treated locally and are common among otherwise healthy people, Musharraf is in fine fettle. As far as stress is concerned this too is a common symptom with people facing serious charges in the court. Thousands of litigants would be knocking at the courts’ doors if these were accepted as justifications for failure to appear. For all intents and purposes Musharraf is fit like a fiddle. The way he rushed to the hospital, leaving behind a thousand security officials and discarding the extraordinary security measures for his protection indicates that the excuse of not appearing before the court on account of security considerations was also a ruse.
In a contrasting attitude, former president Asif Ali Zardari made an appearance before a court hearing corruption cases against him despite the security threats he faces. The militant organisations have kept the entire Bhutto family on the list of their prime targets. In 2007 the gathering at the Karachi airport to welcome Benazir Bhutto was attacked killing bout 150 PPP workers. The attack did not demoralise BB though. She called on the Musharraf government to provide her adequate security. While protesting several times that the jammers provided to her were faulty, she continued to travel in preparations for elections and was finally killed in Rawalpindi. Threats were later extended to Zardari and Bilwal Bhutto during the later part of his tenure as President Zardari remained mostly confined to the Presidency. The threats after the elections forced Zardari and Bilawal to reduce public appearance during the elections, though they remained in contact with party workers through social media. In July last year Zardari’s chief security officer was killed in a suicide attack in Karachi. This led Zardari to seek the Sindh High Court’s permission to keep armed private security guards and a bulletproof vehicle with tinted glasses at his own expense. Neither BB nor Zardari made any fuss over court appearances on scores of times.
Musharraf wants to take part in politics but expects to be treated as a COAS. This is absolutely unacceptable. If he is to do politics he must not use the army as a shield for protection. He was told by the military high ups to stay away from Pakistan. He disregarded the advice and must face the consequences.