An open letter to Pervez Musharraf

Published: September 19, 2010

Former President Musharraf is set to return to Pakistani politics on October 1

Dear Mr Musharraf,

I am writing to you in good faith. Recently, your political activities have increased. Every Pakistani should have the right to take part in the democratic process and bring change to this country. However, it is essential that you publicly apologize to the Pakistani nation for the various blunders you made during your forced rule. Only then should you be welcomed into the political arena. You may claim to be extremely patriotic, but in my opinion, you always gave your throne more importance than Pakistan.

Firstly, there is absolutely no excuse for playing around with the constitution. You did that. You somehow justified that and got away with it. Since power was your goal, you sold Pakistan to the highly controversial ‘war of terror’. The war helped you make influential friends, but at whose cost? I know how power can blind someone, but roasting the whole country just to keep your authority intact was clearly out of line. Your policy on the Red Mosque and the murder of a Baloch leader still awaits explanation. I will not elaborate on the problems, because that is not the purpose of this letter. The purpose is to ask for a public apology.

The break  in Pakistan’s already lagging democratic process by your hijacking of the system has cost Pakistan at least a decade of planning and development. You overthrew a government that you claimed was failing. Who were you to decide? Moreover, if that government was not doing too well, a new government would have taken over once their tenure was over. But slashing the whole system and thinking that you and only you were right is certainly the wrong thought process. Removing one incompetent government and replacing it with another incompetent government of your choice was a ridiculous tactic to keep your authority. Or do you feel you did the right thing?

If you are too stubborn to accept your faults, then you are the same Mr Musharraf who chewed on the foundations of Pakistan. I, for one, will not welcome you unless you apologize loud and clear. If you think that my opinion as an individual does not count, I feel you still have the rigid mindset that helped you ruin Pakistan. My request for an apology is too reasonable to discard.

A good leader must have a vision, be popular, persuasive, intelligent, pragmatic and honest to his work. You are clearly very intelligent and competent. You have a strong personality, excellent communication skills and a moderate, progressive vision. But you used all your abilities for yourself, not Pakistan. Because of your actions, the democratic counter was set to zero, again!

Mr. Musharraf, have the courtesy to accept your faults and apologize to the nation. It will only make you a bigger person and a better candidate for any office.

Yours Sincerely.


Samir Butt

A former Youth Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Fulbright undergraduate scholar, freelance writer, public speaking trainer, IT consultant and marketing professional. He blogs at

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

  • Yasser

    Good post, but mate you are showing one side of the picture, who will show the other side?

    You should write an open letter to Mian Nawaz Sharif as well and asked him the same and apology for the following because it is directly related to it.

    1) Reasons behind terminating Jehangir Keramat as COAS
    2) Attacking Supreme Court due to differences with Sajjad Ali Shah and Changed him unconstitutionally
    3) Removed Faroorq Leghari, the then President of Pakistan
    4) What was the need to change chief of Army Staff when he was traveling in the plane.
    5) Made all the cases against PPP then become the brother of Shaheed Mohtarma and hugged zardari till he removed musharraf.

    There are many more but these above are of more importance and directly related to first constitutional violation of 99 which you were talking about.


  • Atif Ahmad

    Did you ever asked for an apology from Zardari, The Shareefs, Mohtarma, Z A Bhutto, Zia Ul Haq, Mullahs for ruining Pakistan ?

    As far as Lal Masjid is concerned, I believe there are many more Red Mosques in Pakistan which promotes Extremism and should be dealt the way our forces dealt with the LAL Masjid. I say Mr. Musharraf failed in not dealing with other Lal Masjids too….

    And if you, after writing a couple of articles call yourself A Fulbright Scholar and justify if Musharraf was wrong or right then A COAS should have the authority to intervene when ever corrupt politicians try to become Amer-ul-Momineens and civil dictators….

    Try writing an open letter to yourself !

    Stay Blessed Recommend

  • Faizan

    Well written article but for once is objectivity too much to ask for? I realize that almost all articles are biased in that they reflect only the view of the author, but I truly believe that the best articles are those which acknowledge both sides of any argument before propagating the authors view.
    The point about Musharraf “selling Pakistan to the War on Terror” for example again ignores the fact that the initiators of the War on Terror believe that they(meaning the US) were only helping Pakistan to engage in and fight their own war.Recommend

  • SS

    too childish, not ur fault read ur previous pieces u lack the ability to analyze any issue, ur posts are strictly subjective thus, catering to limited readers and how can I forget that u r one loyal supporter of democracy(the perfect one currently running) so writing on Musharraf with such views is incites no surprise. High time kid star writing something worthy… u r no star that people would be jumping to read ur “personal letters”Recommend

  • Zafar

    Writer probably wrote the above post after watching geo tv bulletin. There are always positives and negatives of the time period but the points mentioned above are not even negatives. When the people are talking about the BLOODY revolution it is insane to talk about the constitution violation by Mush covered legally. Had the transfer of power been done more swiftly (that Mush was talking about) rather than under Aitzaaz Ahsan’s revolutionary movement, we might have a more healthy democracy. Recommend

  • parvez

    Excellent piece Samir. Agree with you all the way.
    Will keep track to see if Musharraf replies.Recommend

  • Fairoz

    The problem with our nation is that we have a very short memory,but bigger than this problem is when we donot research and form our opinion on heresay. Its very easy to comment on an episode with hindsight but we need to go back to the same situation to come on to a logical solution. Let me take each so called BLUNDER one by one.

    War on Terror. Who in his right mind can support a terrorist may it be a state or an organization or an individual. September Elveven once the US was to engage Taliban, was it important to be friendly with them or to save our own countery. Moreover, why do we have to harbour individuals in our teritory who donot respect our laws and harm our innocent people with bombings. These people were given a choice to laydown arms but failing this were met with hard action.We donot want Talibnization in our country. Yes we are muslim but are also progressive .

    Progress in last Decade. Probably the years between 2000-2007 were the best years for Pakistan. Where the GDP was raised from 300usd to 1200 usd. Tax collection, without imposing new taxes just by brodning the tax base rose from 3 million to 1 trillion.For the very first time Pakistan was included in the N11 countries with a rising economy at 7.6% per anum second to China .The Dollar was steady at 60-62 .The massive amount of development, never seen in last 60 years. There are many other indicators for which one can write an independent article, the point to bring home to is only this that its totally absurd once someone say that we didnot achive substantially in those years. Needless to say that we were a defaulted state in 1998 with reserves only sufficient for one week’s import.

    Lal Masjid . I just cannot belive that we have forgotten about the crimes commited by the Burqa Clad male terrorists right here at the heart of our country. Have we forgotten once they abducted the Chinese, policemen alongwith their official vehicle, burning of music CDs, terrorising the barber shop owners, burning the Environment Ministry Building and their car parking area. announcing a paralel system of governament. Please tell me which governament or leader would tolerate that all this happening at the capital. Can anyone answer why Molana Aziz fled in Burqa from the mosque , why he didnot take along the other occupents . The answer is very simple. They just wanted to have a show down and wanted to kill as many as possible. Lets not forget the valient sons of our army and law enforcement agencies, who on the cost of their lives enabeled a very large no of hostages to leave from the cluctches of the terrorists. Have we forgotten that the governament requested Imam Qaba to come and talk to these people, many religious leaders trying to negotiate. In the end an action was necessary, which happened.

    Mr Bugti. No one should be allowed to talk against the State of Pakistan which is our pride and our recognition lest talking of seperation. Infact he should be charged of murdering the four officers who went in that cave to talk to him for unharmed surrender and he blew himself with those valient sons of the soil. Its not a secret that Bugti was supported by India to make problems for us since they were afraid of our efforts of making Gawader port a regional Bussiness and shipping hub. Please also keep in account the massive development projects that are on ground. I bet mr Butt has never gone there like most of our fellow country men to look with their own eyes.

    To conclude , I salute Mr Musharraf and convey my very best wishes for his announcemnt of joining active politics. He had proved to chang our lives once and i have full confidence in him that he can do it once again. There are many who think the same way and would show their active support once he comes back.
    Long live Pakistan.Recommend

  • Javed Afridi

    Very much true. I back every single word in this article. Much depressed by some of the comments made, esp. the one justify a public servant kicking out an elected prime minister while in the same breath seeking apology from the later for replacing COAS(s), an authority he has under the constitution.
    Welcome back Musharraf, there are still people in my country who are ready to welcome a self-centered dictator only because you share a common opponent. How mean? isn’t it?Recommend

  • Saaya Altaf

    We need more articles such as the one by Sameer Butt. Bravo! It’s very important to realise that Musharraf was the so-called “Pakistani” Blair, except that Blair did not sell his own people. We will never gain respect as a nation until we stop supporting dictators on America’s payroll. This is not the Pakistan that Chaudry Rehmat Ali, Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam alongwith multitudes of unsung heroes struggled for. We light candles for 9/11, but do our children know that the Quaid breathed his last on that day? What about 6th September? This is the Pakistan that Musharraf gave us.Recommend

  • Karim

    Because Nawaz Sharif, Zardari or any body else performed badly so we should not question Musharraf”s performance! Very funny. If Musharraf’s name and picture is being blared on the headline, he better be ready to be discussed. Obviously the man in the street can not be discussed for destroying Pakistan. It has been the privilege of it’s rulers to have accomplished this difficult task and Musharraf with his nine year absolute reign has a prominent place amongst these rulers. .
    As Samir says rightly, the only way for Musharraf is to admit his mistakes and ask pardon from the nation and from God. He should disclose all his failures and advice the new rulers to avoid them. He should write another book named ‘In the lie of misfire’ and spill the beans. We have enough con-men in Pakistan who can speak better and sound more confident than him but we don’t need such people. We want humble people like Eidhis and Choudhry Iftikhar’s to run this country. God have mercy on Pakistan and make AS Eidhi the president and Iftikhar Chaudhry the PM of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Adnan

    The only mistake President Musharraf made was the he did not hang corrupt politicians.

    I wish that the first thing he should do after coming back in Power is to hang all these corrupt political leaders and their families and confirscate their properties.

    Pakistan must be purified from these Napaak political leaders….

    Pakistan deserve hard hand and Not Democracy….Recommend

  • Hamza Malik

    Sharif made a deal, then scampered. He did not have the guts to face the courts, and Musharraf was to busy being the alpha male at home to wring out Sharif. Had Sharif been dragged through the court processes, he would’ve been given a double life sentence for hijack, attempt to murder of 186 people on board flight PK805, and high treason for forcing the plane to seek landing clearance from India with the army chief on board.

    When you make a hot-headed army general (as Musharraf is), he responds with the mighty fist. Not saying what he did was right. But in hindsight, the way Sharif tried to remove was the first nail in the coffin. As far as Musharraf is concerned, he won’t come back because if he does, he’ll spend his days locked up.

    The problem with such articles is that they are completely one-sided. Why don’t you ask Zardari, Sharif and all the other stooges for an apology too? That’s only fair. Otherwise you’re a hypocrite. And speaking of hypocrites, give this a read:

    Just shows how we’re all hypocritical. Recommend

  • samsha @london

    @people in favour of Musharaf …. grow up…. try to understand the goods only democracy can bring to our nation in the long run… i know we have corrupt politicians but that is not an argument for bringing greater evils like autocratic governments n musharaf….
    @samir: a very good piece once again … I would call it a true patriot’s voice. Recommend

  • Mohammed Arif

    Thank you Mr. Feroz for combating Samir who look like Asif under the hands of bookies (PMLN).

    Musharraf was forced to take over. Who advised Mr. Nawaz Shareef to terminate the COAS when he is out of the Country, Was it not against the Constitution. Then against a system he promoted Mr. Butt to replace him and starring his shoulder in Prime Minsiter house confidentially, even his Real Brother Shebaz and Right Hand Ch. Nisar were kept unaware and they were in the Prime Minster House. Ref. to Ch. Nisar’s interview. He tried to be Iron Man by saking another Chief of Army Staff afater Jahangir Karamat.

    I remember when Mr. Pervez Musharraf decided to support USA and world for Logestic support every one was satisfied and took deep breath and appreciated President Musharraf who saved Pakistan to make like TURA-BURA. It was the only option and it was not Musharraf’s decision; All our Army commanders supported the decision. I remember the Speech of Musharraf saying that I am not only Chief of Pakistan Army but also responsible to secure the people of Pakistan. From his face impression, it was cleared that he was not happy and looking tired. Further before taking the decision, he tried his best to convince the Al Qaida people to leave Afghanistan as demanded or surrender to save thousands of innocent people which already killed and still continue. Because it did not happend, so many other terrorist groups developed by our Enemy who proved more dangerous than Al Qaida itself.

    Lal Masjid Mosque: President of Paksitan in his speech in United National advocating Madrassas that all madrassas in Paksitan are not the terrorist source – only few and other Madrassas are the biggest NGO of the world who are not only educating the poor students but also giving them food and shelter. But on the other hand what Mullas were doing in Lal Masjid. They were given enough time of 6 months. Ladies were given bamboos in their hands and brought on roads; what horrible scene it was. From all angles they was asked to leave the mosque even Imam Khana-Kaba’s request was not honoured. And during operation a Suprement Court Judge on the site requested the peoples to come outside they will be taken in to judicial custody rather than Police then Mrs. Abd Sattar Edhi herself announced to come out. Actually the action started unplanned when they people entered into the Ministry and burned the record and machine gun was taken by force from the Policeman. Heavy armed from inside the mosque were used which is prove there were terrorists.

    I beleive Musharraf secured Dr. Qadeer from America. Even he did not allow any foreighner and american to contact him.

    During his regim economically Pakistan achieved tremendous goals and our stock market and foreign reserves and stability in pak currency is evidence of it.

    Gawadar, Coastal Highway and raods were made. Mega projects in Baluchistan were publically announced and work started on that.

    IT revolution – who can be reluctant. Where is Dr. Ataur Rehman now who served this country as much as possible. From they day Musharraf left, not a single Missile Test seen. So be honest and pray Allah for Musharraf or like him to safe our country. Pakistan First.Recommend

  • hassan

    @ Samsha
    dear why dont you grow up… hes coming back to take part in “elections”.

    @ Samir

    Before someone even dare to point fingers at musharraf , fingers must be pointed at zardari and nawaz sharif!!.

    Rubbish one sided article.Recommend

  • saleem

    No need to apologize for killing bunch of fanatics using a place of worship to act against mankind. No to even think about an apology let alone giving for getting rid of traitor. However you do an apology to the entire nation for introducing NRO and leaving us at the mercy of vultures.Recommend

  • mudassar nawaz

    excellent post !!!!simply true represenation of the majority of this country!Recommend

  • samsha @london

    @ hassan. I ve personally experienced the atrocities he commited in lal masjid as we were under a strict curfew for more than 2 weeks living in the capital of isb …. n he was at that time the God of pakistan…. than 12th oct …. what ever these politicians are, how much corrupt they are at least the blood on their hands is much less Recommend

  • nadiya ali

    @ samsha agreed with u and the writer fully.
    he shud apologize if he is that patriot. if zadari is mr 10% Musharaf is mr blunder of pakistan.Recommend

  • H.B

    An apology from mushraf? Thats very naive of you to expect him to say the word ‘sorry’. Recommend

  • Talha

    How unfortunate it is to hear another misinformed blogger trying to demean someone’s character,

    Let us start by being realistic and then analyzing the situation that you so harshly point towards one person who may not even have greater control of what occurred.

    This so called ‘war of terror’ is ours and has been for a long time, remember the Malakand uprising in 1994 lead by Sufi Mohammed to implement Sharia Law. Remember how the army had to move in and more than a 1000 died because of it. Sufi Mohammed is the Father in Law of Maulana Fazlullah, the same person who started this mess that we are in. The war had begun long ago, its better we face them not then later.

    Secondly, it was absolutely necessary to remove Sharif. He was trying to implement Sharia law and during his tenure, the economic condition was in complete shambles. Our foreign reserves were a paltry £500 million and government sectors were close to dead.

    Constitutionally our country has been a mess since Bhutto and Zia. We had to do something and Musharraf was moving in the right direction.

    Ask the Bhutto’s, Sharif’s and countless others to apologize first. They started this mess.Recommend

  • Taha Kehar

    Although a true depiction of ideas, your letter is a tad too subversive. Always remember that an open letter needs its fair share of facts and citations. These prevent your thoughts from being too weighted against a particular school of thought. Moreover, it shapes the groundwork wherein a focused and incisive argument can be presented (as opposed to an annoying ‘blame game’). Perhaps, a more conscientiously written letter to Mr. Musharraf was published by Chowk in 2000. The link is given below and although there may be a contextual variation in the two letters, it is still the more official and astutely chronicled.

  • Another opinion

    Thank you Samir for writing this! At least in a a democracy theres still accountability – provided that democracy in Pakistan is flawed and has corrupt politicians, but let the system work out its kinks. Dictators are accountable to no one, and by amending the constitution for himself, Musharraf was essentially paving the way for future dictators to abuse the system and rule the country on their personal whims.

    Nobody is above the law, and it was unconscionable for Musharraf to have abused the constitution in the manner that he did. Recommend

  • MHS

    @ Adnan, you are absolutely right, Musharaff should have dealt with these politicians very firmly.
    @ Hamza, Indeed If Nawaz had to go through all the formal court procedures he would have served double capital punishment. Case with all other politicians is not different too.
    As far as Lall mosque case and Baloch Tribal Chief killing is concerned, Samir has to look into ground realities before commenting on such sensitive issues. Lal mosque had become a state within a state and their vigilantism is not hidden. Tribal Chief killing is direct resultant of insurgency in Balochistan.What could be the best possible solutions of countering an insurgency and vigilantism at that time …………….. Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    @Sameer: waiting for more open letters from you and I hope it you’ll find plethora of things/events to criticize.
    @Shamsa: Curfew?? comapre it with 18-20 hrs of load-shedding in city like Sargodha where temp reaches upto 53 degree celcius, which equals Jackobabad the highest in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    @Fairoz: you are hitting the nail on head. I agree with youRecommend

  • Syed

    the writer seems to be an immature and “half-bright” sch(o)olar !Recommend

  • zuhair

    samir u are being unrealistic hereRecommend

  • SS

    @Mr. Samir Butt the blogger! congrats u’ve accomplished the target i.e u’re article has many posts below….
    now rather asking Musharraf to say something you should say a bigggg THANK YOU to him instead……..
    u r now one them who gained unparalleled publicity in the name of of the man himself the very respected former president of Pakistan “GEN> PERVEZ MUSHARRAF”Recommend

  • Ehsan Ali

    You could seriously better than that! I mean how casual could you get in writing that? Give it a read again and i’m sure you’ll think the same! Recommend

  • hassan

    lal masjid happened today , it would be handled the same way. That place was not a worship place. They were animals and deserved to be shot. Kidnapping tourist and practicing violence and breeding terrorists. Weve had many recent lal masjid like incidents, manwan academy attack.. ghq attack… qadyani mosque.. Lal masjid was a first of its kind and therefore there is so much fuss and hype. What musharraf did was perfectly correct. Had he further delayed action, then the same above critics would point finger at how he failed to deal with the situation.

    If PPP and pml N can come back in power after comitting colossal frauds and crimes, then Musharraf has every right to come back.

    For me his crime is the NRO!Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    the questions u raised have been answered by people of pakistan in 2008 elections.PMLN leader was not given equal opportunity by musharaf.He was kicked out of the country wen he tries to return in 2007 september.Had he given equal time as was given to ppp leader he could have won atleast 100 seats only from punjab out of 150.Yes I agree that nawaz has made mistakes but again he is our leader n they make mistakes but important thing is that u learn from those mistakes n he has learnt a lot.He will not ask army again to intervene in democratic setup.As far as musharaf is concerned he would be triled under article 6 in next pmln government.Recommend

  • Sharjeel

    R u in ur senses how the hell u supporting fauji junta.Do u know our 70 % of budget goes to our army n these army generals instead of taking care of india they hang our pm,put our pm in exile.Fatima Jinnah was a firm winner in the 1964 election, but ayub was declared winner by unlawfull acts.How could u support these generals.They break our beloved country.They should all be punished for there wrong doings to this great nation.Musahraff doesnt need any sympathy.H e was working on the payroll of usa like his predecessors.Pakistan was created through the power of vote n will continue to exist through the power of vote n democracy.Recommend

  • Talha Shahid Khan

    I am not going to write a letter in my comment but would like to highlight the issue to my dear writer that this is even not the way, that once you done everything worse to the nation and achieve your goal even by selling the nation and then finally when you again want to break your own records you say sorry and confess and get ready to done the same job again, Please people do not take me wrong and by cast ma nothing I am a Muslim, Pakistani. I love my nation and hate those who ruined our nation just for their own sake.
    As an army office its OK that Mr. Musharraf was one of the best soldiers of the nation, but have your ever hair that a physics professor offering a lecture on history its not necessary that if he is perfect in physics would have command on history.
    If I found something something is happening wrong i must highlight that matter but wont disturb my work to put that problem in a proper order.
    I think people will understand what i mean & sorry to those whom emotions are been hurt from that note, but write what is face, what i found true.Recommend

  • mussarat

    General Musharraf is primarily responsible for present days sitaution in Pakistan, including killer
    flooding that killed hundreds and displaced more than 20 million people across the country that not only offset Pakistan’s financial budget but forced it to come out with a begging bowl at a time when there is a deficit of trust in the leadership of Pakistan.

    Musharraf could have start construction work on Kalabagh Dam because he had guns but despite
    that he proved most “impotent” Head of the country. Had construction work on KB started the day he stepped in, would not established by now but would be nearing completion after eight years.

    Sorry to say Musharraf. I also sent you a personal and open letter but that probably didn’t reach you or didn’t bother to answer it.

    Any way Mr.Mush present scenario in Pakistan doesn’t permit you to land in Pakistan as 1999
    “drama” might be repeated but in a very different manner. Extremists didn’t spare leader like
    Shaheed Benazir Bhutto where do you stand Sir, honestly speaking.

    Mussarat Hussain
    Washington DCRecommend

  • Malik Tauqeer

    As part of the Nation, Id like to disown this. there are many ( supported by the sick system) who have alot to answer for. you’r well below in the List.Recommend

  • Samir

    This is a blog, it was meant to be casual.

    This is an open letter, it was not meant to have details about the issues mentioned.

    @pro-musharraf critics… this is probably the most pro-musharraf piece i am capable of writing. Criticizing my analysis is absurd, because there is no analysis or research involved in this one.

    @anti-musharraf readers…. thanks for your positive comments.Recommend

  • Samir

    @ghausia, we clearly have different opinions on musharraf here. you need to dig up some details, because things weren’t as simple as you r putting them. I have read musharraf’s book, and done extensive research on his actions. I hope to write a piece elaborating on the issues, and that will have the analysis that was missing here. Recommend

  • Khadija Masood

    We need to be tolerant of other people’s views. Its a blog and the writer is entitled to his opinion just like everybody else. Recommend

  • Patriot

    This dude Butt seems to have some personal vendetta against Musharraf… anyway since anything with the name “Musharraf” in it catches a lot of viewing…i also plan to write a blog on ET named “Musharraf, Musharraf” in which i will only discuss why i think Rajnikant can in reality do the mircales he does in the movies and the Hulk style shirt tearing scene in Salman’s movie Dabangg is infact inspired from one of Rajnikhant’s movie… just the name Musharraf will endure highest hits among the blogs while doubling it would ensure my blog remains the most popular on ET for few days.

    On a serious note samir…dont forget your thoughts are seeing the light of the day on this site due to this man…MUSHARRAF!!Recommend

  • Zain

    I can’t believe, they would print such a biased article like this. It absolutely sickens me to see, the hypocrisy by the people of this country. When the economic development was high, no one said anything everyone was happy, but as soons as things started to take a turn everyone started to blame him. Granted Pervez Musharraf made some unpopular decisions, but nobody is innocent in this game.

    The Lal Masjid issue was correctly handled, you cannot attempt form a parrallel government on any grounds, people only agree with it because they were using Islam as a banner. Why don’t you go support the Taliban for public beheadings? They do it in the name of Islam. Go and research the whole event, even the Imam of the Ka’abah went to talk them out of it, you can’t kidnap people on the assumptions and torture them, or burn down cd’s and music stores, have you forgotten? That is some one’s livelihood.

    As far as judges sacking goes, I can’t comment on that because I don’t know the whole incident, but even they aren’t innocent, the judges are corrupt as well.

    Why don’t you ask for an apology from Zardari? He is looting the country. Ask for an apology from Nawz Sharif? What would fuedals no about democracy? Even their own parties don’t have a democratic system, they work on the basis of inheritence.

    In Pakistan Democracy is a laughable concept, because subconciously people want the “rod” to rule them.

    Ask for an apology from the Mob who murdered two innocent brothers in Sialkot. Even they will be out on the streets in a few days.

    All I ask you is what would you do when the worlds greatest superpower tells you that you are either with us or against us, and you know that the most dangerous terrorists are in your country? I would comply and get as much money out of it as possible which is exaclty what Musharraf did.

    I don’t want to end up like Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The govt he overthrew was failing, and the streets of Lahore and Karachi celebrated when He came into power, by overthrowing Nawaz Sharif. Who I might add called for Pakistani forces to get off the Siachin Glacier because of American pressure. Even India’s army chief at the time admitted, had the Pak Army gone through with their plans they would have been sitting on the glacier for the next 10 years.

    He is better than anyone else, he might have been corrupt as well, but at least he gave something back as well, rather than only taking. What has this “democratic” government done? All I read in the newspaper is, them constantly reitirating that they are democractically elected, what have they done for the flood vicitms? I don’t see any achievements, in this democracy.Recommend

  • Moiz

    Bit sketchy but a very good attempt. Maybe you should work on a more detailed project on why we should give second chances in general, may be that will also anwer the allegations of bias thata re generally put up. But none the less, good to see young people at least siding with the idea of justice, forgiveness being the prime one!Recommend

  • Patriot

    Please read Dr. Qadeer’s article in today’s jang…check out the language he has used against Pervez Musharraf…it is so sad that a national hero of his sort could fall on that level to settle his personal score. He doesnt understand he would have just ended up like that iranian nuclear technician kidnapped from Saudi and appearing in NYC.Recommend

  • Gulnaz

    A complete one sided opinion of a blogger which certainly shldn’t be paid much heed to. Prior to asking Musharraf to apologize, y don’t u, a fullbright scholar get in touch with the scholarship students forced to turn to the community centres to seek funds to continue their studies abroad, just because our ‘democratic leaders n their cronies’ at HEC have digested their scholarship grants?
    Firstly, there is absolutely no excuse for playing around with the constitution. You did that. You somehow justified that and got away with it.? and just how do u justify the amendements made by to the 18th amendement and what do you have to say to the current government for getting away with it?
    you say, Moreover, if that government was not doing too well, a new government would have taken over once their tenure was over and is it ok with u that BB’s previous tenures were terminated? y not cry hue abt that too and ask those culprits to aplogize to the nation too?

    Mr. Samir, its abt time we realise that our democratic leaders are nothing but a pack of hounds who’ve either inherited the claim to rule the country or killed their near n dear ones to do so…we need leaders like Musharaf to lead us to prosperity. Recommend

  • Patriot

    why does this reader Mussarrat Hussain always writes Washington D.C. after his/her name… who is he/she trying to impressRecommend

  • Tanzeel

    General Pervez Musharraf was a better choice as a dictator. He did not support the Iraq war. He predicted that the Afghan war was unwinnable. He wanted to improve trade and relations with the Muslim Central Asian Republics.

    He initiated the construction of the Gwadar port and the IPI pipeline project. These were the issues on which he digressed from the line.

    Some significant achievements go to his credit. Despite having no constituency he sustained a democratic dispensation for five years. He created the National Data base and Registration Authority, the National Accountability Bureau, National Academy of Performing Arts, National Reconstruction Bureau, and the Higher Education Commission. He ensured the freedom of the media in his times. He reformed the local government system and delegated powers at the grassroots level.

    While negotiating with India he single-handedly turned the tables on the Indian media, and almost staged a diplomatic coup. He redeemed the national honour in good measure.

    Indeed, he was a dictator but he had a few feathers in his cap. In some cases, dictators have achieved more. The achievements of Pervez Musharraf become evident when compared with that of the present government; or is it the revenge of democracy?Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    @Samir: Your biasness and dogmatic attitude is reflected by your following comments. Seriously by seeing this kinda prejudice I think it would be below my dignity to comment any further on this blog.

    @pro-musharraf critics… this is probably the most pro-musharraf piece i am capable of writing. Criticizing my analysis is absurd, because there is no analysis or research involved in this one.
    @anti-musharraf readers…. thanks for your positive comments.


  • Zahid

    Childish Approach! Many times PM sahib has clarified about all the allegations. According me he has admitted his mistake about the emergency which the judiciary was lingering on about the verdict. He had no choice but to declare emergency. Besides this all the actions were justified. He was the COAS to decide/ to make decision about the country, and mind it he had a team of Corps Commanders and others. Most of the decisions were taken by the cabinet he formed. You better ask others apologize who has ruined the economy and responsible for worst type poverty in which people are taking suicidal action. Ask apologies from the people responsible for breaching the band and causing damage to the property of 20 million people of Pakistan. He was not protecting his throne he was protecting Pakistan in the war of terror. America and Taliban both wanted Pakistan nuclear assets. He had made a choice and It was a good choice. See what Taliban is doing to our people. Grow -up and go through the news and events of that time.Recommend

  • Chengez K

    May We forgive our Leaders as they are the worst among us—-AmenRecommend

  • Muhammad Ali

    The article is an all out crap…..justification of Bugti murder and Red mosque is totally crap….Lal mosque, what do you expect he should have let them go, after the terrorist and your so called innocent children killed an army colonel , and what do you talk about bugti a guy …i salute Mr musharraf for these actions, i dont know what frame of mind you were in while writing this article , you are perhaps the minority center right activist, who is living in denial….Mr Musharraf is more than welcome and we hope that he does repeat the same performance as he did before….Recommend

  • Maryam

    hahahaha….its funny hw the people are reacting….
    the writer is only requesting a public apology….which i believe as pakistani is our birth right.
    Mushaaraf ows us this policy…

    the writer has been very polite here…
    i HATE musharraf for ruining this country and then like others running away….

    but then again…….he is a politican , not an army chief….a dictator….
    even worse than a politician..

    i sometimes wonder hw these politicians and dictators sleep at nite, how can you be so peaceful after ruining others lives

    Allah is the supreme judge!Recommend

  • Eeman

    Despite being a staunch opponent of his dictatorship, I’d say that it was enormous pressure on Musharraf after 9/11 and his decision of allying with U.S was in the best interests of Pakistan. Of course, we payed a lot in this war on terror, but Musharraf might not have foreseen such bloody repercussions. He literally air-lifted all influential Taliban from Afghanistan before invasion. Recommend

  • Hashim Abbasi

    no one is perfect but I would vote for Musharraf any day over our current lot. The author hasn’t seen the side of Pakistan where his daddy doesn’t have a huge bungalow, millions in banks, a fleet of cars and servants. See the world through their eyes and you’l realize what Musharaff did for the common man. His Government may have its share of corrupt element but if they deposited 40% in their pocket they invested the other 60% in Pakistan where as the past Governments of Sharrif’s and Bhuttos did nothing.

    Further more how would the author describe the positive steps taking by Musharaff that the current government did away with like mandatory inter party elections? You call this democracy where the head of a party isn’t elected through a democratic process? Who was BB to decide who heads her party after her death? What are that spoilt little brats credentials?Recommend

  • Aman

    Hi every one, after going through the article and reactions over it, I myself have a lot of clarity on many of above mention issues regarding president Musharraf, thanks to Express Tribune. Recommend

  • hassan

    @ Syed Abdul Wahab

    Well said .

    Absolute trash! is this article.Recommend

  • AEP

    Come and hear Musharraf talk in London on Wednesday, September 29. If you can’t make it, full video will be available on-demand online. See for more detailsRecommend

  • AvM

    First of all people should be more constructive with their comments. Someone who has actually bothered in writing his opinion on this matter should be respected not insulted with trivial comments, no matter how much we disagree with it.
    Yes I agree Musharraf’s decisions have been upsetting for the general public such as the NRO and the Lal Masjid fiasco (in which I blame the leader of the Lal Masjid for his stubbornness and stupidity more) but he also did contribute to the country much more than the leadership after him or the one preceding before him as the readers have pointed out. But I believe its more of the nations fault that we keep demanding for a democratic state and reinstating such corrupt leaders and parties to the parliament with whom we get so frustrated with that it leads to such interventions by the military due to public unrest.
    I can understand the author’s apprehension with the return of the individual who usurped control of the government for such a long period of time, yet that is not really the main issue right now; when we should be more concerned with the individuals suffering due to the lack of action and irresponsible spending of the country’s finances by the government in power.
    A good article, but this is all an ideal as there countless individuals that should be held accountable for their actions during the time they were entrusted with the responsibility of running this country.Recommend

  • anyportinastorm

    Democracy? Wait are we currently a democratic state? Nobody told me!
    Under times of extreme difficulty the Roman Government put one individual incharge. Pakistan is in a constant state of extreme difficulty we need clarity and a singular vision. Democracy is a process that only works when the people are educated and can think for themselves. This is not such a country. There is no transparency,accountablity, honesty or anything positive coming from the current so called democratic Government. Frankly speaking I’d much rather have an educated forward thinking man making all of the countries decisions than some illiterate feudals sitting in big chairs discussing the next step to destroying this country. Recommend

  • Jehanzeb K. Malik


    I agree and disagree with the author of this letter. I agree that he should apologize to the people. But that is not totally his fault the things that happened. He is an army man. He is trained to make decisions authoritatively. When you say that who is he to remove the government, i would say he is a Pakistani who is not sleeping and caring for what is happening in the name of democracy. And being a Pakistani he has every right to go against a government. And you say that he should have let someone better to replace the government, i ask who is out there who can be trusted. Even in this situation of flood most of the people trusted the army rather than their government to supply relief. You can clearly see who they trust more. I think we should kill the person who said democracy is far better than dictatorship. It may be true in his geographical location but certainly not working in Pakistan.
    What i suggest as a solution is to give him fair chance in next elections. If he wins that is what people want. If he loses run trails on him!Recommend

  • Usama Zafar

    @ Samsha and all other people who are criticizing Musharraf for being a dictator….and who believe only democracy is right for this country….Please try to understand that Musharrad WAS a dictator and now he is coming back and contesting the elections so if he comes into power it would be through a purely democratic process!!! Having said that I agree with anyportinastorm and Muhammad Ali and Eeman they have made some good arguments…Recommend

  • Mohammad Shafiq

    Very childish. The media people like the blogger and Hamid Mir and company cannot damage Musharraf anymore. Musharraf has nothing to loose from hereon but his opponent do. Great Musharraf long live, we are expecting from you to the savet the country once more time from the corrupt mafiya who are taking refuge under the so called dam democracy.

    Pakistan First.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Unfortunately most of these comments are the real representation of Pakistani minds… this immature article….just bla bla bla without any common sense
    …..Lalmasjid…..Apologise….Sorry….Bugti….. GROW UP.

    What a sorry nation we have became….Cannot even see what is good for us and what not….

    Always keep in mind Anyone who takes up arms against the Government should be disarmed or killed…..This is how Governments works….and if you dont disarm or kill them, you become a banana republic….Recommend

  • Adnan

    And as far is Musharraf is concerned……He is a Classic example of how a leader should be….and many future leaders in the same situation would follow his examples…his tactics will be taught in world warfare….

    This guy has God giften brains…..People Worship him……

    He can deliver us our dignity…freedom….respect….Recommend

  • Fardad

    Pity the nation that is hooked up on personalities and is oblivious to issues.Recommend

  • Silent Spectator

    I’d rather take Musharraf’s dictatorship than Zardari’s democracy.Recommend

  • hassan

    @SS ( super sucker) give the guy a break he is just trying to expree his viewsRecommend

  • parvez

    @ anyportinastorm you should quickly head for a safe port, drop both hooks, put at least seven in the water on both and wait because with your thinking you’r certainly going to go aground.
    Your suggestion is a quick fix, which has been tried and tried again and failed. Untill and unless we do not build national institutions to function as institutions should we will remain as we are. Recommend

  • SS

    agreed 100%
    rajnikant part was good one….heheheRecommend

  • Ghausia

    Samir I’ve read the book too but really, there’s his perspective and then there’s the other perspective. Considering how bright you are I don’t doubt your research, but it just doesn’t seem to be reflected here, it seems to biased. I think you probably should do a followup of sorts to this. Like I said, Musharraf did a lot of things that he shouldn’t have done, but the things you pointed out, it seems a bit nonsensical. Its not like the Lal Masjid extremists weren’t open bout their extremism, its not like we couldn’t fight the war on terror even if its too stretched out now. I’m not even pro-Musharraf, I couldn’t give a crap who’s in power and whether its a democracy or dictatorship as long as things change for the better, so its not that I like the guy either.

    And personally I hate the barbs about your Fulbright scholarship. Downright petty, and undeserved. We have different opinions but its still worth my time reading your articles because they’re well-written and intelligent.Recommend

  • Uzair Javed

    I agree with Mr Fairoz and appreciate for his facts and a rational point of view. I sometimes wonder how people studying and/or living abroad are able to comment in an unbiased manner on the happenings in Pakistan (as is the case with this fullbright scholar). Plus for some further realistic point of view i should welcome the readers here to give a read to the following page

    Thanks and regardsRecommend


    @Ghausia You seem to be the only person in the 70+ comments who is reasonably arguing your point. Rest of them are just being emotional rather than logical. I always find the Mush-Zardari comparisoon annoying. Samir is talking about things that Mush did wrong, so let’s keep to that, shall we?
    @Samir I agree with your point of view. True mush had an impressive start but he let the authority get the better of him. You are right to point out the he has the qualities we need (too bad the readers are ignoring that ) but yes he has to explain the mess he made of our country.Recommend

  • zaigham

    way to go samir…
    you nailed it with this:

    @pro-musharraf critics… this is
    probably the most pro-musharraf piece
    i am capable of writing. Criticizing
    my analysis is absurd, because there
    is no analysis or research involved in
    this one.

    @anti-musharraf readers…. thanks for
    your positive comments.

    but in your own head though… oops…Recommend

  • Samir


    The reason I specifically commented on your previous post is that I would have said the exact same thing some time back. It reflects my opinion, which has changed over the last year or so.

    Give yourself a year, then maybe we will be on the same page. Recommend

  • murtaza bashir

    I find that the writer is Lacking analytical approch piece is Kidish ,one sided , Unrealistic and Demoralizing.Recommend

  • anyportinastorm

    @parvez you make a good point that I didn’t mention my entire long-run plan for Pakistan’s future. I’ll be sure to provide the blue prints next time. Lets analyze the current situation of our Government and its constitution, which incidentally is about as strong as a virgin pina colada. Since Pakistan’s inception a handful of families have controlled the nation. These families have basically gone back and fourth, in and out of exile, but the power remains firmly within their grasp. The elections are a sham where the masses vote for who they’re told to vote for while any new political candidate is sidelined for 1. Not having the required connections 2. Not having all that dirty money 3. Not having the rural support, which these feudal families have in spades. The main reason that I have beef with this article is that Musharaf may have done some wrong but compare him with the current leadership and all the leadership we’ve had before and I firmly believe you’ll be singing to a different tune. In regards to long term thinking the only way forward is a uniform education system for all Pakistanis. Recommend

  • parvez

    @anyportinastorm thanks for the response. Musharraf made many mistakes, and that to when he was all powerful, which stemmed from his personal weaknesses.
    I for one do not think he can correct these flaws – its too far in the day, for him for this.
    There has to be another answer.Recommend

  • Syed Abdur Rahim

    We want to see Musharraf again in power. Those who critize him are of principle.


  • Maryam Saeed

    For those of you who think democracy is the answer to all the problems Pakistan is facing today, PPP government is the answer. You deserve a President like Zardari. Samir you need to grow up a little and get some facts to support your ideas. Pakistan is facing the worst political turmoil along with natural calamities. What is the current so called “democratic” government doing about it? The biggest problem with Pakistan is not a dictator like Musharraf but its people like you who just don’t want to think with an open mind but instead form an opinion based on nothing and are never willing to change it. Recommend

  • Sana Saleem

    I would always say that what Musharraf has done to this country is unforgivable.

    Can we forgive him for selling out the missing persons ?
    Can we forgive him for allowing drones to use our land ?
    Can we forgive him for killing hundreds of innocent students in the Lal Masjid ?

    Certainly I can’t do that. Musharraf has done treason to Pakistan and the people living in it.Recommend

  • Humaira

    Who is a true leader? Is there any?Recommend

  • Ismail

    Great Artical … Allah bless youRecommend

  • Anna

    I admit that I don’t know an enormous amount about Musharraf – but I’m learning, and I’m intrigued to see the breadth of different opinions the people have on him. A very anti-Musharraf friend has invited to a talk that’s taking place in London next week – Musharraf in conversation with Sir Christoper Meyer – and I think the place will be full of people who trust him and people who abhore him, so the questions from the floor should be interesting!Recommend

  • Samir

    @Anna… Musharraf’s government catered a limited part of the population. The middle class either fell below the poverty line, or became super rich. Hence, people view him from different angles. Recommend

  • http://none Bangash

    Musharraf removed a corrupt Prime Minister who hijacked an airliner and his actions were validated by Supreme Court lead by Iftikhar Chaudhry. No need to apologize for anything.Recommend

  • Samir

    @Bangash… and installed another corrupt prime minister who is nowhere to be found now? Recommend

  • Farooq


    what nonsense…Two wrongs don’t make one right..if NS is wrong and did blunders let the nation decide his fate….But no ruler in the history of Pakistan has been a sell out Bastard and Murderer like The coward , Rat General Musharraf

    If he is such a big shot n wants entry in Pakistan politics, the first thing he needs to do is to atleast return to Pakistan ( the country he plundered, looted and then ran away)””

    Read this link too to enlighten your self

  • Farooq

    and then brought in NRO which made it possible for Zardari to become president of Pakistan

    Very surprisingly there were thousands of supporters of this so called PM when he returned and there are not even 200 supporters of Musharraf who can hold a small rally in his favour

    All of his supporters are face book teenagers and drawing room warriors and progeny of corrupt generals and Businessmen

    So keep on day dreaming…The coward Rat General ain’t coming backRecommend

  • Farooq

    @Maryam Saeed:
    Who brought Zardari

    Answer: NRO

    Who brought NRO

    Answer: Musharraf

    So wake up and get a reality checkRecommend

  • Sabeen

    I could not agree with you more. Some people just cannot get enough of democracy without realizing what works and what does not work in a country full of illiterate hungry and poor people who would sell their soul to the devil himself for 10 rupees let alone their votes.

    The writer of this letter needs to have a reality check. I dont know how people forget the time when Musharaf was in power. That was by the best this country had seen in ages. We were developing, GDP was raising, no one insulted us at global platform like Mr. Cameroon and if somebody dared to do that, we had a leader who was able enough to defend us and shut others. But nooo the writer and people like him would want any one but Mushu be it the world’s most corrupted man who is currently our President sigh! Wake UP!Recommend

  • Sabeen

    Thank you .. My point exactly!Recommend

  • Sabeen

    @ Muryum,

    Lady, I really honestly believe you need a reality check. You would rather have a democracy with Mr. Zardari as your President then having a so called dictator like Musharaf? Seriously???

    Do you have any idea where this country would have been if he had not stood up and said “Sab say phelay Pakistan”? Have you ever seen video footage of Iraq and Aghanistan during the war. I suggest you start doing so and start thanking Allah that we were blessed with a moderate leader like Mushu. Lal Masjid was not a mistake. It should have been done. those people were terrorists.

    And by the way .. what is with some of elitists and the dictatorship? The elite just like the concept of democracy living outside Pakistan / abroad and think that everythihng will be fine and dandy afterwards.. Democracy does not work HERE .. It DOES NOT. Look at our history for crying out loud. Two of our major political parties are full of feudal lords and opporutunists focussing on two major rich families. These people are like parasites taking our money our hard earned cash in the name of democracy.
    WHat has that dictator done to you anyway? We had more peace and tranquility when that so called dictator was in power.

    Start reading the news paper and international community’s reaction of horror when Zardari became our president for starters!Recommend

  • Fahad Hussain

    First of all, I would like to commend you for a very well-written piece.

    While I am not going to address all aspects of your critique, owing to limitations of time, there is one particular and significant facet of your article that I would like to discuss.

    It seems that a large proportion of your distaste towards the former president emanates from his toppling of a democratically-elected civilian government, and rightly so, if you choose to ignore all other factors surrounding the 1999 military coup. Military coups in modern history have generally been a product of the malicious designs of a greedy and power-hungry army general. They have generally been unwarranted and dictatorial in nature! Even in cases where they have been initiated under the genuine grounds of ridding the country from a corrupt and incompetent government, I believe and agree that they are unwarranted.

    HOWEVER, I would now like to paint a picture for you. This is a picture which captures the political landscape of Pakistan 11 years ago.

    In 1997, the Pakistan Muslim League won the General Elections in a landslide victory, awarding them a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. In other words, the victory empowered them to bring upon any constitutional amendment that they deemed fit (I am not even going to dispute the legitimacy of the massive victory).

    But can I now ask you a question, what is democracy? It isn’t simply a nine-lettered word that entails the conduction of elections every half-a-decade! It is a system of governance which empowers the people to make their own decisions! It is a system which guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression (these fundamental rights are also guaranteed by Article 2 [I think] of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan). It ensures freedom of the press, and projects a system which protects the rights of all citizens, and where everyone is equal before the law. Lastly, and probably most importantly, it ensures the SEPERATION OF POWER and a system of CHECKS AND BALANCES”. What this means is that no one man should have absolute executive power, as this would effectively deprive democracy of its very essence. Furthermore, there must be provisions in the constitution of the country to maintain a “CHECK” on the powers and actions of the Chief Executive. There must be provisions in the constitution to dissolve a government in the event that its policies are adversely affecting the well-being of the country.

    EXAMPLES: The provisions in the US constitution to impeach the President of the United States in case of misconduct or any other misdemeanor.

    In the UK, and indeed all other parliamentary democracies, the House of Commons can initiate a Vote of No Confidence against the government. In cases where the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of the general population to lead the country, his OWN party can force him to resign, as in the case of TONY BLAIR.

    ANOTHER example, Indira Gandhi, one of the most powerful PMs in India’s history initiated emergency rule in India in 1977, suspending all civil liberties and using brute force. This was the closest Indian has ever gotten to possible military intervention. Eventually, her own party forced her to resign, and fresh elections were held. THIS IS DEMOCRACY!

    ANOTHER example, in 2009, after Barack Obama won the November Presidential Elections, the Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich was alleged to have sold Obama’s senate seat to Roland Burris. This triggered a criminal investigation, Blagojevich’s arrest and his ultimate impeachment (by a vote margin of 114-1). The impeachment was not polarized by bi-partisan differences, and both the Democrats and GOP voted together for the greater interests of democracy. THAT MY FRIEND is DEMOCRACY.

    Now back to Pakistan! The whole point of these elaborate references is to show you what democracy really is. Now I shall show you, how and why PAKISTAN was NOT a democracy b/w 1997-1999, and frankly hasn’t been since its independence.

    1) The Pakistan Muslim League brought about the 13th and 14th amendments, which deprived the President of the powers to dissolve parliament on the grounds of gross misconduct, corruption or mis-management (13th amendment) AND brought about “strict party rule” (14th amendment). What this means is that NO member of any party could vote against the party’s leader in parliament. In other words, there was no constitutional channel available to dissolve the government or dismiss the Prime Minister.


    2) The freedom of the press was purged more than ever during Sharif’s regime. Najam Sethi, editor-in-chief of “The Friday Times” and internationally re-known Pakistani journalist was illegally imprisoned in solitary confinement and tortured because of his moves to expose the gross corruption of the government! Does that smell like democracy?

    3) The supreme court of Pakistan was attacked! Democracy?

    4) Plans for a 15th amendment which would enforce strict Shari’a law in Pakistan, and make Nawaz Sharif “Leader of the Faithful”.

    5) Can I also ask you, why it took a military dictator to emancipate the airwaves, and not a civilian government?

    Therefore, I conclude my argument by stating that I do not support military rule or any subversion of the constitution of Pakistan. But the events that this country was engulfed in 1999 were extraordinary and they required extraordinary measures. To strip the system of any possible constitutional measure to dissolve the Chief Executive is NOT democracy.Recommend

  • anyportinastorm

    @ Fahad Hussain

    Brother you should submit this as a seperate peice to the ET. Your analysis is too good to be lost amongst useless comments and arguments (I include my own in this).


  • Fahad Hussain


    I appreciate the fact that someone bothered to read it, I really do! Thanks! Just hope the writer takes the time to read it too..

    Thanks again!Recommend

  • Samir

    I have indeed Fahad. I will not defend Pakistan’s democracy because it is still a child. When you quote the American system, do look up how long it took to develop that system. Pakistan needs a few cycles to develop too. There are no shortcuts sadly. Interventions are a temporary solution which somewhat reboot the growth process.

    Thanks for the wonderful feedback. Recommend

  • Fahad Hussain

    Only as old as India’s, or Japan’s, my friend! There is no growth, that’s what I was trying to convey with my response. There has NEVER been democracy in Pakistan. Not under the Bhuttos, not under the Sharifs, real democracy is empowerment of the people. Why was the media not emancipated under a democratic government? Why were the Hudood and Zina ordinances not repealed under the a democratic government? Why were ARY and GEO shut down for reporting the President’s shoe-throwing incident? Why was Najam Sethi tortured? Why did the public ever find out why and how the brother of an incumbent Prime Minister (Murtaza Bhutto) was assassinated with the use of state apparatus? So democracy, or whatever it is that we are currently being subjected to, has not delivered for Pakistan. Go ask the common man Samir. Ask him how the current democratic government has made existence that much more difficult for him. Ask him how insecure he feels. Ask him whether he knows when his next meal will be? I respect your highly idealistic views, and I for one, will always support democracy, but NOT in its current form.Recommend

  • Samir

    @Fahad… Democracy needs time to grow. India had straight democracy for over 60 years. We did not. The Indian army was once invited to impose martial law, and the army refused. The general said that politics are not meant for the army.

    In Pakistan, even when we do have small bits of democracy, the army controls the policy making. Your points are very valid, but democracy needs time. Had the series of martial laws not taken place in the first place, Pakistan’s democracy would have been as strong as Indias. Our history is different and we have to understand that. Over 70% of our intial budget was spent on the military while thousands were hungry in the newly born state. But that was necessary at that time, given the regional dynamics.

    There is no justification of any military intervention. Democracy will grow and become better. Dictatorship can never improve because there is no evolution involved. Recommend

  • Fahad Hussain


    Agreed! Dictatorship, at best, can only offer temporary solutions. It cannot evolve..But like I said, the way democracy currently functions, it will NOT evolve, at least not in the direction you and I want it to move towards. What I am trying to say is that things need to change in Pakistan, the way democracy functions here needs to change. We cannot stand by and watch this country self-implode under the guise of sham democracy, b/c that is what this is! The daughter of the leader of the country’s biggest political party INHERITS the chairmanship, and after her death, her SON and HUSBAND inherit it in kind! Please explain to me how that stands for democracy? The list goes on Samir!

    So I conclude, once again, by saying that I agree with your views. But I believe that your hope that democracy will evolve from its current state in far-fetched. But I doubt we will come to any sort of agreement so I won’t push the matter further.

    Its been a pleasure!Recommend

  • mario

    @ Fahad – you are an amazing writer. I agree with you and respect your point-of-view. Will you be interested in writing blogs for The New York Times, The Dominion Post (New Zealand) and for The Strait Times (Singapore)?

    We need bright people like you who can write and debate on issues in Pakistan.

    Fahad, (slightly out of scope) but do you know that the Constitution of Pakistan was drafted by Mohammad Asad (Leopold Weiss). He was Jew-turned-Muslim and was granted Pakistani Citizenship in 1947. He also authored once of the most respected translations of Quran known as “The Message of Quran”.

    The constitution itself was brutally tempered by the so-called Democratic forces in Pakistan, like Mr. Sharif and Mr. Z. Bhutto and then Ms. B. Bhutto and now this government. There is no democracy in their party so how they can actually support democracy in Pakistan.

    They all used it and abused it and altered it according to their requirements. So there has never been true democracy in Pakistan.

    The push of this so-called democracy in Pakistan was eventually led by the West as it looks really good on paper, but the democracy in Pakistan will never prevail until and unless a revolution takes place.

    We all want to live in an ideal world and like to see a true democracy in Pakistan like many other successful Democratic western countries but sadly this is not the case.

    Singapore case study: There is no democracy in Singapore. There never was. Democracy worked very well for India but it did not worked out for Singapore. The reason they are both successful, because they adapted a system which worked for them.

    Even if something good comes from Musharraf then we should support him rather than seeking his apology.Recommend

  • Samir

    @Fahad…. Absolutely right, we need our democracy to evolve into a better system. That can only happen if new dynamic leadership emerges. The fact that we all know Bilawal will become the Prime Minister some day is indeed sad. There is no merit, just name.

    The solution is certainly extremely complicated. At the moment, two major solutions are being proposed – The Bangladesh Model (my next post will be on this) and martial law. I oppose both. Even this crappy democracy is better than both alternatives because the other two will boil down to a reboot of the democratic system.

    @Mario… I personally believe that Musharraf is a very competent person and he should take part in the political process. If the army backs him, he might be successful, otherwise he will be another Imran Khan (Seemingly everyone likes him, but he gets no votes). An apology is more than a ‘sorry’. It would highlight that he realizes his faults. It would represent his determination to make a difference. The public deserves this much. Recommend