Musharraf, the next Rana Sanaullah?

Published: October 5, 2010

Musharraf is back and he is playing dirty

As a critic of Pakistan’s political system, I am constantly blighted by the fact that I did not vote. Even though this fact lies heavy on my conscience, I also know that I will not vote in the next elections either, simply because I cannot willfully bring any of the existing parties into power.

The PPP, the various Muslim Leagues, the dreaded MQM, the right wing parties who form coalition governments no matter who wins – every single candidate remains unacceptable.

Maybe it was the desire to have someone to vote for, maybe it was nostalgia, but the truth is, I actually waited for October 1 and the launch of the Generals’ party with a hope that he would offer something that clicked.

Was I in for a disappointment.

Hardly a week into legitimate politics and Pervez Musharraf seems to be on his way to becoming the next Rana Sanaullah.  From ‘Shakal achi nahi hai, to bat achi kar lain’ to ‘Aqal say farigh-ul-bal’ the cringe worthy quips haven’t stopped.

The arrogance was perhaps understandable, if not justified, when he was the Army Chief and President, but now, as a former dictator, living in self imposed exile, facing charges ranging from high treason to the selling of dozens of Pakistanis, Pervez Musharraf’s tone is neither authoritative nor gallant.

For the lack of a better word, his speech this time can only be termed as pure dhitaai on his part.

Some say that the sheer refusal to step down from the high throne is his signature and as a former Army Chief he is now destined to act as a general no matter what. But then, isn’t the Army as much about strategies as it is about authority and power? Shouldn’t General Musharraf’s training also show it self in the form of practical strategies when it comes to problem solving? Shouldn’t he atleast appear ready to face the challenges that the current situation throws?

Sadly, apart from the very fauji tone, Musharraf’s politics so far, seems devoid of any plan or direction.

Oh yeah, he has told us that Nawaz Sharif failed after two attempts as Prime Minister and the current government has made life harder for the masses. He has also said that Nawaz Sharif does not have the wisdom to run a country and all Benazir wanted was to get the Swiss cases dissolved.

Thanks for the classified information Mr. Musharraf, but is this it?

Like really?

After 9 years of dictatorial rule, you actually think that you call out anybody for governmental failure, without looking like a fool?

For someone who claims to offer a ‘change’ starting out only with blames seems a tad idiotic.

Where is the manifesto?

Where is the strategy for bringing about the proposed change?

After holding a diplomatic position for 9 years (however undemocratically) one would expect the General to observe tact if not diplomacy. However, a barked apology for all the mistakes made in later years of his rule shatter all hope for a leader who is ready to take responsibility and face consequences.

Even though I’ve always believed that both Bugti and Lal Masjid students posed a threat to national security, even I want him to explain why the situation was allowed to worsen so much that such extreme options were taken. I want him to face the court on the NRO and explain what prompted him to pass a law that offered a clean slate to the most corrupt politicians.

But from his tone so far, it seems that he considers his couple of years of non activity to have wiped his slate clean.

Unfortunately for him, those who are opposed to him remember all too well, and those who are willing to give him a chance, would not root for him if his idea of politics is to throw tanturms instead of devising a manifesto that could actually help this nation out.


Sadaf Khan

A broadcast journalist based in Islamabad who was formerly associated with Geo News and Dunya News. She blogs at

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

  • Muhammad Zeeshan

    The next Wasi Zafar instead – with big arm of law…

    We should understand one simple thing, all those partly leaders who know that they will never be able to form government or win substantial number of seats to be king-makers, will always lead this kind of politics. APML is days old, so take example of PTI and Jamat-e-Islami.. Both do politics of same bashing…

    Haven’t you also noticed why TV anchors call Imran Khan and other far left leaders in their programs where they have got no public representation/vote bank at all? Its all about critics :)Recommend

  • asad baig

    First off ma’am, I thnik the idea of your post is really lame. No matter what his actions are he just cannot stoop to the level of the Rana Sana Ullah. We are talking about en ex-army chief for God sakes. Secondly, what exactly made you say that? Whatever he said may not be decent but its the truth nonetheless, wouldn’t you agree? Wouldn’t you agree that Nawaz Sharif has lost his mind? Wouldn’t you agree that Khawaja Asif and others are one of the most rude of the politicians? Wouldn’t you agree that BB came here under a “written” agreement and a pre-agreed deal?

    If yes, then I dont see the point of your blog!Recommend

  • Khadija Masood

    Loved your blog. Its all too convenient that his apology comes at a time when he is trying to launch his party. Heres a thought, he wants absolution, why not come back to Pakistan and face all the treason charges.Recommend

  • http://UAE Yousaf

    Why don’t you write about PML(N)’s behaviour on several television channels supported by one big News Group? Nawaz Sharief and Mafia are the rudest politicians I have ever seen….

    I mean…if they say, no one complain.. Musharraf just said it once and everybody is shouting at him.

    Instead of pointing out to the stuff you don’t like, propose the remedy too that how to shut the mouth of politicians continuesly yelling at him. Recommend

  • Natasha

    Rana Sanaullah and not to forget Salman Taseer.

    This is not the first time he’s displayed his communication ‘skills’ has he? Remember chalay hue kartoos for his army fellows and scum of the earth for Iftikhar Chaudhry?

    What is amazing is that this man has the audacity to talk about the ‘badtameezi’ of others while using such language for his political opponents.

    He’s a blot on the name of army. No discipline , no ettiquettes. A big mouth at best. Politics is not his cup of tea.Recommend

  • Copper

    good post, but the blinds won’t see anything wrong in him.Recommend

  • Zahid

    I have a question to writer. Many journalists and politicians have used same abusive language for Musharraf many times in past but did u ever abject or write something against them? Musharraf just has responded in same way and coming on same level as of his opponents.Recommend

  • Sadaf Khan

    @ Asad – The blog ain’t about BB and her deals, it aint about Nawaz Sharif and his antics. It is simply about how dear Musharraf is going about his political career. being straightforward doesn’t equate being tasteless and tacky. Yeah, Musharraf IS an ex-Army chief and that is EXACTLY why he should reflect a dignified and poised personality.
    The point of this blog is simply that someone who has to stoop to name calling and dirty politics, within a couple of days of launching his political party, shows neither the vision nor the direction to become a good leader.Recommend

  • Fazeel

    Good Lord another blog on Musharraf.For last one month I am reading atleast one blog every day on Musharraf in this space (I know this the first one from you Sadaf) but still awfully too much information about Musharraf. I said it before in this space and I want to say it again all the blogers are trying to give him free publicity eventhough you guys are writing against him. Keep writing against him and he wiil get popular day by day. If you stop writing then nobody will give any damn about him.Recommend

  • Zafar

    It has been PML-N and PPP people using dirty language for Musharraf for a very long time, but i never read anything like this for any of them. May be these bloggers a little scared of writing anything against them, is it ??. Whatever Musharraf said was not decent but no body can really deny what he said, i wud suggest the writer to write next post on trying to disprove what Musharraf said about Mr Shareef. We are got too used to hear lies that we do not want to hear the truth. Secondly the title of the post suggests writer’s personal bias definitely not towards Musharraf. Recommend

  • Yasser

    What about Arif Abbasi going all odd against a women( Atiq Odho) in private channel program, Owner of blog post is so apt in putting the tag of Rana Sanaullah, this whole bunch of PMLN is like shame whether you take Siddiqui ul Farooq, Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sana ullah or even the women wing, who indeed should be treated in a tit for tat manner, it’s good Musharraf is already coming hard on them.Recommend

  • Hassan

    @Usman. Bravo man you should have a blog of urself….. or do u have one already???Recommend

  • http://facebook/asad.beg Asad Baig

    @Copper. Yeah maybe blinds wouldn’t see the wrongs. What exactly do you think about our current political leadership dude when you voted for them and hence imposed them on us. Were you too blind to see the wrongs in them then? Or were you too novice? Be it whatever, I still think he can do a lot for our country and especially he’s the best cure for your political leaders!Recommend

  • Najeeb-Ur-Rehman

    In brief, mOi vil like to humbly submit dat REAL EDUCATED class who prefer just to LOGIC willing Musharraf n BRANNED WASH Class whose running under mere EMOTIONS not like to Mush uncle. Lal Masid Operation or Bugti Murder was Political Mistakes by Musharraf but keeping in mind ‘Pakistan First’ it was necessary as Bardasht di v koi hud hundi ey. Thx.Recommend

  • Natasha

    Here’s the latest :

    ”About Dr Abdul Qadeer he said, ‘Mr. Khan is a characterless man’.Recommend

  • Natasha


    So being born in Punjab and speaking Punjabi makes you jangli?

    You need to learn some more angraizi before you show how ‘sophisticated’ you are.Recommend

  • faria.syed

    Mr Usman Ghani Rathore’s comment has been removed from this post as it was in violation of The Express Tribune’s editorial comment policy.
    Faria Syed
    (Web Desk)


  • Yasser

    @Usman Thanks for speaking the heart out of 170 millions Pakistanis :-) Usman you should blog man :-)Recommend

  • MrCritic

    If you don’t vote than please stop complaining about bad political situation or corrupt leaders in Pakistan.This is the problem with us as Pakistanis majority of us never practiced our right to vote.Most of you bloggers,free-lance writers and authors never make any sense at all.Just bunch of mummy-daddies trying to be NY Times journalist.Shame!Recommend

  • Omar Yousaf

    What’s wrong with our politics? We are all aware of PPP & PML N representatives using abusive and insulting language but the recent player is Mr. Musharraf. The outburst against Nawaz Sharif passing personal remarks is completely uncalled; and not just him; our very own Khan saab has also turned into a standup comedian using derogatory and foul language against the President.

    Now it’s not a question of who deserves it.

    It’s a question of ethics. It’s a matter of decency. It’s an issue of moral values. Can we not demonstrate some element of politeness in our attitude towards opponents? Can we not set a new trend of respect and humility to gain some respect in return as well? Can we not exercise some restraint and stop looking like fools in front of the whole nation? Can we not jump out of the petty quarrels, rise up and do something for the people and for the nation?
    If the so called leaders can’t do it, at least we should do it.
    Hopefully Yours,Recommend

  • Shagufta Abbasi

    @asad baig:

    sir, if he is so right then what keeps him coming back to Pakistan and face the treason charges instead of giving out balding remarks on other so-called leaders in his initial stage of REAL politcal career?

    sheer stupidity it was to say such ill about others while launching his party! such an immature act by him i would say.Recommend

  • parvez

    As a very astute political observer said in his weekly news column, there is no way Musharraf can come back on his own merits. His biggest failings being of a personal nature
    something he can not remedy. But as we all know in Pakistani politics anything is possible
    even something as absurd as Musharraf’s return to power. Recommend

  • rehan saeed

    truly in the land of the blind the one-eyed are stoned to death…hope you get what i’m saying Mushies..:-)Recommend

  • Kazim Abdu’ Samad

    you forgot to point out his facebook ads, whose copy has this line in the end: ‘run nawaz sharif run’…

    how graceful is that?

    and what he said is could be because he lost his temper but when you write wo bhi copy for ads thats either a well thought out thing or you lost every thing!!!Recommend

  • tat

    I think being rational you should compare him with Nawaz Sharif himself, and some other people like Babar Awan, Salman Taseer etc.Recommend

  • Patriot

    WOW! Musharraf uses the political lingo of pakistan and all guns are pointed towards him… till 30th of Sept when all those rogue TV anchors and political personalities and non personalities were taking out their personal griviences Ms. Sadaf of chilling and enjoying the rewards of genuine democracies.

    Be honest to your profession lady, you would almost have been a non-entity on media had General Musharraf not been thereRecommend

  • Colgaze

    that was awesome :-)Recommend

  • Fahad Bombaywala

    Sadly, whatever presented in this piece of writing is factually correct from starting till the end.

    And I wonder why NOT Rana Sanaullah faces this type of criticism when he calls Babar Awan, “a kaali bher”?

    And why NOT Fauzia Wahab faces this type of criticism when she responds to Rana by calling him a “manjan bechney wala”?

    Why NOT the Jang Group faces this type of criticism when it labelled Musharaf as a “Deewaana”, before he entered into legitimate politics and when Ansar Abbasi said tha “Musharraf to sattia gaey hein”?

    Why the Altaf Husain (MQM Chief) did not face this elongated criticism after he said that “saaray wakeel Luchchay hein”?

    The reason why all of the above didn’t come across such things is that the whole Nation is simply apathetic toward them. Musharaf is the only one from whom we can at least expect that “something”. Our fairly justified responses to these words of Musharaf reflect exactly what we all feel for him.

    Long Live Pakistan. Recommend

  • Maryam

    I completely agree with you sadaf, i was so surprised to see him utter those words against Nawaz Shairf, didnt look good coming from a General’s mouth
    i havent heard Nawaz Shairf say such words ever about any body so is nawaz sharif better?

    musharraf looked confused…poor him…!!! i feel sorry for him …and all his fans…
    another jahil leader joins the league….

    very well written,.. !Recommend

  • Javed

    Very nice and decent article.
    @Asad: What are you expecting from Nawaz, Zardari, choudhries and Mailks. You expect they will change our life. They will fight for our rights, and do work for our future. I am sorry this is not the case. We have to fight ourselves to get our rights. We have to become a part of main stream of politics now, because our politicians are corrupt and they are guardians of their own interests.Recommend

  • Majid

    whatever next and whoever next Musharraf is, he is not next Rana Sanaullah at least. I don’t know why people hate Rana Sana Ullah. On every scale of inspecting people, he could not fall short to me. He speaks logical and makes sense. One should not hate him because he is a “Rana” and has mischievous mustache.Recommend

  • Wahid

    Well apart from a lot of comments mentioned earlier by people, Musharraf has really made the biggest blunder by accepting that Pakistan has trained and sent militants to Kashmir and elsewhere in India.
    If we now accept that Pakistan (per Musharraf) was indeed training and sending militants to Kashmir and elsewhere in India, then it automatically becomes true that most of the people being killed by Indian security forces were indeed militants and not innocent people. This is and has always been India’s position. They themselves admit to collateral innocent lives being killed but their thrust has always been to killing the Pakistan sponsored militants.

    This also gives legitimacy to their demand of first eliminating terror and then talking. It also has given complete sanctity to their allegations that mumbai attacks were done by Pakistani’s and that the army / ISI was involved.

    Musharraf in one stroke has destroyed the credibililty of Pakistan by admitting to state sponsored terrorism and legistimized everything that India has been saying all along.

    Two conclusions – One that he has goofed up big time. Second and more importantly, we should be worried that Pakistan has and is using such policies. A lot of what we see today in Pakistan is essentially an outcome of state sponsored terrorism.Recommend

  • http://facebook/asad.beg Asad Baig

    @Javed. Dude, look closely! Thats exactly what I am trying to say. Compared to our politicians, our beloved President and our dearly beloved Opposition leader, Mush is like freakin’ Brad Pitt. Next time, if you want to comment, I’d say you “read” it first.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    I love the slogan “run Nawaz run”. All the guns being used against Musharraf indeed is reflection of Musharraf rising. Can goof Nawaz be compared with our true national hero Musharraf? No way.

    Look how all the rented guns of NS are in action after Musharraf statement. Musharraf opponents should be ready to face more from Musharraf supporters in the days to come.

    Geo Musharraf. Recommend

  • Saleem Nawaz

    General Pervez Musharraf has decided to come back, this time through a political process. Does he know that the people have not forgotten the interminable damage he caused the country? When Musharraf overthrew the elected government foreign debt stood at $ 38 billion but when he left, the debt had gone up to $ 52 billion. The foreign loans and aid received for fighting the war on terror were spent on the luxuries of the leaders. Indirect taxation, through GST, almost wiped out the middle-class. When Pervez Musharraf and his team were forced to relinquish power, the country was not only burdened with massive foreign and local debts and marred by suicide bombings, but was left in the dark as not a single megawatt of electricity had been generated during his period of misrule. The ex-dictator is a perpetrator of such misdemeanours that it will be enough to condemn him permanently to the dustbin of history.Recommend

  • Nida Shehzad

    Soon after the launch of a political party and formally stepping into politics, former President Pervez Musharraf has started speaking at public rallies and appearing in interviews in both local and international media, as part of routine political activity. However, the Retired General seems to be floating immature comments, and proving to be more incompetent that the ‘seasoned’ politicians, whom he has always criticized. The first comment that shocked the political analysts and invited criticism was about Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf bluntly commented on Nawaz Sharif’s mental state and termed him ‘brainless’ at a rally of around 1500 people in Birmingham. The fury over the statement wasn’t over yet, Musharraf made another political blunder at the international level by claiming that Pakistan had trained militant groups to fight against India in an interview with a German magazine Der Spiegel. The irresponsible remarks were, to my knowledge, first ever such claim by a high profile leader of the country.Recommend

  • Mariam

    The only word I can think of Musharaf’s recent politics is ‘Disappointing’. Recommend

  • Ilyas

    @Saleem Nawaz. Please do not fool the people by putting wrong figures. When so called democracy tookover, the debt stood at USD 39 billion, which now stands at USD 55 billion. During 9 year Musharraf rule only USD 1 billion added to the debt. When Musharraf tookover Pakistan had only USD 60 million in reserves and when the present government tookover, the reserves stood at over USD 16 billion – tahnks to free of corruption Musharraf rule.

    During Musharraf regime people had enough for spending, which now due present loot by PMLN and PPP has wiped out the middle and poor class, while Shariefs in particular have expanded their wealth what they could not do during Musharraf regime. Recommend

  • Amjad Irfan

    It’s quite interesting that a man got 9 years with much more powers than our elective leaders normally have, is claiming that PPP/PMLs are responsible for whatever happened to Pakistan is nothing else but a joke.. I have a simple hierarchy of worst guys Pakistan has seen in its history;

    1. Musharaf is number one and no one is even close to him
    2. Second slot is occupied by Zia
    3. Third one is Zardari but nothing to blame him. He is a dacoit by profession and he selected the safest path.

    May Allah SWT give wisdom and power to through such rotten eggs to through out of our politics.Recommend

  • Hina..

    At least use your right to vote then come up with sch prudence..Recommend

  • qasim

    we hope Mushraf is the person, who can do the soul of the pakistan’s problem, and i am Hundred percent sure, he will help us, and Lal Masjeed sotory Akbur Bugtty and there r too other stories have been made against Mushraf are not ture,, if the people of pakistan and all the political parties had accepted the policy of Mushraf against Tabalin & Al-Qada, now Pakistan would not have seen these situations along with Swat, Wazirestan and also Lal masjeed,,,, (MUSHRAF U SHOULD COME TO PAKISTAN) AND,,, AGAIN BE THE LEADER Recommend

  • Sabeer

    @Saleem Nawaz:

    And for you Mr Nawaz.. I’ll only say unless you learn to research properly and use the correct figures, people are never going to take you seriously and.. what was that term you used? Ahh yes… People will permanently condemn you to the dustbin of history.Recommend

  • Kalim

    @asad baig:
    Come on Baig Sahib.. What is so special about Ex Army Chiefs of Pakistan. we had the likes of Yahya Khan (, whom this army elevated to the status of COAS.

    So what’s so special about General Musharraf

    Please read the post again. She has raised very valid pointsRecommend

  • MAD

    Imran Khan. you could vote for him.Recommend