Former military dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said that the military brought the country on the right track every time it came to power but civilians always derailed it.
“Whenever martial law was imposed in the country, it was the need of the hour,” Musharraf told BBC Urdu, defending the military rules in the country. “Whether it is a dictatorship, communism, socialism or kingdom people don’t care until they are prosperous and the country is progressing.”
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Claiming that all Asian countries progressed because of dictatorships, the former president said Pakistan was also set on the right path by military rulers but when they left the civilians derailed it. “Check the records of both civilian and military rules and you will find that dictators always led the country towards prosperity,” he maintained.
Replying to a question, Musharraf said organising elections and giving liberty to the people does not hold any meaning to the people unless they are made prosperous. Although Musharraf held Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto responsible for the fall of Dhaka, he, however, said General (retd) Yahya Khan was also partially responsible for Bangladesh’s independence.
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Musharraf lauded the role of former military dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan, saying his 10-year rule set records of progress in the country’s history. Accepting that General Ziaul Haq’s era was ‘controversial’ as it pushed the country towards religious extremism which still plagues the country, he insisted that Zia’s decision to help the US and the Taliban against the Soviet Union at the time of the Afghanistan invasion was a right move.
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