Please don’t come back, General Musharraf

Published: June 12, 2010
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The writer is an Islamabad-based journalist whose reports frequently appear in The New York Times. (salman.masood@tribune.com.pk)

The writer is an Islamabad-based journalist whose reports frequently appear in The New York Times. ([email protected])

It is hard to understand why former President Pervez Musharraf would want to come back to Pakistan, get involved in its messy politics and find himself ensnared with challenges more daunting than those he faced in his tenure. Extremists and militants are still a potent threat. Polity is divided and polarised. The economy is in a shambles. Governance in such precarious and uncertain times is no easy walkover. But Musharraf certainly seems to relish the idea of a dreamlike comeback.

Instead of the Army House his eyes are now set on the Prime Minister House. He has held several meetings with his supporters and over a dozen politicians in the Gulf recently. Several politicians – no matter how little their spheres of influence – have assured him of their support in case he lands back in Islamabad. The beneficiaries of the devolution plan are more than eager for the former general to stage a comeback so that their sagging fortunes can soar once again. Some industrialists have also reportedly expressed similar wishes. A political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), has been registered with the Election Commission. On June 9, this newspaper reported that two former aides, known for their unflinching support and loyalty for the former president, have already started a countrywide campaign intended to draw membership, starting from Karachi.

Muhammad Ali Saif, a former caretaker minister of state, claimed at a press conference ‘a la Goebbels’ that the interest of the people in Musharraf’s returning was enormous. Rashid Quraishi, a retired major-general and spokesperson for Musharraf, remained noncommittal about the exact date of return of his mentor. Such a date is surely not anytime soon. It is foolhardy of Musharraf’s aides to think that support for him on Facebook means something tangible and widespread support for him inside Pakistan. The urban middleclass– which often feels nostalgic for the early Musharraf years, his swagger and charisma– will not come out to vote for him. Their apathy is quite appalling. They grumble about the dismal conditions of the country but never come out to vote for change.

And for Musharraf, not much has changed. The bitter residue that he left behind when forced out of power remains toxic and smouldering. For rightwing Islamists, the lingering memories of episodes like Lal Masjid will continue to roil up emotions. Baloch nationalists hold Musharraf responsible for Nawab Akbar Bugti’s killing. The judiciary, under Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, would welcome any opportunity to drag him through the courts. Some politicians, especially the Nawaz camp, have old vendettas to settle. He is already used as a punching bag when government and opposition politicians run out of issues to let off their steam.

There is hardly any political space for Musharraf. Any form of a comeback in such a treacherous and inhospitable landscape would be no less than a miracle. The only possibility is some version of a Bangladesh model where the military ousts the current political lot, replacing it with a technocratic veneer and helping Musharraf edge back to power. It is a long shot and improbable at best. If General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the inscrutable army chief, is thinking of lending someone a lifeline, it is most probably for no one else but his own self.

And time is not on the general’s side either. He already seems like a relic of the past.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 12th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (73)

  • Faryal Tahir
    Jun 12, 2010 - 12:34AM

    Musharraf has already considered it all, don’t you think so? I may sound absurd but I believe he was a right man with a wrong team, current president is THE wrong man with The wrong team and if people can choose him they can re-consider Musharraf too.

    Though I agree mistakes likes Bhugti and Lal masjid made him pay to the extent a former military general pays in Pakistan i-e leaving the country with full protocol. He shouldn’t be coming back but if he is, am sure he is fully armed. Recommend

  • Sohail
    Jun 12, 2010 - 12:56AM

    You think facebook supportes will not come out an dvote for him?? No man its not true. Me a diehard Musharraf fan will not only come out vote for him but bring as many supporters with me as I could. Stop being the tool of the current leadership and dont try to hurt the morals of pakistanis and by “Pakistanis” I mean Pakistanis. To us, after our faith, Pakistan comes first then comes other things and ur tactics, Mr Author, InshaAllah will not work..Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 1:09AM

    I do hope he comes back. He came into power and then left cocooned in his own world. Let him face the electorate and lets see what his fait is. He should now walk the walk, apart from talking the talk of “enlightened moderation” and brining in true democracy. Though, being the cynic I am, at best its his personal ego that pushes him to dab at political influence once again, or at worst he is surrounded by sycophants ! Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 2:36AM

    Again (as faryal said) Musharraf has already considered it all. I (just) have one thing to say “Choose the lesser evil”. Both PMLN and PPPP have made things worse, for a common man, who could afford daal (in Musharraf regime), now the prices are up by 200%. That being said, Musharraf is a strong candidate for “lesser evil contest”.

    I know and have digested that most people are illiterate here and there’s high probability that Musharraf may not win but his presence even in small amount will play a big role.Recommend

  • Faryal Tahir
    Jun 12, 2010 - 2:59AM

    Mr. Web Editor ! I hope you can see the above ‘asterisks’ and still you published it . Can ET attach a note on terms and conditions of the comments to be posted? or on people who are exceptions? Recommend

  • F Alam
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:12AM

    He is a ‘done with’ case. I don’t care if he comes back or not. ‘Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts’ (Einstein)Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:33AM

    Very well written, sir.

    Just one correction. He left the economy is diarray and racing towards the abyss and a full-blown balance of payments crisis and we are now trying to pick up the pieces.

    And his various accomplishments on the economic front need to be subject to critical and intense scrutiny. Base changes and weight changes. Anyone can produce a chimera of growth and prosperity.

    Yes, some good things were done. But we need a little balance and perspective. Recommend

  • Kamal Shah
    Jun 12, 2010 - 4:34AM

    You just managed to write several paragraphs worth of text without making any sense or even having a shred of an argument to fall back on. Musharraf has faced harder times than what exist in the country at the moment. 2009 has been a relatively more peaceful year, the forex reserves are at 16B as opposed to nothing when he originally took over in 1999, and the Pakistan Army has – to a large extent – dealt the Taliban significant blows.

    As for his urban support base not voting for him, you’re completely mistaken. They – WE – will. Your apathetic view of the urban middle class in Pakistan is nothing short of disgusting.

    Every sane minded, peaceful, nationalist person in Pakistan wants a leader who can actually, oh I don’t know, LEAD. As opposed to the alternatives currently avaialable Musharraf is immeasurably better.

    He is honest. He cares for the country. He is open minded and beleives in the rights of minorities, women and the socially oppressed. Finally, he is a man of integrity against whom not a single charge of corruption can be made with any measure of seriousness.
    Recommend

  • Kashif M. Malik
    Jun 12, 2010 - 5:04AM

    Stop criticising on the return of Musharraf. what a shame that such a beautiful land is filled with so many corrupt politicians. lets bring Musharraf back. At least he is better then others…Recommend

  • Shahzad Shah
    Jun 12, 2010 - 6:23AM

    I think Mr. Musharraf is the only hope an average Pakistani has. I am not sure how Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif understand the basic needs of an average person. As both PPP on federal level and PML-N in Punjab have failed miserably in providing the two basic needs of any citizen Security and Food.

    FYI there is lot more activities going on then just the drive on facebook. I just came back from Pakistan and trust me you even that people who were pro PPP and PML-N are saying that Musahrraf was better then all of the politicians we have had.

    Akbar bugti death has freed the average balouchi from the slavery of the Bugti family and they all thankful to Mr. Musharraf. I am not just saying this but I have traveled there recently and talked to many people during my journey.

    Pakistan needs a great leader like Mr. Musharraf who has served his country with dignity and pride. Yes, there are a lot of “moderate muslims” who support him.

    Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • Shiraz Moughal
    Jun 12, 2010 - 7:18AM

    This author should know that free media was because of Musharraf. Don’t come back and say, oh it happened for few days, we can do this all days. Here comes Lal Mosque, aren’t they the same people hiding under women burkas, not letting anyone leave there compound, and attacking a federal building a day earlier? I’m no expert in religion but isn’t violence in Islam in prohibited? I mean that is the meaning of Islam. Now comes late Mr. Bukti, isn’t he the same person who was given two Fokker aircraft for his personal use by the government? On no he wants more, from a country how is bankrupt. Also, was it not true that this Balochi wouldn’t let any child from his area to go to school. Now now, I know they might say, “the governemt wouldn’t built any schools.” Really! or was it Mr. Bukti. Comes present, BLA, or whatever they are, should be crushed anyways, are killing professors in BU. I want to ask, who are they helping really. Good more Phd’s professors for Punjab, Sindh, and everyone else. In conclusion, Present General Pervez Musharraf was the man, because he did try to clean this country. Just because of that, I will vote for him.
    Pakistan Zinda-abad!Recommend

  • jahanzaib.haque
    Jun 12, 2010 - 7:51AM

    We will be providing our terms and conditions for comments soon. Best regards (Web Editor)Recommend

  • Omar bin Khattab
    Jun 12, 2010 - 8:45AM

    I find it intriguing that the writer is consumed with and focused on Opposing PM…at a time when ALL political parties of the country are in Power…trying their utmost to force the Pakistani population to eat grass..as a Pakistani shouldn’t we be looking at any and all options to get us out of this CIA/RAW/PPP/PML conspiracy….the focus of the article shows a lot about where the focus of the writer is…and its certainly not Pakistan for sure.

    And btw dude, never underestimate a Pakistan whether he’s in or out of his homeland…if we can raise crores in just two nights for Shaukat Khanum (as per Imran Khan…in the US) we can and certainly will support our Commando and Jurnail to the best our abilities.
    ALLAH HO..Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Sehr Ali
    Jun 12, 2010 - 10:16AM

    I agree with the author coz had facebook been any measure then Imran Khan should get more votes. Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 11:18AM

    Faryal Tahir: I would second you !

    Although i would still say ‘LaL Masjid’ was not a mistake, I do accept that many innocent people were martyred cos of ‘SOME’ people but ‘LaL Masjid’ was something that was unavoidable.

    Jahanzaib.haque: At last :)Recommend

  • SYED AGHA ALI MOOSAVI
    Jun 12, 2010 - 11:35AM

    i think it is not the right time for the General to come back to Pakistan,but as for his support is concerned it is beyond many political panditss imagination,,much more then people thoughtRecommend

  • Haris Masood Zuberi
    Jun 12, 2010 - 12:09PM

    Eerily similar thoughts…!Recommend

  • K.W.Shariff
    Jun 12, 2010 - 12:33PM

    There is no denying the fact that Musharraf is the only person who can save Pakistan. Infact Lal masjid and Bugti killing was one of his great achievments where none of these leaders would have the guts to stand up.

    But I think Musharraf has to carefully consider timing of his arrival. the current political sentiments are still not on his side. He is the best we have got, right now he is doing the right thing by not coming at this time.

    I hope army intervenes and bring him back to power, because he will have to rely on the same corrupt politicians if he participates in the next election.Recommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Jun 12, 2010 - 12:58PM

    Bad idea for the old general!Recommend

  • talha
    Jun 12, 2010 - 1:25PM

    please review your image and bring change in your personality.Recommend

  • Mazen
    Jun 12, 2010 - 1:26PM

    Good to see lot of discussion here,on the topic of “musharafs” arrival in pakistan.Perception manangement of former president is not in his bag right now,so if he wants to come back then first he’ll have to come onto the media persistently and have to do something towards his perception management.I personally think he is not as bad as the media showed him.Recommend

  • Qazi
    Jun 12, 2010 - 2:13PM

    It seems the whole lot of FB fan club of former dictator has come to comment on this article. The poor writer has just tried to draw pre-election scenario, but in the elections, only votes will count, which I don’t think this lucky dictator can bag enough even, dare I say, in counselor’s election. Keep commenting guys :)Recommend

  • Adeel Haider
    Jun 12, 2010 - 2:23PM

    Musharaf’s popularity can’t be measured with FB/Twitter. Imran Khan or for that matter PTI has a larger fab club then any other political party in Pakistan. He can’t make his place in Punjab as Nawaz League won’t let it happen, there’s either no place for him in Sindh with MQM and People’s Party, Balochi nationals won’t spare him for killing Bugti, Frontier people are already waiting for him to get back in the country so that they can avenge what they’ve been facing as an aftermath of war against terror, Islamic Radicals won’t spare him for his mistake with Lal Masjid operation and above all the Judiciary is already prepared to declare him a traitor who should be hanged. Although Musharaf is smart enough to consider all of these points before deciding his way back in the country yet an over confident man like him can make mistakes which can cost his life as ZAB did. Recommend

  • Omer Majeed
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:15PM

    Musharraf was the one that gave institutions like media and election commission their back bone. He was the one that doubled this country’s GDP and he was the first leader to try and stop the menace of extremism. How can a rational person support anyone but Musharraf?Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Qureshi
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:33PM

    In my opinion….Now Pakistan is not a safe place for moderate and liberal political personalities.
    We lost Benazir Bhutto as she was liberal, moderate and progressive mind and also Gen (R) Musharaf has the same frame of mind.
    Al.Qaida, Taliban, Local Right Wing and vast opposition of Musharaf will not let him to stay in Pakistan’s politics even his previous foot snifer Chaudry Brothers also opposing him.
    So my advise for Musharaf to live his retirment life and give lectures to moderan progressive and liberal world………..here in Pakistan let us live in darkness……..we are habitual of it.

    (Muhammad Ali Qureshi)
    [email protected]Recommend

  • Mera Pakistan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:40PM

    A few people who commented above me have no idea about the situation in Pakthoonkhwa and Balochistan atleast as I belong to them. I would like the writer and the people above to please pay a visit to my village and you will see the amount of support for Musharraf. The writer says Musharrafs mistake was Akbar Bugti and Lal Masjid, well Mr. Writer, the prices of oil, gas, sugar,rice, and wheat are more than thousands of Bugtis for them. Na he bugti un kaa baap tha, nahe lal masjid waley Islam pey chal rahey they. Please dont put up your feelings, by calling them the AWAMS feelings.
    Just wait for the elections Recommend

  • Tariq Khan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 3:45PM

    I hope that Mr. Musharraf will come back. There is a great support for him among those who are liberal educated and are concerned about this country. No doubt, Mr. Musharraf has made some major political mistakes, but still he has provided a vision for a Pakistan which is much better then any of so-called politicians can even think about.
    Pakistan First – Mr. Mushraraf please come back and lead the country towards prosperity and liberalization.Recommend

  • Asim Kaleem
    Jun 12, 2010 - 4:04PM

    To the writer of this article, be bold ……. dont say please ………. say Mr. Musharraf don’t you dare to enter Pakistan ……… all this what we are watching are the out come of his evil policies which works good till 2006 and than started to show the reality since 2007 and it continues till today ………….. come out you all those who are still living in a fools paradise ….Recommend

  • Usamah Siddiqui
    Jun 12, 2010 - 4:48PM

    these are the very times when we need courage and set GOALS, but here we have some authors who set a true example of discouragment.

    Musharraf will come and we will support him

    Pakistan First!Recommend

  • Anwar Ahmad
    Jun 12, 2010 - 4:54PM

    I am not a big fan of Musharraf but at least he did gave us a slogan “Pakistan first” though it didn’t work well in obscurantist society. Killing of Bugti was wrong but only if Mr. Bugti had not taken up arms against federation. He turned his financial problems with SGPL into a movement against state. Lal Masjid case was also the same and I am sure every sane Government would have dealt with it in same way. Enjoying his position in Armed Forces, he performed better than any politician under those circumstances. However he too came under pressure from clergy and bowed down. Now if he decides to come back he may find it a field full of mines.Recommend

  • Lal Shahbaz
    Jun 12, 2010 - 5:01PM

    It is indeed very amusing to see how all the Keyboard hero’s are getting emotional about an Usurper.
    The first thing is that Face Book is for people who need it to feel important and “busy”, its for people who have nothing better to do than sit in front of their screens and stalk other peoples lives all day. Probably they were busy checking out other peoples business when a page came across them “Hey lets bring the former Dictator back” and they out of boredom and a little excitement clicked on the “Yes we want him back” option, and Poof ! Before you know it, You have Two Hundred Thousand signatories.
    Such is the level of our youth and such is their mindset we as in our society is actually reversing at a dangerous speed, the youth is definitely more childish, pettish and immature than i feared it to be. Very sorry state of affairs.Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 5:28PM

    It seems rather depressing that the only choice we seem to have is between a former general, who ruled for nearly a decade, Nawaz Sharif who has been around for so long that his hair has grown back again and a President who is loathed. Time for some new faces? Or do we start playing revolving chairs of the 1990’s again?Recommend

  • Liaqat Ali Khan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 5:29PM

    Mr. Salman, I think Mr. Musharraf did a great job in his regime, it was in favor of Pakistan, if he didn’t do it, conditions here in Pakistan might be worst then Afghanistan. I just need your favor just look at the current economical condition of Pakistan, inflation, unemployment, poverty bla bla bla are on its peak. industrial sector is paralyzed, foreign investment is consider to be zero. I think such conditions were not be in Musharraf regime. We hope Mr. Musharraf will come back soon and stabilize the conditions of Pakistan with his leadership qualities. Recommend

  • Faryal Tahir
    Jun 12, 2010 - 6:19PM

    Mr. Adeel Haider ! What you mentioned is not different from what the author had already penned. Musharraf wants to come back and face this, its his choice or America’s. He double crossed America and any idea on how would the strings be pulled once he enters Islamabad?Recommend

  • blogger
    Jun 12, 2010 - 8:01PM

    Well,if everyone else can keep coming back,why shouldn’t he ?Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 8:55PM

    I would never imagined Musharraf’s supporters becoming so vocal. There was a time when all you would hear were negative things. Something big is coming soon!Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jun 12, 2010 - 9:54PM

    Can anyone explain how the General supports himslf and ended up buying 2 Million Pounds worth of property in the heart of London?

    They are all the same…..

    We are Doomed!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Mir
    Jun 12, 2010 - 10:01PM

    I want my country back.. please let the man who had got us back on our feet back. He made his mistakes and I forgive him, for the sake of my children. They will not have a country to grow up in if you keep feeding the snakes who feed of me and you. The people who are being vocal about the present govenment and this judiciary are also the ones who are fostering in the trinkle down effect. These people sitting plush abroad want a democratic setup based on corruption and murder. Please leave this country alone and enjoy the democracy you were born into. We have to fight our way out of extremism and illitracy before we can walk towards the disneyland democracy you are used to.Recommend

  • Atif Khan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 10:09PM

    I also support Musharraf because he was not a corrupt person himself though he was fooled by some of his own ruling partners. Lal Masjid action was very right. Those mullas were using women and children as shield and that coward mulla was caught running under burqa.

    Of all current politicians, I would support Musharraf. He is better than shareefs and zordaris.Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 11:08PM

    @Nadeem – OMG hahahah .. good one eh !Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jun 13, 2010 - 12:13AM

    We need to ask this question first to all the Honourable Elected Parlimentarians before asking anybody else. Even Imran Khan!Recommend

  • Alina
    Jun 13, 2010 - 1:10AM

    @Lal Shahbaz
    My thoughts exactly.Recommend

  • Insaan
    Jun 13, 2010 - 3:39AM

    If you are serious about what you wrote in your article, please don’t write again on behalf of the nation! Why shouldn’t Musharraf come back? Are you happy with just the Zardaris and Sharifs and Chaudharies and their sickening, corrupt, illiterate, disgusting, feudal ilks running the show??? We are worse than those soap opera families who keep having affairs with each other for 20 years on screen!!!! We keep “electing” these good for nothing politicians again and again!!! Because there is no competition!!!! I say Welcome Back Mr. Musharraf, at least you look like a man and even if you were to make some deals with our daddy USA, you might actually put Pakistan first in making those deals as opposed to your own personal bank account.

    And please, by all means, build 10 homes worth two million pounds each, as long as you are getting more than that for your country and we are able to get electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, and not have to sell our kids to buy sugar!!!!Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jun 13, 2010 - 4:25AM

    I will vote for President Musharraf. He is no doubt better than Nawaz, and Zardari any day any time.Recommend

  • Jun 13, 2010 - 6:10AM

    Musharraf makes a ton of money doing these lectures. No one has dared call Musharraf a corrupt individual even in the opposition. They might have termed his Government corrupt but never him as an individual. Don’t bring up such stupid points when the Pakistani people elected the PPP headed by Zardari!Recommend

  • Usman Saeed
    Jun 13, 2010 - 8:57AM

    “Physics is easier then politics” – Einstein. I don’t know Musharraf is a great politician or not. I know that he ruled the country very well. He did great job. Pakistan has achieved alot in his tenure. He must come back and take over leadership of our country.
    Please salman stop writing on political matters. and to Mr Chief Editor of Tribune Pakistan, please watch what nonsense/substandard material your subordinates are printing.Recommend

  • Jun 13, 2010 - 10:58AM

    Tha author rightly says mr. Musharraf is ‘a relic of the past’.
    Look at his tenure in two priods.
    Firstly, from 1999 to 2002, when he had technocrats and a small cabinet he did GOOD.
    But during this period The Commonwealth Union, European Communiity and the father of Pakistani politicians, the IGNOBLE USA permeated his thoughts and actions with, “Democracy, Democracy and nothing but Democracy”. Otherwise, SANCTIONS, both military and economic.
    Secondly, after the elections, thus came in the PML Q, an apology for leaders and a motley arrangement of plebian politicians who hunkered for the baradiri system to continue. Prevail it did and does to this date.
    Musharraf will remembered for his allocation and disbursement of funds for the development of our beautiful Karachi. And all Kudos for the nazim of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal. Musharraf will also be remembered for his crackdown on Lal Masjid in Islamabad. Just imagine the mullas had stockpiled tons of ammunition and matched the fire power of the Pak Army for seven days. If the mullas have any sense (doubtful) the ignominy of Lal Masjid is their responsibily and will remain so. The unfortunate girls and boys that were killed in the onslaught and used by the mullas as shields will demonize them and remain chimeric permanently.
    Mr. Musharraf there is lots more but be the man that you claim to be and face the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, clear your name if you can without blasphemy (appealing to the USA) and maybe you will gain currency with the population.
    Dont let the PML N and the PPP bother you but first clean the stygian stables left behind for us by humiliating the Constituition and the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    Many thanx. Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Jun 13, 2010 - 4:54PM

    People talk about his “honesty”. He has a mansion in some up-scale area outside of Islamabad that must have cost millions. Do our Generals earn that sort of money? I don’t think so.

    And how did he buy this flat in London he lives in? I hear it is relatively modest but buying it and maintaining it in one of the most expensive cities in Europe must cost a hefty amount. True, he earns outrageous amounts from his speeches all over the world. The man must be quite desperate/greedy. He was recently on his way to Mexico to deliver a speech. Mexico?

    I hope he declares his income from speaking arrangements on his income tax form — assuming he files one.

    He did some good things and then, like all the rest of them, it all went rapidly down-hill. Recommend

  • Saleem Qazi
    Jun 13, 2010 - 5:25PM

    Your piece is a very lousy attempt to make a case for Musharraf’s possible return to Pakistan politics. Please let’s not forget the situation in which Musharraf usurped power from a legitimate and elected government which was doing pretty okay, if not as good as Musharraf’s nine years. He came to power on completely false grounds: the Prime Minister had fired him but through his commanders in Karachi and Islamabad he orchestrated a coup from the air, and later sentenced Nawaz Sharif through a kangaroo court. As far the economy doing relatively well under Musharraf’s is concerned, it was solely because of unequivocal support to Bush’s illegitimate war in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. Please have some mercy on the people of Pakistan and don’t invite self-centered and overly-ambitious commando lake Musharraf to come back and ruin the country further. Pakistan is too precious to millions of people to be left to a experimentations of a retired general. let him try his luck in Qawwali and classical singing. Recommend

  • saher
    Jun 13, 2010 - 8:53PM

    weird.. musharraf couldnot do anything fr pak’s prosperity in 9 years and we still want him back??? i am astounded… we dont give politicians 5 years but are willing to give a dictator even 20 whether or not he delivers…
    no energy plan.. no education plan.. no economica plans other then selling off assets… he had everything in his hand.. wrong or ryte.. good or bad, but he didnot use his power. he could not even keep the politicians away wich he promised wen he came into power.
    i think he shud come back and face the elecions..
    i dun have any issues with him having an open mind and an open heart.. but an intelligent enemy is better then a dumb friend.Recommend

  • Mubashir
    Jun 13, 2010 - 9:19PM

    @Nazir Habib, Meekal Ahmed & Nadeem.

    Well said!

    We are thinking.. ie we are awake!Recommend

  • Jun 13, 2010 - 9:28PM

    Wow you guys are making insinuations without any proof, STOP IT! If Musharraf was corrupt he wouldn’t have left 16 Billion dollars in reserves.Recommend

  • saher
    Jun 13, 2010 - 11:16PM

    shukar hai steel mills buch gaya werna reserves aur high rehtey :DRecommend

  • To Saher
    Jun 14, 2010 - 12:10AM

    Mere bhai the same steel mills which was getting sold in a huge profit during musharrafs time, is now in loss and needs a bail out.
    All Hail democracy and judicary! :)Recommend

  • Rasheed
    Jun 14, 2010 - 3:44AM

    There was no hope for Pakistan before Musharraf and no hope after Musharraf. For those Pakistanis who hate him listen: swallow your ego and let the man govern Pakistan. Otherwise your children will have no future.Recommend

  • Faisal Athar
    Jun 14, 2010 - 4:35AM

    I read everyone’s comments and it gives me extreme displeasure to see that many of you live in a country that does not provide the basic necessacity of life such as electricity and water. It seems that Pakistan will soon be competing with Banana Republic if we don’t get our act together. Why does it matter which leader comes, why can’t we become responsible for ourselves and not hope for a hero to save our country. Why can’t each one of us contribute to the best of our ability for our beloved country since every Pakistani has a hidden love for Pakistan. Why do we have to always wait to blame someone? Ofcourse, leaders will come and go but if we loss our country, it will never come back and we would be running around in other countries as third class citizens without national identity. At present, our best bet is perhaps Mr. Musharaf simply due to the fact that he has nothing to show except the love for his country. He is not a greedy man like other who want to get billions of dollars in their accounts. For God sakes, most teenagers in the US become millionarie once they start a small IT company. So what is wrong with if our General President owns a modest small apartment in London worth 5 million pounds? Give him respect! He was your Presiden. Most other people in Pakistan also own millions of pounds worth of apartments…So what?

    Most of us need to change our mindset before we loss our country to those who do not have any fear of God. Keep an open mind and let us see the big picture. Recommend

  • Asif
    Jun 14, 2010 - 9:32AM

    @saher: You have no idea what Musharraf did for this country because you were watching TV when he was serving his nation.

    I had a job at his tenure, my brother had a job and my whole neighborhood had a job. And yes, it was not a government job .. It was a private job. So if a ruler can generate a private jobs for his people thats an amazing thing and its success. Property prices were touching sky high, ask any of your estate agents. I completely support killing of stupid bugti and other Lal masjid lunatics.

    I will definitely vote for Musharraf. No doubt about it.

    @Salman: I don’t know what you have against musharraf but whatever you have please just keep it to yourself. There is no need to show your lousy mentality to the world. I don’t wanna live rest of my life with Zardari & Nawaz. If you have given PPP & PML-N chances twice and i know you would still support them again then why the f* you won’t give chance to Musharraf. Don’t you like people having Jobs, You fool. Even today 80% TV ads are from mobile companies which he authorized. By the way, even you have a job because of him today. There would be no Tribune today without him.Recommend

  • Realist
    Jun 14, 2010 - 10:27AM

    Let him contest. Let democracy decide if people support him or not.Recommend

  • Arayan
    Jun 14, 2010 - 11:19AM

    I really dont know why ppl blame Mushraf for Lal Masjid, when we did the same operations in Sawat and other FATA Areas. Why there is a double standard. Now ppl are calling for operations in South Punjab. There will be 100s of Lal Mosques in South punjab wat would you do?

    Its easy to take popular decisions but to take unpopular decisions you need a real leader. Recommend

  • Impartial
    Jun 14, 2010 - 11:22AM

    Guys don’t get hostile. Show respect to each others views. We all belong to the same country, if the country thrives so shall we.
    Lets pray for the right man for the right job.

    No one is an angel. Give them the benefit of doubt at least!Recommend

  • Patriot
    Jun 14, 2010 - 12:17PM

    Not sure about the elections but musharraf supporters are surely winning the cyber war :)

    PAKISTAN FIRST!Recommend

  • Waqas Durrani
    Jun 14, 2010 - 12:35PM

    “The urban middleclass– which often feels nostalgic for the early Musharraf years, his swagger and charisma– will not come out to vote for him.” Don’t be so sure on that loose opinion.

    I assure you with the media frenzy and continuing poor performance of current government the public as always is looking for change. Musharraf and his party remain the best amongst the entire political party lot. No government in this country has ever been perfect but with former president Musharraf we stand a chance to get back on our feet again. He got us back when we hit rock bottom in 1999 and I truly believe he can help us come out the current mess again.

    Pakistan First! Recommend

  • Rizwan Gulshah
    Jun 14, 2010 - 3:09PM

    As for as I think of Mr.Musharraf he is the only one as the lender of the last resort (Pakistan). He is only the person who can compete with the rest of world and to improve the current worst situation of the nation, and there for it is my humble request to come back and save this holly mother land from political thieves and religious pirates who are just using the innocent people of this peaceful country for their own interest. Please come back Mr.Musharraf and lead the whole nation towards the success as you have done in your tenure.Recommend

  • tayyab jan
    Jun 14, 2010 - 4:08PM

    ok musharaf should come back right but those who are present are they honest?Recommend

  • Farigh
    Jun 14, 2010 - 6:58PM

    Fully agree with commentator saher. He didn’t do any good when he had absolute power. From Army to America all were supporting him. Are 9 years not enough?

    “You have no idea what Musharraf did for this country because you were watching TV when he was serving his nation”

    Thats his magic he served the nation and nation didn’t even got to know it. Mr. Musharraf, first give a try to your own supporters on Facebook to see how many would vote you.. go ahead and create a poll.Recommend

  • Dee
    Jun 14, 2010 - 9:43PM

    Musharraf should come back. Things were a lotttttt better when he was in power. Lesser drone attacks, more jobs, less inflation, less corruption, less targeted killings, better economy…And Democracy is just overrated. Its not a system designed by God that every one should worship. What works and benefits the common man is the best option, be it anything.Recommend

  • Usman Ahmad
    Jun 15, 2010 - 12:34AM

    Salman, PM is not a coward, history tells it. He has a habbit of embracing challenges and a man with such properties is the need of the hour.Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2010 - 11:58AM

    You are a bit out of touch.

    The terrible state of Pakistan makes the common man yearn for the ‘good old days’ when General Mush. & co. ran supreme.

    The only way to destroy the legacy of the General was to do a far better job and actually tackle corruption, croniesm, load shedding, inflation….which they’ve been abysmal failures at. Recommend

  • Mussarat
    Sep 12, 2010 - 12:46AM

    Dear former General Sahib, please do not return Pakistan. Your life will be in extreme danger.

    We are already brearing brunt of Dr. Sher Afghan Niazi in Pakistan. We only need your safety

    and security. You are in the stge of life when you should devote most of your time with your

    family members. Go for squash, golf, swimming like Idi Ameen and play bridge.

    Pakistan is really very dangerous country where it would be hard for you to get effectuve

    as you had before. Activists of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, relatives of lal masjid and above all you will

    have to be answerable to the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

    Futhermore, if you come return you will be the main looser because you r earning 100,000 dollar for each lecture in usa. Sorry to say, none of your lecture inspired me.

    Security of General Musharraf First,

    Well-wisher

    Mussarat hussain
    Washington DCRecommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Sep 13, 2010 - 11:38AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.You are discussing on Lal Masjid issue.You are absolutely right because Lal Masjid operation was the biggest committed mistake by Musharrah’s government but what about innocent and sinless people’s killings in Zardari’s regime in Tribal areas by US Drone attacks,Security Forces,FC and Pakistan Army on the name of terrorism and the most importantly very rapidly price-hiking of essential life’s requirements.Think in every aspect of Pakistan.If Musharraf was not good but Musharraf cleared Pakistan from IMF and present government again trapped Pakistan and pakistani nation in IMF’s cage.Recommend

  • Nadeem Khattak
    Sep 16, 2010 - 3:55AM

    Its hard to believe that people still want Musharraf to take control even though he was in charge of the country for nine long years. I fail to understand how a country can be a developing tiger for nine years and then become a failed state suddenly at the departure of the zoo keeper! Needless to say that there was no real development in Pakistan for Musharraf’s nine years. Shaukat Aziz’s artificial stimulus to the economy during that period in the form of property mortgages, car leases, manipulated stock exchanges and the currency business were only temporary measures meant to keep things going. Don’t forget Pakistan did not add a single entity to its manufacturing or services sector in Musharraf’s era.

    All the money that we saw was either flowing in the country as aid from the west to combat terrorism or investments thrown in by misled investors who were made to believe that Pakistan was on its way to becoming the next Asian tiger. How long can you trick the outside world? The truth was bound to come out, even if Musharraf had stayed a couple of years longer. This was an unsustainable economy and I’m sure any student of economics can tell you that you have to produce to prosper.

    Yes, Musharraf’s governance may have been a little better than the present government,…but why why why him again. He had nine years to show something. Since he did not deliver the real stuff and since Pakistan is in the doldrums as soon as he left, any progress attained was inflated and unsustainable. If lack of security in the country was his handicap, it is an even bigger handicap right now. So why are we criticizing the present government?

    If all politicians are evil and if voting for lesser of the evil is the solution to democracy, my vote in the next general elections is reserved for Imran Khan who has genuine material accomplishments for this country. I hope people can remove the blindfolds off their eyes and give Imran a chance to show what he can do, rather than bringing back the old horsesRecommend

  • OSA
    Sep 17, 2010 - 4:22AM

    Well, to be very honest, as a patriotic Pakistan every national of this country should be supporting Mr. Musharraf. I’ve had the pleasure of travelling this beautiful country and the masses, people like the taxi drivers, the cart pushers, the porters, the bus drivers, the ‘chai hotel walas’, etc have all resonated one very sane opinion that at least during Musharraf’s era, an average Pakistani was at least able to buy the essentials of life such as food, water and clothing.

    If you notice, the price of one ‘roti’ during Musharraf’s era was PKR 4 each however today in Karachi each roti costs about PKR 12! Today an average Pakistan earns about PKR 120 per day while an average family consists of 6 people, meaning each person cannot even afford to purchase bread for his family, let along food! Today, there was a statistic stated that on an average 15 persons commit suicide in Pakistan while during Musharraf’s era this figure was 5 per day! Pakistan had gotten rid of the ‘IMF trap in 2004 and USD: PKR parity stood @ PKR 60 per USD today there’s been a 42% depreciation in PKR and USD stands at PKR 85! During the Musharraf era a beautiful system of governance in the form of Local Bodies (Nazim System) was introduced, today only owing to personal political agenda’s silly steps have been taken and this system was withdrawn and every city is suffering!

    These are all figures known to an average Pakistan and I believe that if PM decides to return to Pakistan, we will see an overwhelming support for him. Even the urban wannabe’s will come out to vote. Its a personal opinion and everyone is entitled to one!Recommend

  • Sep 22, 2010 - 4:33PM

    A very good article and a matter-of-fact advice indeed to genral musharraf. Hope he does heed to it.Recommend

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