Welcoming home Mr Musharraf

Published: September 13, 2010

Former President Musharraf is just another political actor.

Former President Musharraf announced his intention to run for parliament or become President once again come election time, 2013. Rumours and reports suggest that his new party will be launched on the October 1,2010, after which his party will actively promote Musharraf as the nation’s saviour.

Alliances are being formed, deals brokered and supporters invigorated. Democracy in action?

Given the prospect of a new political force entering the country; it’s quite disheartening to read the near, unanimous denouncement of Musharraf’s return to Pakistan, or to politics, or both. Critics have argued that there is no room in politics for Musharraf anymore.

I for one both welcome and eagerly await the former President’s return. For one, denying a Pakistani citizen the right to participate in politics is undemocratic. Denying a Pakistani citizen the right to return to his homeland is against the law. Denying the citizens of Pakistan the choice in choosing their political representatives is a travesty.

Our current political elite claim to be the bastions of democracy. They claim that they are the vanguards in the struggle against “non-democratic” forces. They count the days that they have spent in jail. Why are the same people today suggesting that the former President stay out of the country and out of politics? They should be celebrating the entrance of a new political actor! Proof that democracy under their watch is flourishing.

Musharraf should return. It’s not only his right; it’s also an opportunity for voters to have an alternative at the ballot box come 2013 (or earlier).

While Musharraf has a constitutional right to return, he also has a legal and moral responsibility towards the nation as a political actor. As the leader of a newly formed political party I am sure he would not want to be treated in any way less than other political leaders?

The same constitutional rights, which guarantee his right to return and participate in politics, also require him, to face charges filled against him in various courts. He also has a responsibility to answer many of the questions that I am sure we have all waited a long time to hear.

For one, what “deal” did we have with the US post 9/11? How active was the US military on Pakistani soil? Were Pakistani citizens illegally removed from the country and handed over to foreign authorities? What of the missing persons? What was the role of the ISI in politics during your years in power? What was the deal with Benazir Bhutto? Are you prepared to face criminal charges for subverting the constitution not once but twice? Who is responsible for Akbar Bugti’s death? How are the foreign guarantors who insured your dignified exit from the Presidency?  The list goes on.

The former President’s return will hopefully offer inspiration and hope to his supporters, and some long overdue answers to his detractors.

There is very little if anything that I would agree with the former President. However, in the best interest of encouraging democracy, not the kleptocracy that is prevalent at present, critics and supporters should welcome his return.

As Voltaire (allegedly) said:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


Syed Nadir El Edroos

Nadir teaches Economics at Bellerbys College, London and is interested in Pakistani politics and current affairs. He tweets @needroos (twitter.com/needroos)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • MR

    The other blogger who apparently wrote about Musharraf and his video ought to learn a thing or two from you, Nadir.This write-up is well-balanced, through-provoking and very well-written. Good work :)Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Thanks Nadir,,,,,,for posting this blog……..Musharraf should return. It’s not only his right; it’s also an opportunity for voters to have an alternative at the ballot box come 2013 (or earlier).

    While Musharraf has a constitutional right to return, he also has a legal and moral responsibility towards the nation as a political actor. As the leader of a newly formed political party I am sure he would not want to be treated in any way less than other political leaders?
    sounds true…….Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/pracker S. Ali Raza

    Yes, he should return and he should be answerable to all the charges against him before contesting the elections with a “clean chit” so this patriotic General may solve the problem created after 2007. Recommend

  • mehdi army

    people like you are responsible for Pakistan’s plight today as you are the one who hail and vote for criminals like Musharraf. This man literally sold out his country men and whole army in the name of “Non-Nato Alliance” with the sworn enemies of Muslims.Recommend

  • mehdi army

    very well written. my previous comment was for other blogger, posted here by mistake. Recommend

  • adil

    Nadir, i’m ashamed to call you a friend. Give rights to a man who took our rights from us? not once, but twice?! Recommend

  • Callen

    Welcome back indeedRecommend

  • adil

    its just this Nadir: we have no time to play good cop bad with Musharraf. That we all know tht he’s left it in a state it is in today, only asks for him being tried and banned from political scene for his lifetime, preferably imprisoned for subverting the constitution. And even after all this he’s being given airtime by a popular TV channel once again in the name of flood victims is shameful. And that you see a silver lining in his comingback, and are hedging bets over his acquittal of the charges he must face. . . is simply abhorrent. How come you even doubt your convictions tht musharraf is guilty, and the only thing to go abt in this case is his return to face the courts, and not to partcipate in public arena!!Recommend

  • MI

    Dear Musharraf most welcome. The nation needs a proven leader like you. This is very good news for the nation. You will find all the support that you missed during previous election. That was because media misled us. Now we have burned our fingures by voting the corrupt mafiya. I hope this time media will depict the true picture.Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    A well written article, I respect your point of view and hope Anti Musharraf’s will learn etiquette of criticism from Nadir. Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/1336/the-democracy-of-detachment/ Syed Nadir El-Edroos

    @Adil – He cant be tried or banned in absenteeism, a) that wont have any credibility and b) it will set a dangerous precedent where people will be convicted while having no fair say in court. Now its not for you or me to decide who can and should be part of political processes regardless of our intentions. The proper place for any individual to seek political power is at the ballot box, the proper place for some one to be judged is in a court. If we bend the rules to exclude him that justifies his actions at the same time.Recommend

  • Zafar

    Well written, country needs alternate, honest, brave leadership, whos better then Sir Musharraf.Recommend

  • Salma

    @adil, @mehdi army. Constitution is for Pakistan, Pakistan is not for constitution. If you give clean chit to criminals like Nawaz and Zaradri then Musharraf is for better than both of these.Recommend

  • shy

    well written.Recommend

  • Mono Quemado

    Do Pakistanis suffer from collective amnesia? Do you really think its wise to elect once again a person that blatently violated the constitution and rule of law? The same guy that sold Pakistanis for $5000 a pop!Recommend

  • Blithe

    This guy messed our postion on Kashmir. He compromised state seccrets in his autobiography. What is the scum of the lowest order.

    He should be back in Pakistan and hung from the nearest lamp-post. Recommend

  • Hamza

    mr. adil and his ilk are blithely unaware of the reality of pakistani politics…there seems to be a disconnect between them and what most pakistani people believe. i find it hard to believe that more people are NOW more than ever NOT supporting president musharraf. these baseless allegations that he sold us out to the americans is nonsense….only a senile person would buy these. Recommend

  • Mohammad Ilyas

    Simply compitition will be among the Musharraf lovers and the corruption lovers. Llet us see who win, because it is do and die case for both of them. People of Pakistan have a lost chance to get rid of the corrupt PMLN and PPP. Musharraf lovers know that the so called corrupt leaders will not surrender easily, but this time they have to – people of Pakistan are left with no other choice.

    Welcome Musharraf – God bless you.Recommend

  • Jonas

    Welldone Mr. Nadir!
    If todays topp politicians call themselves democrats then they have to give the former president chance to defend himself, either in courts or in future elections. If Mr. Nawaz Sharif or Mr. Zardari and their supporters who have used ugly language against former president are any better than Mr. Musharraf, then they should prove this by not doing same thing Mr. Musharrf allegedly did to them. What is the difference if these so called democrates behave themselves in the same manner as their so called “tormentor”. Recommend

  • Danish

    I agree to the point that Musharraf should return, take part in politics and prove that how he would be any different from our so called champions of democracy rulers ruling us like dictators today. For those of the bloggers here who say that he took away our rights twice, i would disagree if he did than he resigned also. He had the courage to accept his mistakes, our national leaders can drown thousands of poor people but does any of them have the remorse to say “SORRY”.

    Atleast during his time people had the money and resources. We had seen our countries name in the world rise financially. Foreign investment was welcomed and we had seen the world bank increasing our ratings. Atleast we did not go to World Bank or IMF with a begging Kashkol during his time. He gave the youth of this country a stable economy and a hope to achieve success by hard work.

    We are in state today not because of Musharraf but because of our democratic leaders. We should blaming our present on the past as the present can always be better than the past but our current regime has not done anything to improve anything. So far it has been a down hill. A regular complaint to an electricity department cannot be fixed in 10 days while the line man has more power than the MD Pepco. This is our current state. Stop living in a fool’s paradise, we need a new leadership Musharraf or anyone. We are through with the Sharif’s and Bhutto’s.Recommend

  • Zafarullah

    To err is human. Musharraf might have made some errors but considering him a soldier of high repute,I have no doubt that those decisions were made by him, in his opinion, at least in the best interest of the nation and surely not for any personal gains.Surely I would wish him to face the charges against him and let the nation know the reasons for each of his so-called wrong actions. Once explained and possibly cleared, I have no doubt that he would be the BEST leader for Pakistan. Let’s not forget that it was the personal ego of a political leader which ULTIMATELY seperated East Pakistan from West Pakistan.Do we really have such a short memory?Recommend

  • Hassaan

    i hope they don’t blow him up on his return… Recommend

  • shkhan

    I don’t understand why we pretend to be surprised at any hesitation, by Musharraf, to line-up eagerly to face charges in our courts. How many of you think you will get a fair trial? I certainly don’t think I would get a free trial if it ever came to that. And I am sure that he will not get a fair trial either. Whether its in his favor or not, it will be unfair and incompetent.

    I would love to see more discussion on our absolute failure of a legal system. There may have been many political leaders that helped corrupt our legal system, but I can’t imagine what the excuse is now that the judiciary has been “set free”?

    If I goofed off at my job for a couple of years I would get very very fired.Recommend

  • http://none Aamir Ali

    With a corrupt govt and a friendly opposition currently in the country, Musharraf’s return to politics is desperately needed.Recommend

  • Parvez

    This is like the WWF where Macho-man throws the Powerful Pink Panther and Pedro Mucho Lightning (Neon) out of the ring, vowing never to allow them back. But fate has something else in store and they both come back and throw Macho-man out of the ring and start fighting for the belt. But Macho-man has heard the roar of the crowds and the pull to get into the ring is strong.
    Will Macho-man come back?
    Will the Panther and Pedro allow Macho back?
    Will the referee disqualify one, two or all three.
    We all know that WWF is rigged and yet we hold our breath and watch.Recommend

  • Malik Tabeer

    He is one of the most trustworthy person in Pakistan.He is very well educated person from a very good-mannered background.He is not corrupt at all….Pakistan needs Pervez Saheb as a leader..He can only lead Pakistan from destruction to development….Let him come back and tell the world that Pakistan can survive and develop much faster….Let him come….Let him come back…Support him like iron wall..Recommend

  • Muhammad Arsalan

    He is the most trust worthing, talented and honorable person. We will support him and he will do win the elections, because we know that he is the one to make a better Pakistan, a happy Pakistan, a developed Pakistan, a respected Pakistan. Musharraf is the gift from Allah, please support him. We need him, as the president, as the ruler.
    Insha Allah !Recommend

  • Abid Muzaffar

    Dear bloggers,

    When I start to debate this idea of Musharraf return to Pakistan in my mind! Things get quite complicated and less clarity comes through about the choices available. I suppose
    The best way to approach this is for me to realize that I will have to end up choosing a
    Candidate with fewer faults and in turn give Pakistan more breathing space for
    Progress. Perhaps the role of a third major party in Pakistan, could create a system
    Or an environment in which there is more accountability and transparency. If we start
    Our assessment by looking at the each candidates motivations and past history, its
    Seems Musharraf has a much greater edge. Recommend

  • Sajjad Ahmed

    If there are allegations, let them be brought to the court of justice. If people support democracy in all its forms, they must support our institutions and the justice system as well.
    Tolerance, must be practiced by those who advocate it so bad; and included in ‘tolerance’ in Musharraf’s right to return back to the country.Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser

    nice post.

    in my personal opinion democracy will strengthen after musharraf returns in political arena and i would love to see him beating Nawaz Sharif in NA-123.

    oh man this is real excitementRecommend

  • mario

    Welcome back Sir, The country needs Mr. Musharraf as our President or Prime minister. Inshallah he will win with clear majority and silence the critics.

    By the way, a very well-written blog…..totally appreciate it :)
    Keep up the good work.Recommend

  • saba

    i fail to understand why is this article even published? it doesn’t make sense at all. Recommend

  • Umair

    As you sow,so shall you reap!
    He must realise how it feels when one is forced to stay away from homeland;like what he did with MBB and MNS.
    Nevertheless its his right to return his country and face the charges of treason bravely like a commando instead of making deals and getting assuarnces from powerful quarters.Recommend

  • Malik Tabeer

    Whatever i will welcome to pervez Musharraf in real these coward infact scared of himRecommend

  • Rahim

    Welcome Musharraf – idiots are on the run and are in their last breaths. PLMN’s and PPPP’s self destruction has already started – they just need a little push from the supressed people of Pakistan, and that push is not far away. Even their hired media persons will be unable to stop their demise, in particular of PML N who is the top supporter of extremism in the country.Recommend

  • Zafarullah

    I remember Imran Khan who rightly said that while he was in Parliament, he observed that if any members blames another for corruption, the other one instead of denying the charges would blame the first one of doing corruption on a higher level. At least this wouldn’t happen for Musharraf. I wish Imran and Musharraf joins hands for the betterment of Pakistani masses. Some politicians blame MQM of being a party of gangsters and murderers, but at least they are not looting the national wealth and shifting it abroad. Which party is not doing murdering, kidnapping and gangstering? This has become the order of the day for a political party to remain floated in Pakistan’s environment. But looting national wealth should NOT BE TOLERATED AT ALL. I call it treason and such politicians should be hanged until death. Long Live Musharraf. I forgive you for any wrong doings of yours because I feel those must have been either human error or in the best interest of the nation.Recommend

  • Manoj

    A simple thief is caught and produced in court. He says, I do not recognise the constitution, the law and the court of the land, hence I am free to do what i want to and court of the land can not punish me.

    What the court will do? It will punish the person for theft as well as for waging war against the nation for not recognising the constitution.

    But if in place of the thief, a military dictator comes, court allows him to change the constitution as he wishes, appoint the judges of his choice and gets free hand to rule the Pakistan against the wishes of the people.
    I am citizen of India and wish to ask all those Pakistani citizen planning to welcome Gen. Musharaf, why do not you release all those people facing trial in your court, if constitution is not sacrocent.Or is it that constitution is only for common people and mighty people are above constitution in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Sajjad Ahmed

    There is no justification for any CRIME committed. Let us let our institutions thrive rather than supporting for our personal gains or sympathizing with petty individuals..Recommend

  • http://iwebuniversity.com Hunain Ali

    Excellent !

    Hats off mate :)Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser

    Just wanted to say, if you are musharraf supporter, 10/10 for pic selection, imagine NS seeing this pic and getting boiled up to 100 degree Celsius. lolRecommend

  • MI

    @Manoj. Constitution is for Pakistan, Pakistan is not for constitution.

    Do not put your nose here, ask your courts to punish your army for their cruel acts in Kashmir. Have you courage to do this? Have your courts done any justice in Kashmir to punish for their cruel actions on the innocent Kashmiris? Recommend

  • Aftab S. Alam

    O’yeah —— President Musharraf still has a role to play in our Pakistani politics and its development —– with the rapidity of current politicians losing their credibility and the Supreme Court, its impartiality —– it seems his time is approaching sooner than later. All this talk about Musharraf’s criminal involvement in whatever is perceived as crime has no standing in the eyes of the law otherwise his ‘haters’ with all their expertise in matters legal would have brought him back and taken their ‘revenge’ by now. Recommend

  • Manoj

    Dear MI : I do not wish to take moral high ground. India like pakistan has still miles to go to institute the fair judicial system. But within this limit, I believe Indian court are doing good job.

    We both are not aware of the happening in our respective countries because of restrictions in free flow of information and many of our concern / complain arise because of ignorance about each other.

    Just to apprise you, the supreme court of india is monitoring the trial of accused of Gujarat Riot and dozen of top police official belonging to Indian Police Service ( IPS) is in Jail.

    Similarly, accused of bomb blast of Samjhuta express was caught and they are behind bars. No court has even granted them bail for the last three years.

    In Kashmir, all the cases has been tried on merit and several police and army officer have lost their job for the violation of Human rights. But you will appreciate that to quell violence police has to use power.

    Kashmir is a complex problem and it can be solved only on the negotiation table. Till such time, all concerned party should refrain from using the Kashimiri to meet their political end.Recommend

  • qasim

    Denying a Pakistani citizen the right to return to his homeland is against the law….that was a good joke he didn’t let sharif bro’s come to pakistan even to attend funeral of their father, sent them back on couple of occassions and wot not! he himself denied these rights to many seeks same provision. lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzRecommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed

    Well said Ms. Salma,

    Its people like Adil & Mehdi Army who have nothing constructive to say about anything.

    Musharraf is a Army man & no one can be more patriotic than service men. They live & die for the country. He was a soldier in wartime & fought with the enemies of Pakistan.

    Tell me how many politicians, judges & mullahs have fought & died for their country from the current crop?

    They only live for 2 things:


    And they also they for it.

    He made mistakes & admits it, it takes a big man to stand up in public & admit his mistakes.

    These politicians talk about democracy, the question is are they democratic themselves? Are their parties democratic, they seem to get elected for life time & after they are killed or die their husbands, wives, sons, daughter, even son-in-laws picks up from were they left.

    This is the true picture of our so called democratic leaders.

    I would choose Musharraf over these corrupt, selfish, biased & plain stupid clowns & jokers a trillion times.Recommend

  • http://allaboutmqm.org Dr Asif

    President Musharraf still has a role to play in our Pakistani politics and its development —– with the rapidity of current politicians losing their credibility and the Supreme Court, its impartiality —– it seems his time is approaching sooner than later. All this talk about Musharraf’s criminal involvement in whatever is perceived as crime has no standing in the eyes of the law otherwise his ‘haters’ with all their expertise in matters legal would have brought him back and taken their ‘revenge’ by now.Recommend

  • Talha

    Musharraf will return and lift this country out of its sorry state.

    All hail Musharraf (is this shirk?).

    Anyway, welcome back.Recommend

  • Azeem

    The man commits treason twice and people want him back. Well im sure he and his party of facebook activists will bomb in the elections. Recommend

  • maheen

    you are very great person.and very honest.allah ap ko hamasha khush rakhy aameen.Recommend

  • Hina

    How on earth can someone welcome Mushraf back in Pakistan? The man who literally destroyed his country, the man who sold out his lands to US stations and now to save those stations, the floods have been diverted to other villages, the man who nearly handed over Dr Abdul Qadir to US, and the man who forced CJ to resign because CJ questioned him about th disappearence of Dr Afia and other people? The list would go on and on, how can you be so ignorant to think that he deserves a welcome back?

    Don’t go ranting about other politicians now, I’m very well aware of them too. But two wrongs don’t make one right. Recommend

  • saeed

    we welcome him for
    that he be punished for every word he spoke , heard or did during his life
    starting from birth until today and until his death.Recommend

  • mubashir

    @Salma: stonrlgy agree Recommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    He should be arrested and be put on trial.Recommend