Musharraf returns: Give the devil his due!

Published: March 27, 2013

Pervez Musharraf prays after he arrived at the Karachi International airport from Dubai, in Karachi on March 24, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

The former dictator is back, and this time, he is not wearing his uniform. I seriously do not know what our dear Commando is up to; do I hear anyone chanting “Pervez Musharraf Zindabad”?

A very small number of people, gathered outside Karachi airport to welcome Musharraf upon his return and this did not portray the entirely rosy picture he had painted for himself. As expected, and rightly so, the government had cancelled the congregation that was to greet Musharraf at his arrival and I think that bit of reality served him well.

However, his return has made me recall the years from 1999 to 2008. Almost 10 long years! We used to have less bomb blasts then, less load-shedding and commodities were available at much cheaper prices.

But as always- all good things must come to an end; thank God for this one.

After Musharraf, we were constantly told that democracy is the best revenge”. Now that the government is over, it is our turn to take revenge. But does that mean we should give amnesty to Musharraf for his unconstitutional moves?

Yes, our ‘elected’ politicians failed to deliver. After five years of acute mismanagement, they could not even forge consensus on the caretaker prime minister.

These years of democratic rule were surely a mess.

That is to the status quo, during Pervez Musharraf’s era were surely much better than they are now. But does that absolve him of all the crimes he committed?

While talking about the so called ‘golden era’ of Musharraf, we must not forget that Musharraf was the architect of the National Reconciliation Order, and it was the NRO that let loose a tirade of politicians on us, all of whom had astounding criminal records; giving them the license that they so eagerly required to continue looting and plundering the citizens of this country.

Musharraf should be blamed, equally, for the hardships our nation has had to tackle throughout these five years.

Besides that, shall he not be tried for overthrowing the democratically elected government, for starting the Kargil war and not taking the prime minister into confidence, for committing crimes against humanity, for the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti or for the massive loss of lives at Red Mosque?

Shall we give a warm welcome to Musharraf on his return?

When we blame politicians, we forget that military rulers, like Musharraf, are the reason we, the citizens, have never really gotten a chance to get to know or understand our own political framework or become accustomed to a democratically elected regime.

Musharraf was an army chief, and the army is known to take care of the fraternity, but Musharraf is also a criminal. He overruled the Constitution, which he was supposed to protect. After 9/11, his decisions jeopardised the country’s safety.

These are serious crimes indeed. And if the army tries to shield Musharraf from prosecution for these offences, it can bring a bad name to the organisation. Aiding a criminal is also a crime and Musharraf should be given exemplary punishment for his crimes.

We can safely say, Musharraf is never to rule us again, however, even if he does, he doesn’t seem to have any solution to the problems he himself created.

Therefore, he should face the courts like an ordinary politician, without the help from men in uniform. Men in uniform should also keep their distance from him. If he is tried and brought to justice, the army should not interfere and should accept the decision of the courts.

I strongly recommend that we give the devil his due.

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Omair Mahmood

A news producer at Express News.

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