An awami style dictator

Published: October 14, 2010

It seems Musharraf has decided to go one on one with certain politicians and analysts.

In recent public appearances former president Perves Musharraf has been firing verbal bullets at political rivals and critics who have now been given an oppurtunity to lashing back as well – something they could not do while he maintained distance from the public and media.

The first shot came for Dr. AQ Khan who he called “characterless,” while Nawaz Sharif was declared “brainless.” He also claimed that the NRO was actually introduced after discussions with the Chaudhry brothers but the heated words did not end there.

It seems as if Musharraf has decided to go head-to-head with certain politicians and analysts who have been scoring points by bashing him and portraying him as the root cause of current and past crises. I am not sure whether this is the right time to browbeat opponents, but I believe he’s justified to respond them in the “awami” style.

The first interesting turn of phrase the former president used was “spent cartridges”(chalay huey kaartoos), to describe good for nothing retired generals who teamed up to hold him accountable for his actions (including the alleged abrogation of the constitution and the Kargil debacle). According to Musharraf, the ex-generals were sitting idle at home, had nothing to do and were using his return as a chance to enjoy some fame and TV air time.

This strategy was devised during the judicial crisis in Pakistan when an an older general would appear on TV and spew nonsense against Musharraf but there was only so far they could go as they risked facing treason charges during his presidency. But once he resigned things got more vocal.

Dr AQ Khan joined the anti-Musharraf bandwagon and took the oppurtunity to publish a colloquial style article in Jang where he called Musharraf despicable, traitorous foreign agent. He further accused him of being the self-styled commando who could not even set his foot on the street of this country because ‘the public would tear him into tiny pieces and feed him to scavengers.

It is statements like these that have now pushed Musharraf in to retaliation. It is obvious why he is callin Dr Khan “characterless.”

Meanwhile, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali who has had an inconsistent political history has taken another u-turn. He has blamed Musharraf for preparing to send Pakistani troops in Iraq. Meanwhile, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in his interview got the facts straight and told the media that that when he was Prime Minister for a brief period, he had in fact refused to send troops to Iraq. Now it becomes easier for us to figure out the reality.

Similarly, the PML-N, is known to drag Musharraf’s name in to every issue and blame him for every catastrophe (be it the Aafia Siddiqui case, Bugtis murder or even Nawaz Shareef’s hair loss!) But when Musharraf responds — the “renowned Sharifs” start reminding him of etiquette.

Musharraf was indeed a dictator but he has few other feathers in his cap as well. In some cases, the dictator has achieved more that civillian leaders. The achievements of Musharraf become evident when compared with that of the present government.

If as a dictator he could introduce democratic norms like local government and  media freedom just imagine what wonders he can perform as a democratic leader.

Now that the dictator has turned into a democrat, this democracy obsessed nation should not only welcome him but appreciate his awami style of politics as well.


Tanzeel Ahmad

A UAE based marketing professional who is interested in politics and cultural issues. 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.

  • ehsanali

    very good article thanks foer postongRecommend

  • Waseem

    This article highlights the nature of Democracy and Democratic politics. This kind of political point scoring is not going to save the country from the current situation. The idea that both parties should be able to insult each other is unacceptable in a country where there are so many problems.

    The records of all those mentioned are a disgrace, for all the good Mushraff did (so they say), the harm he did can never be repaired. He sold Pakistan to the Americans, he de-stablised the country and turned Pakistani ciities into battle zones. I am no supporter of Sharif or Zidari or in fact of Democracy.

    Pakistan needs to look at alternatives to this current failed system, Democracy or Dictatorship will never work. Pakistan needs to go back to the reason for which it was created Islam, and before people jump up and down and get the MULA complex. Islam has a lot to offer as a political system in the modern era. Recommend

  • Rana Usman


    Its like saying Before a murderer used to murder with knife, now he uses pistol! so appreciate him.Recommend

  • Sadia Ayaz

    Good one! As long as revenge policy keeps going against each other, our beloved country-Pakistan will never be on the right path. Our people will keep suffering because of our brainless politicians. Please stop nonsense against Gen. Pervez Musharraf. During Gen. Musharraf times, Pakistan was on the right track and progressive. This man did nothing wrong instead he saved Pakistan from possible US attacks back in September, 2001 during World Trade tragedy in New York City.Recommend

  • Ali Rizvi

    i think its better to keep A.Q Khan in Pakistan instead of hand him over Americans … so thx to musharraf who saved him from US who have strong evidences by A.Q Khan nuclear formula sharing with other nations.Recommend

  • The Only Normal Person Here.

    Similarly, the PML-N, is known to drag Musharraf’s name in to every issue and blame him for every catastrophe (be it the Aafia Siddiqui case, Bugtis murder or even Nawaz Shareef’s hair loss!)//

    Well done Tanzeel, another humorous and yet realistic analysis from your side.

    I personally think what Musharraf needs to do is

    Contact all the Nazims who are not from professional political families. And include them in the parties.
    Contact “NOT MUCH SEEN” young faces from PML Q. And yea the hum khayaal group leaving Musharraf in the last moment might be the BEST thing ever happened to Musharraf… ( before any moron starts with taht and think it was his/her triumph card … know this)
    Include youngsters and educated people in this party.
    Hold convention every month now regularly. Pick and choose his parties representatives from there.
    Start sending young faces to political talk shows to represent him. Rather than coming himself. Saif and Fawad should give more appearances.
    And YES…LIT THE MATCH AND ENJOY THE SHOW. That is one catchy liner every weekend against his components. Hes witty and hes present minded. He should continue verbal war … he would earn him free publicity WHICH is very important.

  • S. Ali Raza

    Love it! yes.. and these feathers in his cap are “tickling” many of those who fear if he comes back, they just might end up behind bars as usual :) Recommend

  • Munib Khan

    Very well said Tanzeel !Recommend

  • Zaheer

    PM’s carrier has been vanished in pakistan. He can never comeback to pakistan. He cannot survive long in here without army protocol. So he better start to think of investing overseas to make money instead of coming back.!Recommend

  • Assad Khan

    Alleged abrogation? For gods sake he did it twice if not more. And that is clear cut. You can support him all you want but please dont deny the fact that he has committed treason. Recommend

  • Amna

    You claim that people provoked Musharraf by coming on media and making statements against him when he suspeded the judiciary.

    He was PRESIDENT at that time. So people had the right to speak about what he was doing….how is that provoking him? It is pretty immature for him to come back years later and try to make a political statement by using immature and unprofessional language on media.Recommend

  • Mehr

    pretty lightweight stuffRecommend

  • Asad Baig.

    After reading articles on Musharraf bashing day in and day out for months, a very nice article and to the point.Very well written.Recommend

  • zuno

    well said!

    its true Musharraf introduce real democracy in Pakistan but for the reason he enters in politics is to introduce real democratic cultureRecommend

  • parvez

    Musharraf’s media people must have said ” look he is getting hammered drom all sides, get one of those guys to put in something positive about him ” and Tanzeel has obliged.
    But Tanzeel is smart he has put up ” pretty lightweight stuff ” as correctly commented by Mehr.Recommend

  • Yasserr

    Most political parties are scared of Musharraf and his popularity, he made trifling POLITICAL mistakes, which was forced by US to have a weak President like we are serving now. But i hope and InshALLAH he will be back with the bang and continue to work for the people of Pakistan. May God Bless him.Recommend

  • Nishu

    OMGGGG! Whaaatteeeey Article! Trust me, it has drastically changed my whole opinion about Musharaf – Bravvvvvooo! Recommend

  • Syed

    lovely piece indeed. Watch two latest interviews with barkha dutt on and india today with “open mind” and you will realize who is the real leader of Pakistan. Recommend

  • aNu

    May God bless musharraf.Recommend

  • MAlik

    Well said , great good luck Musharraf , and i will request and sugguest to send or introduce some good media people who can atleast speak like barrister saif , Chuadhar fawad bring few people on media atleast who would ready to answer with logic and put some reality , and counter all alligationRecommend

  • mario

    @Tanzeel, very well written blog mate… :)Recommend

  • Ghausia

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. What kind of politicians are ruling/attempting to rule the country when they can’t keep from brawling like children in the schoolyard? That being said, like Tanzeel said, the dude has many a feather in his cap, but many a mistake as well. But at least unlike the monkeys currently running the country, he did SOME good.Recommend

  • Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    Nicely said

    Obsessed Demoratic Awaam

    I hope he would return and make lesser mistakes this timeRecommend

  • Arfeen

    i really admire his tolerance for media freedomRecommend