Stories about Pervez Musharraf

President Obama’s speech and the continuation of drone strikes

President Obama delivered his much anticipated speech on counter-terrorism at the National Defense University, at Fort McNair in Washington, on Thursday. In the days before the address the focus was mainly expected to be policies governing drone attacks. According to White House officials, the speech would particularly give procedural details explaining the process leading up to decisions to use drones in counter-terrorism. It was also said that the remarks would outline, in detail, this administration’s counter-terrorism policies. Pakistan has had a long and violent relationship with American drones since 2004, the fifth year under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. According to ...

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General Musharraf: A fine specimen of bravery and stupidity

Having never liked the former military dictator-cum-politician, it is not very easy to present an unbiased case for Pervez Musharraf. Thinking back to the days when he assumed power after overthrowing Nawaz Sharif in a military coup, he had been hailed as Pakistan’s saviour for delivering it from a ‘corrupt and autocratic’ regime and from preventing Sharif from ‘declaring himself Ameerul-Momineen’. As a young boy, my firm distrust of the military man never went away, even after witnessing grown-ups close to me staunchly standing by the mentioned narrative – and myself being too politically naïve at the time to counter it. Generally ...

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Do we even have a leader to vote for?

In my 20 years of life, I have never seen such a level of excitement amongst people to vote, especially when nothing has changed. The political parties are the same, their members are the same and the leaders are also the same. Some of the parties contesting have already had the opportunity to rule Pakistan and their performance is there for all to see. The other two, supposedly the ‘underdogs’ and extensively branded as the ambassadors of the much-needed and labelled ‘inevitable’ change, don’t seem to be too promising either. Former army chief Pervez Musharraf, who reigned the country for eight ...

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Women are just as capable as men! They don’t need reserved seats

It is ironic how often not just women but even men have simultaneously debated over the equal rights of women, yet they are deprived of the knowledge of what equality actually means and what diversified leaders (men and women) have stood for and against. Damning evidence of gender discrimination – however camouflaged it might be – exists in our very own electoral system through reserved seats for women. “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”- Jane Austen. There ...

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Pervez Musharraf deserves a second chance, our economy needs him!

Over the last five years, one question that has remained of integral significance amongst political contentions has been; was former military chief Pervez Musharraf better than this current ‘battered but not shattered’ democracy? You can easily find a group of people who believe that his ‘martially-democratic’ epoch from 1999 to 2008 was better than the current democracy we have. There is no doubt about it; his policies were a huge turn on for economic developments and they deserve extolment. But on the way, Mr Commando made some huge mistakes which instigated a drastic series of social and political turmoil. Even if I try to use sasti (insubstantial) ...

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Musharraf returns: Give the devil his due!

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 ...

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Did we really put ‘locals’ into govt system?

When the Sindh Assembly passed the controversial Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012, terms such as “black spot on democracy” and “slap on the face of Sindh’s residents” cropped up in nationalists’ speeches. Interestingly, when the act was repealed, some MPAs used the same terminology to describe the development. This is the first time that a democratically elected government has dabbed at putting together a system of local government. Interestingly, if you carefully examine the local government experiments under the colonial rulers, military regimes and the current democratic set-up, you would notice that at the fundamental level, there doesn’t seem ...

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Meeting Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief

After meeting former chief of army staff of Sri Lanka, General Srilal Weerasooriya, I was curious to know what he thinks of the ongoing Afghan war, as well as the US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. I was also interested in discussing issues related to militancy in Pakistan with General Weerasooriya, who spent months with former president General Pervez Musharraf in the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad in the late ’60s. He told me that Pakistan cannot get rid of militancy until it succeeds in stopping neighbouring countries’ involvement in its territory. General Weerasooriya made it clear that the Pakistani ...

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No, you cannot wear Shalwar Kameez in Pakistan!

“What a country! What a country!” These were the signature lines of ‘Gora Saab’, a character of a TV show aired on PTV in the late 80s. The show was a sequel to hugely popular puppet show Kaliyan. Gora Saab would spontaneously utter these lines when he would come across bizarre and weird ways of our society. The character is as relevant – if not more – today as it was couple of decades ago. I need not elaborate any further; it would suffice to just say that everything, ranging from mobile services being shut down on festive occasions to the serpentine ...

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Lotacracy: Let the rolling begin

Once again, the season of ‘lotacracy’ has begun in the country, where politicians and influential people switch their loyalties from one party to another for personal gain. Though these people call themselves politicians, they violate the principle of politics and jump to sit with those enjoying power. The word ‘reconciliation’ has eased their worries; they can now justify that this is all being done under the ‘reconciliation policy’ as everything is possible in politics. The tribal chiefs, landlords and other bigwigs in Sindh were once in the PPP’s rival camp sitting with former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Now, they have formed ...

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