Punishing the Dictator

Published: April 13, 2013
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The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore
saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk

Dictators do not have post-retirement careers, dictators do not make comebacks. As a general principle, a dictator does not die of old age, particularly when not in power. The Commando is back to defy all these accepted facts about dictators. The rubbing of the eyes has to stop now. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, it seems, is here for a bit. He now is a political non-entity, an irrelevant player in the larger scheme of affairs. There is a temptation to simply ignore him. However, it was unnerving to watch a shoe being thrown at him in the Sindh High Court. Firstly, for the obvious reason that there is no dignity in any shoe throwing at anyone. But also for what the Commando might come to symbolise in the coming days. A pathetic old man, way past his prime, insulted in public at a regular basis. It seems like a satisfying outcome considering what he inflicted upon this country. It would give great personal pleasure to see him humiliated at the polls, which fortunately, is highly likely. Yet, there is the real risk of him becoming so pathetic and easy to mock that we begin to pity him, of him arousing a bit of sympathy. Hence, forgetting what he did once, what he stood for. That should not happen.

As much as one loathes the Commando, the recent news of Jamia Hafsa students, armed with sticks, tearing down the General’s posters in Islamabad is disturbing. The last time they took to the streets in Islamabad, armed with sticks and stones, it did not end very well. In any case, whatever were the specifics of the last incident, that is not what General Musharraf should primarily be remembered or attacked for. Adequate security needs to be provided to him and the vandalism restrained. Unlike the callous treatment he extended to BB, he needs to be protected. To prove to ourselves that we are better than him, and also for the reason of allowing the legal system to take its course, a system he detested when he was in power. There is no reason to romanticise his return; rational thought was never his strong point. To quote Hunter S Thompson on former US President Richard Nixon, “ … honest historians will remember him as the rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship”.

The Supreme Court declared that General Musharraf subverted the Constitution in the July 31, 2009 judgment. The judgment was unanimously and uncritically hailed as a new beginning, a break away from past, etc. On the slightest reflection, the judgment was exactly keeping in line with our not so glorious legal history. Yahya Khan was declared an “usurper” a few months after he was gone and comprehensively disgraced. The Commando was held to have subverted the Constitution when he was gone. All other judgments starting from 1954 pertaining to military takeovers and dictators that were present have been completely welcoming to the adventurers, even bestowing upon them powers that they had not asked for. Much bravado is displayed when the man with the stick has left. The return of the Commando provides a unique opportunity to the Court and to the people, that is to punish the dictator when he is still alive, and also before he becomes pitiable. It is about time that the cost of subverting (abrogating, etc) the Constitution is raised for all future potential adventurers.

To make a case for why the Commando should be punished is too obvious and too easy. Yet, it remains necessary. Why now? Short answer, we have to publically try him and make sure the law is applied squarely while there is still time. Can’t we let it slide, move on, bygones be bygones, etc? Short answer, no we cannot. It is not fair to let it slide. He deserves to be punished. The record needs to be set clean. There is another important reason and that has to do with self-respect. The Commando’s comeback is a direct challenge, a taunt to the Court, the democratic system and the people. As someone who opposes the death penalty for anyone, in an ideal situation, I would want him to be tried and spend his remaining years inside a prison cell.

The Court should dispel the notion that it did not contemplate a return in the 2009 judgment and has now been caught slightly off guard. The Supreme Court now has to assert itself with the same force on the Commando as they customarily display with the elected government and its officials. That is not easy. According to one interpretation, the July 31, 2009 judgment seems to suggest that all those who aided and abetted the subversion might also be complicit. And that list has some powerful people. To quote MD Taseer, davaar-i-hashr mera naam-i-amal na dekh, is mein kuchh parda nasheenon kay bhi naam atay hain.

The murders of Shaheeds Akbar Bugti and BB cannot be allowed to slide. It will, perhaps, be helpful to revisit his statements, his arrogance, apathy and smugness on the murders whenever in the future, one begins to feel even slightly sorry for the Commando. He does not deserve it.

This is all the more important as we awkwardly mule through to elections. Generals Aslam Beg, Asad Durrani and Hameed Gul still mock us. Mock us, even after admitting to rigging and stealing an election, and the Supreme Court holding the first two guilty. General Musharraf’s referendum and the rigged 2002 elections should be fresh in our collective memory. The murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti represented a distinct breaking point for many Baloch nationalists. As welcome efforts are underway to encourage some Baloch nationalists to contest elections, it should be remembered reconciliation without truth, without accountability is unreasonable and unnatural.

When the Commando illegally took over, there were many amongst the politicians and intelligentsia who welcomed him. Many of them had the grace to sincerely and publicly acknowledge their mistake subsequently and hence are absolved. Yet, the Commando has to be tried and hopefully punished to establish a basic point; that a dictator is never all right, never acceptable. For the moment, we look at the Supreme Court. Procedure needs to be followed, personal dislike set aside and the law applied — that should do it.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (72)

  • Parvez
    Apr 13, 2013 - 11:33PM

    You make your view crystal clear and I not only like that but I respect it to.
    You being a lawyer and calling on the Court to do what you think is right is well and good but being the smart lawyer that you are, do you honestly think its doable.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Apr 13, 2013 - 11:45PM

    What does article-6 say about him? Why can’t we learn from Turkey’s General Ilker Basburg or Sri Lankan’s General Sarath Fonseka??
    How long will the country remain hostage to “holy cows”???

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  • Maula Jat
    Apr 13, 2013 - 11:49PM

    I agree with the principles invoked in this article. Yet the outcome envisaged is not wholly realistic. Na nau man tel ho ga na radha nachey gi.The author has overlooked the wheels within wheels and all the deals.

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  • MSS
    Apr 13, 2013 - 11:55PM

    This whole episode is an emotional mess.
    The current constiturion dates back to 1973 and was produced by a politician (ZAB) who himself had refused to accept the results of elections. Zia mutilated it. Punishing Musharaf does not solve the basic dilemma: whose constitution is it that should be THE constitution of Pakistan? The SC punishes the commando, a future dictator learning from this tears up the 1973 constitution and writes up his own making courts subservient to the army. Then the civilians come into power and restore 1973 … and so on, the circle is endless. This is inviting confrontation between the mighty pen and the mightier gun.
    The SC and media are playing into the hands of a few shrewed and cunning politicians. Pak media is trying Musharaf for the murders of BB and Bugti. This is akin to a mob rule. The husband of BB is still in power and has not shown much interest in establishing the identity of true murderers. Mr Saroop Ijaz is also assuming Musharaf is guilty. The available evidence may be totally insufficient and unreliable and the SC may have no option but to acquit him. A Head of State cannot be held responsible for every murder committed in the country. Otherwise, Zardari (Gilani too) should be tried for the murders of Salman Taseer, Minister Bhatti and many others. People be practical.

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  • Apr 13, 2013 - 11:55PM

    he may be allowed to be tried for the violation of Constitution , imposing the emergency and the trial will take longer period and finally will let him go little or without punishment. Any expectation beyond that will be wish list only.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:01AM

    A brilliant Op Ed by the ET, thanks for telling the truth. It is a test of SC to show they have no favorites. You are right by writing “The Supreme Court now has to assert itself with the same force on the Commando as they customarily display with the elected government and its officials.”
    Not too long ago the SC of Pakistan was all militant about the Swiss letter. It was an old case of theft (petty crime compared to high treason) and everybody knew it would be futile to ask Swiss to go against Pakistani and International laws but the SC kept pushing at all costs till its decision was implemented. The SC should implement its own unanimous decision against the dictator to show it is not still on the side of powerful as its history testifies.

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  • Maria
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:02AM

    I agree with this article fully. Even though charging Musharraf with treason now may upset elections, it still has to be done as a point of principle. We agree that the Taleban or any group who want to take over illegaly with guns is bad, so why should a general be allowed to take over illegaly with the guns of the state? Unless Musharraf is charged and put in jail, nothing will stop others from thinking they are above the law and just doing whatever they want because they have a gun.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:03AM

    Then who are those perda nasheen….

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  • Altaf Khan
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:17AM

    for the 1st time i have to say that your biases in the whole matter fogged your ability to think straight and with an iota of clarity…This is more of a public instigation and enticement against a former President who is the international face of this country.. The very fact that you call a baloch rebel “shaheed” goes to show how much you hold against President Musharraf.. Commando is back and he is here to stay.. Watch him and burn,, he will be around !!!

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  • Unidentified
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:18AM

    Brilliant interpretation of the peoples’ wishes and desire by the author. But unfortunately Musharaf has came back to get a clean chit, not the wrath of so-called ‘independent judiciary’.

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  • Realistic Pakistani
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:53AM

    @Author:such a pathetic article. I wish there was dislike button. What Mush gave us was better than all the democracies but I guess your anti Musharraf obsession wont allow you to understand or accept the facts. Btw which pathetic party do you support pti, ppp or PML-N?Recommend

  • Arifq
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:57AM

    For too long this nation is allowing bygones to be bygones, I totally agree with Saroop this trend must end and why not start with Musharraf! But, we should not stop there either. Aslam Beg, Hameed Gul and Aslam Durrani are all living lives of luxury and hailed as respected citizens of this country, they too need to be bought to justice and punished for their crime of subverting the constitution. Lastly but most importantly, why is Zia buried in Shah Feisal Mosque, Islamabad? Remove the dictators vestiges and all that he represented by providing a resting place away from the public eye so Pakistani people can breath freely.

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  • SHB
    Apr 14, 2013 - 1:16AM

    Yes, he is another who is trying to come back to the ship.
    He must be defeated in the poll by the people. He should spend rest of his life behind the bar
    All his and his family members assets and accounts must be confiscated unless they can prove they earned with their own effort and had paid all the taxes.Recommend

  • Asad Malik
    Apr 14, 2013 - 1:28AM

    Your priority is democracy not Pakistan. According to you it’s never alright for dictatorship and you’d rather have a criminal run this country. Which law school did you go to? Do you even know how Malaysia, Turkey and China progressed? Do you have an inkling of how this pro-democracy government has effectively ruined the economy? I guess not because your priority is to penalize Musharraf and let our ‘wonderful’ democracy destroy the country.

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  • Asim
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:01AM

    Fortunately, thanks to the “dictator”, you now have the power to say this on electronic media and not be put in jail

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  • Truth
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:14AM

    @author can’t agree more with each word narrated and thanks for reminding me,as I was forgetting about him ( the commando) , probably like many others.

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  • Akbar
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:55AM

    It’s sad to see how biased your writing is. Absolutely full of hate without any logic. I wonder if it can be called an article at all.

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  • asim
    Apr 14, 2013 - 3:44AM

    At the same time the CJ while taking action against cammando must tell the nation why Zardari was allowed to become president once he failed to meet many articles of the constitution.
    Judiciary was sleeping at that time?

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Apr 14, 2013 - 6:42AM

    A case could also be made against him for deliberately not paying taxes on his earnings overseas, tax cheating is punishable in Pakistan as well in other countries, as he is citizen of Pakistan, he must pay taxes in Pakistan and we know that he did not for the last 5years. I appreciate your article and it is time that the General face the music and be incarcerated for decades if found guilty in the court of law.

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  • Cobrajock
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:43AM

    An intellectually dishonest member of the community.

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  • Faisal Nadeem
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:43AM

    The commando is the only reason the media is free and the only reason of economic prosperity in the past decade. It was only when democracy came that everything went to ashes

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  • Mirza
    Apr 14, 2013 - 9:03AM

    Most people who claim to be against corruption and criminals conveniently ignore the fact that the worst form of crime and corruption is high treason, which carries death by hanging. All other crimes are less serious than high treason. Nobody would obey or respect the law when every rich powerful general continue to get away with multiple acts of high treason, stealing the govt by force against the will of the people. The only reason federating units are together is the federal constitution. You abrogate that then there is nothing that can keep the federation together. Mush and his supporters should be brave enough to offer themselves for justice in an open court. The commando has been running away unlike the elected leaders.

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  • Muueer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:01AM

    The article shows extreme bias of the lawyer and disbelief in rule of law.As a lawyer he is acting as a biased judge and believer of unconstitutional ways.His bias is visible once he calls deaths of Akbar Bugti and BB murders both of whom unfortunately and sadly were killed primarily of their own follies. The author knows that October1999 act have been validated by the SC which included the present CJ.Nawaz Sharif is himself a product and abettor of what the author called dictator.If he is talking about November 3,order of imposition of emegency,this had also been validated by the SC in a judgement and then through a judicial review.How is he taking a remark passed in a judgement of a different nature as the final decision on November 3,order which as per present rule of law is a past and closed transaction.This is not to mention that july 2009 judgement was given by the CJ who had persnonal interest in the case.Of course this is not traversity of justice and negation of rule of law in the author’s eye.How could one,accept one set of judgements of the SC and reject the other set of judgements by the same SC but not headed by the judges of author’s choice. Either all involved have subverted the constitution or none.Either humiliate all or none.Either try all or none.Either punish all or none. Musharraf  has the courage and fortitude to stand by and face the consequence of his actions.He has shown that he is a great man and a leader and not small like others.

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  • Ricky
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:10AM

    The criminals who have committed the most serious and worst crimes against the state, and voters of Pakistan must face full justice. These so-called brave generals must not run away from justice and open court trial. They have made a fortune from Pakistan and they should not have any argument to face the law of the land. There can be no bigger crime than high treason multiple times.

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  • Apr 14, 2013 - 10:29AM

    The Islamists hate Musharaff. According to a theory, doing rounds in Pakistan since 1947, maily among liberals, that if anyone is disliked by Islamists, he is secular guy, Musharaff should ideally be called a thorough secularist.

    In his case, not just disliking, Islamists have gone on to even try to kill him by planting bombs. He is then such a great secularist, rather than Islamists labelling “Kaffir-e-dictator”, have gone ahead and tried to blow him up!

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  • Tufan Agha
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:39AM

    Gen Kiyani by not interfering in the affairs of the government has exposed the ineptness of the Pakistani model of democracy and the politicized judiciary. Lawyers have proven to the people of Pakistan, that if given the opportunity, they will strip each other of their clothes and kick the judges in their courts .They have done it with impunity and that is enough to prove the mindset.
    One more term of democracy akin to the last five years, and one wonders if Pakistan will survive the onslaught of the farce of democracy, and sadistic justice.
    No one has abused democracy and constitution more than the democratically elected government themselves. Low turn outs is manifestation of no trust in the system.

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  • observer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:42AM

    @MSS:

    A Head of State cannot be held responsible for every murder committed in the country.

    True. We need to find him guilty of only 2 murders.

    ZAB was held ‘guilty’ of one, and how.

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  • Hector
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:45AM

    For the umpteenth time, Musharraf cannot be retrospectively tried for acts validated by the PCO judges. Moreover, Musharraf can never expect a fair trial from the present judiciary as he is entitled to under the constitution. This is nothing but a frivolous claim fueled by petty vendettas at the expense of Pakistan’s progress.

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  • observer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:51AM

    The Court should dispel the notion that it did not contemplate a return in the 2009 judgment and has now been caught slightly off guard.

    The Court must do even more. It must prove that the 2009 order was not a kick in the pants for a person already down and out. Let the Court find Musharraf and his cohorts guilty of treason for the 1999 coup. After all in 1999 too the 1973 Constitution was in force.

    In the process perhaps the court can come to terms with some of its own shibboleths.

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  • sabi
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:52AM

    Very well writen article.I would rather suggest formation of commission for truth and reconciliation.The commission should focus on dictators and others of that ilks for subverting constitution and destabalising democracy.The purpose should be to give such people a chance to admitt their faults without fear of physical punishments.

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  • Adil Khan
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:14AM

    And what about the great Quide Awam ZA Bhutto, who became the first ever civilian martial law administrator, and was guilty of contriving to put down the Bengali uprising when he refused to accept the election results which went against him. That particular act cost us a war and a couple of million Bengali deaths. When there were demonstrations in West Pakistan, he had people shot. If Musharraf ia guilty as claimed in your article, Bhutto’s record is well worth looking at too. Please shine some light on that dark period of Pakistan”s history too, it would be most enlightening.

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  • AlChemist
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:19AM

    With due respect, the establishment of current electronic media happened under the reign of General Musharraf, minorities got a little bit of their say and women were no longer treated under the decrees of the religious leaders. Also, Pakistan used to be an economic Asian tiger during his reign. At Davos, the heads of states and CEOs of the fortune companies used to wait to meet him…… The man earned international respect and gave results for the country.

    And you call him dictator. Put him in the same category as Saddam Hussein and Mo’ammer Gadhafi?
    Oh wait. Don’t you love Mo’ammer Gadhafi, as your biggest cricket stadium is named after him?
    So, Pakistanis love the dictators of other countries but hate the ones they generate on their own? Regardless of how liberal and less corrupt they may be.

    Let’s hope that ET would publish my comment.

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  • Sameer Anees
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:27AM

    Saroop, kudos for penning another excellent piece.

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  • pakiindi
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:37AM

    This is nothing more than wishful thinking. Just imagine if, much against the grain of our society, the commando is tried and sentenced to death; and is then hanged like ZAB. What will change? Nothing, except that the future commandos will be better prepared before proceeding on their adventure, and thus more difficult to dislodge. Simply put, Pakistan has always been a most profitable business, irresistible to all kinds of adventurers. Ask any one of the lot including the civilians. (Isn’t Mush one of the richest Generals in the world?)

    Extremely distasteful though to a majority of us, but for a change, let us compare ourselves to our twin, India. We can boast of as many a four ‘commandos’ against their score of zero. Why?

    Zarra Sochiye!

    I would love to see an article by Saroop next Sunday to answer the ‘Why?’, after some serious sochiye. Hope, he may delay but not disappoint.

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  • Farooque
    Apr 14, 2013 - 12:58PM

    @SHB:
    All these demands must be presented to Zardari and sharifs. Even the stanch enemy of Mush has not alleged him for corruption.

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  • mahmood
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:32PM

    To all those who are justifying Musharraf’s 9-year illegal rule based on performance, how would you like it if a qabza group storms into your home, guns blazing, and tells you that the house no longer belongs to you but that you can continue to live there. Furthermore, the gangster takes your money and uses it to make some improvements in your house. Based on this last benevolent act, will you pardon his original act and acquiese to the new reality that the house you built with your hard-earned savings was taken away from you at gunpoint? No amount of ‘good deeds’ by a dictator justifies his original sin of high treason, his original crime of taking away the fundamental rights of 180 million citizens at gunpoint

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  • Waseem
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:54PM

    First of all, I am not a fan of Musharraf or anyone else for that matter. Having said that, I do not understand why Musharraf is tried for the 2007 emergency and the sacking of the judges of the SC and not for the coup of 1999 in which he ousted a democratically elected government? Just because that would the SC make party to the crime of supporting a dictator? If so, what moral authority has the SC to judge Mushi. The independence of the SC is a farce. (oeps.. I could be prosecuted for saying this)

    Second thing is that if you want to set the record straight, lets start with prosecuting the first military ruler. in that case Musharraf’s turn would be the last. And how is the current PPP government legitimate if it the result of a NRO between a dictator and civillians. What makes them go free? If someone robs a bank and you are waiting in a car for them, does that not make you an accessory? Same is with ALL politicians who have either joined a dictator or dealt with them one way or the other. Why shouldn’t they got prosecuted?

    Third thing is that the 1973 constitution is a farce. An ‘elected leader’ who refused to accept the outcome of the elections. How can that constitution be morally right then?

    Last thing is that what happened to ‘innocent until proven otherwise’. So how can the author, as a member of the legal fraternity, state that Musharraf abrogated the constitution if there is no verdict from any court? Recommend

  • imran bhatt
    Apr 14, 2013 - 2:54PM

    I hear you ask a pertinent but, considering nature of Pakistani state and society, futile question of punishing coup leader and his collaborators. As long as you have state institutions inclined towards the Right side of ideological divide, there is no possibility of any justice. Off course, justice can only be served who are on the Left side of this divide.

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  • shabir ahmad
    Apr 14, 2013 - 3:30PM

    I think majority, including myself, will approve and second what Saroop has recommended for Musharraf but for me the list should be extended a little. All those who made it possible for him and for that matter for those dictators also who treated our constitution like a piece of garbage in the past, living or dead, shall also be handed over this punishment. I can see and identify so many faces in the present political setup who openly assisted dictators and made political futures for themselves. lets clean the system all together. let these sharifs and choudries and khans and shiekhs and mullahs and God knows how many who stood by the side of dictators be thrown out of our system.
    and in the last something about the shair which Saroop qouted in this article. I have seen it somewhere and it went like this
    Dawer e hashr maira naama e aamaal na “khol”
    iss me kuch purdah nasheenon ke bhi naam aathe hain.

    hope Saroop will correct me if my version is incorrect.

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  • antannu
    Apr 14, 2013 - 4:33PM

    @saroop. problem with your country is not dictator ship bit rather living in the past. Pakistan has more pressing problems than punishing a dictator to satisfy alter egos. its time to move on instead of beoing revengeful.

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  • MSS
    Apr 14, 2013 - 4:39PM

    @Observer,
    You have only negated your own point. Does anybody support ZAB’s conviction? No. Even though he is said to have scribbled the word “eliminate?” on the margins of an important document implying he ordered assassination nobody believed the evidence. The point is he should not have been tried nor should Musharraf. To keep the integrity of the country sometimes leaders have to make tough decisions that are unpopular. Well, I can’t blame any individual but Pakistanis love to kill or imprison their own former rulers. It will be best to let sleeping dogs lie.

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  • Majeedano
    Apr 14, 2013 - 6:12PM

    Musharraf did brilliant job during his presidency. He served people even people did not want him. he had enthusiasm for improving the prestige of Pakistan at international level. We have many people like Musharraf, who want to serve the country voluntarily by abrogating constitution. should they also be allowed?

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:00PM

    @MSS:
    The questions you have raised are valid and need to be addressed after Musharaf has been dealt with! Treason is the chage. Let him defend and be allowed to call you and your supporters as witnesses.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:19PM

    @Adil Khan:

    you obviously do not read daily Press1 ZABhutto case has been dealt with. Now it is Musharaf turn!

    Rex Minor

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  • Shahid
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:20PM

    In pakistan professional education such as for lawyers,engineers, doctors makes them professionaly qualified and able to express them in english but because they are not taught any social sciences they are unable to groom into well rounded individuals.Can the author tell me what he thinks of singapore’s ex dictator Lee Kuan yew or Muthair of Malaysia or Nasir of Egypt. Every dictator is not necessarily good or bad. It is what they do for their country. Every king through out Past were dictators but there were great kings who cared for their people. Under Lee singapore changed in a way that no single country achieved so much development in a generation time in human history. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:21PM

    @Muueer:

    A very good point. People do get killed because of thei own fault.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:24PM

    @Asad Malik:

    The democracy does not destroy the country, but its absence certainly does!

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 14, 2013 - 8:31PM

    @AlChemist:

    Sir, you forgot to mention the increased number of ice cream shops as well as Mcdonalds?
    The credit fully goes to Musharaf! As a matter of fact his assault on Red Mosque was to improve commerce which was suffering due to the absence of young students.

    Rex Minor

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  • Ahmad Zaman Khan
    Apr 14, 2013 - 9:41PM

    Either no apology should be accepted from anyone, or Musharraf should also be pardoned for his action during 1999. Lets not forget that public was overjoyed on the occassion en masse that unfortunate day. However, he must be tried for his second attempt at mutilation of constitution. This is the ONLY fair solution.
    In other words, forgive people for only one mistake. Musharraf did it twice. So he can be tried for his second ‘mistake’. Iftikhar Chauhdry aided him following the first suspension of constitution. But he did this mistake only once.
    I shall continue to wonder. How did Musharraf decide to return? And why did all dignitaries offered umrah before his return? It cant be for asking forgiveness.
    As far as delusional part of the nation is concerned, which is so fond of sound economy in Mush’s times, please learn some basic economics. We are reaping the crop that was sown by him and his cronies. This is yet another reason to make higher education mandatory for everyone. However, since some of you are not educated enough, ask yourself a simple question. What happened to natural gas reserves of the country over night?

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  • Observer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 9:52PM

    “Shaheed Akber Bugti”??????? . . . but not Shaheed Salman Taseer. Okay I get it from where you are coming. You may be interested in this:
    Akbar Bugti’s Last Interview

    . . . we killed 35 commandos . . . .

    http://tune.pk/video/60596/We-Killed-More-Than-35-SSG-Commandos-Confession-of-Akbar-Bugti

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  • Muneer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:22PM

    @Rex Minor:
    True.But,only people with srength of character like Musharraf voluntarily present themselves for trial for issues they consider right.

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  • sid
    Apr 14, 2013 - 10:30PM

    Before any Lawyer can start dictating what should be done to Musharraf or not, they should first get their own house in order. The Judiciary in Pakistan is a mess, rampant corruption and mafia type lawyers have made it a laughing stock!

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  • observer
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:02PM

    @antannu:

    problem with your country is not dictator ship bit rather living in the past. Pakistan has more pressing problems than punishing a dictator to satisfy alter egos. its time to move on instead of beoing revengeful.

    A. Why the double ‘n’, and what happened to the ‘g’?

    B. Are you sure it is not your country too.

    C. Is it also time to move on from 1971 East Pakistan and 2002 Gujarat?

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  • Baseem
    Apr 14, 2013 - 11:10PM

    Seriously, anybody can write a rant in The Tribune now?

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  • MSS
    Apr 15, 2013 - 1:48AM

    @Rex minor
    I am not a Musharraf supporter nor can I be a witness. But I emphasize again that the nations that think with their emotions tinting their vision end up being half blind. Excessive use of prefix Shaheed with ZAB and BB will not change history. ZAB had six years, BB had office twice, NS was in power twice, the last dispensation had five years. None had the courage to publish the Hamoodur Rahman report.
    You retorted to @Assad Malik that democracy does not destroy a country. Normally you would not be wrong. But if the last five years were any guide one would be forced to reevaluate. The commando definitely outperformed the previous governments without becoming the CMLA or suspending the constitution or clamping down on media or keeping his COAS uniform. Compare that with Gilani who had to be declared ineligible by SC because he would not do his job. Do I need to say any more?

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  • Asad Malik
    Apr 15, 2013 - 9:48AM

    @Rex Minor: Are you sure? China does not have democracy, I didn’t get the memo that it was ‘destroyed’

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  • Ammar
    Apr 15, 2013 - 10:23AM

    “The Commando’s comeback is a direct challenge, a taunt to the Court, the democratic system and the people. As someone who opposes the death penalty for anyone, in an ideal situation, I would want him to be tried and spend his remaining years inside a prison cell.”

    A master stroke Saroop, as brilliant as ever!

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  • Ali Syedain
    Apr 15, 2013 - 11:14AM

    In the brave new world of Saroop Ejaz, Esq., any matter that is subjudice can be discussed openly in the press; the Supreme Court can only be termed independent, fair and wise if it delivers a judgement favoured by Mr Ejaz and his crowd; and precedents, common law, etc have no place in the judicial system.

    Also in this brave new world, whoever wins the fight of the vernacular stands to win the case; and there is no place for wisdom and reconciliation and, god forbid, evolution.

    Mr Ejaz desperately wants to believe that Musharraf has no support in Pakistan. That (absence of) support in Lahore reflects Musharraf’s popularity around the country. And that the tactical situation today will not change so and Musharraf can never rise again.

    I wonder what Mr Ejaz thought of Imran Khan 2 years ago.

    Well, I write these lines from a very different part of Pakistan. And from here, the geography, the history and the future of this country looks very different. As does the country’s jurisprudence and politics. The diversity in our opinions can only resolved at the ballot box or, perhaps, if done sensitively, in a court of law. It will definitely be resolved in newspaper columns, and definitely not one authored such.

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  • jamal
    Apr 15, 2013 - 4:06PM

    You should thank the dictator for your media freedom which HE gave you treacherous people

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  • Apr 15, 2013 - 4:48PM

    well well welll saroop ejaz,, i always love reading ur article but this one is not one upto the mark. if he is not important,, why you are so much centered on him.. dont put resposible for all the evils in the nation..even if he did bad, why dont u ask from the politicians who welcomed him back the and who were front allies …????????? do it boss

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 15, 2013 - 8:54PM

    @Muneer:
    @Asad Malik:
    @MSS:

    I am not from Pakistan. Why do you guys complicate things. The military take over of the country by removing the democraticaly elected civilian Government is illegal and tantamounts to TEASON. He has no power now and therefore he should stand the trial and explain to the Judiciary of his motives behind the actions he took and provide the names of those who collaborated with himPeiod. Anything else is a diversion.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 15, 2013 - 9:01PM

    @jamal:
    He should be given medals for all good what occured in his time, but it still does not mean to forgive him for the crimes which he committed. Let us not play the role of the God almighty to weigh the good and the bad what Musharaf did.

    Rex Minor

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  • anonymus
    Apr 15, 2013 - 9:06PM

    @Asad Malik:
    I feel pity on people like you who are not coming open and say that “change the constituition” or “gun is the law” and COAS should run the country and chore commanders run the provinces as long as they have tenure or Mulla should choose shura and rule till he dies or murdered.
    People have no right in your faith to elect their people.
    AZ did not come on tank he came with people’s power through front door. i wish that he wins again just to give hutburn to people like you.Recommend

  • Assad
    Apr 15, 2013 - 10:35PM

    @pakiindi:
    Musharraf is rich, but primarily due to his speaking engagements all over the World. A clear distinction needs to be made here.

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  • Assad
    Apr 15, 2013 - 10:53PM

    “The murders of Shaheeds Akbar Bugti and BB cannot be allowed to slide.”

    Saroop sahib, Are you kidding me with this “Shaheed Akbar Bugti” designation? Shaheed are the officers and men of our security forces who went down with the old man who insisted on picking up the gun against the State of Pakistan.

    Get this clarity in your mind. Otherwise you, as a lawyer, should know what the implications for our nation state are if each and everyone starts picking up the gun as soon as there is a disagreement with Government policies. We are pretty close to becoming an anarchist state.

    Your confused state of mind is causing problems within Pakistan amongst the masses as well when you continue to put up excuses for all and sundry when they resist the state of Pakistan and insist on crucifying only Musharraf despite the fact that he was quite benevolent.

    Benazir Bhutto got the security that she deserved as a former PM. About the same is being offered to Musharraf who has hired his own security. Benazir should have stayed inside her vehicle. Did Musharraf tell her to stick her head out?

    Most of what you make your case against are baseless accusations.

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 15, 2013 - 11:50PM

    @Assad:
    Why are you getting all excited and emotional? Whatever has occured on the watch of Musharaf, in the country when he was the President, he alone has the responsibility to answer, since it was him who made the military, the polce and the entire administration and even the Judiciary answer to his Majesty! He alone is therefore responsible for the entire soup upto and after the time he handed over the sovereignty of the Nation. Let him defend it, you are a genuine and sincere sympathiser, but the Nation as a whole have the right to listen straight from the horse’s mouth. This will make Pakistan a genuine country of law and prevent future military takeovers.

    Rex Minor

    PS In additional to Educational refoms, the next Government priority should be to reform its military to make it a National army, every citizen performing a military service of 18 months. Recommend

  • Abid P. Khan
    Apr 16, 2013 - 4:27PM

    @Rex Minor:
    @Muneer:
    @Asad Malik:
    @MSS:
    “I am not from Pakistan….”

    .
    You have repeated quite so often insisting that you are a German (the super race). Somehow @Muneer:
    @Asad Malik:
    @MSS:
    and a horde of others do not trust your declaration. Makes me wonder, why?

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  • Gp65
    Apr 16, 2013 - 6:39PM

    @Assad: If his speaking engagements led to the wealth, how come he declared an income of only 18 Lakh rupees in his tax return?

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Apr 16, 2013 - 8:08PM

    @Gp65:
    “@Assad: If his speaking engagements led to the wealth, how come he declared an income of only 18 Lakh rupees in his tax return?”
    .
    For what period of time did he declare the 18 lakhs as his income?

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  • Raja Islam
    Apr 16, 2013 - 11:26PM

    @Altaf Khan:
    Musharraf should be tried for treason as he overthrew an elected government. As far as Nawab Akbar Bugti is concerned, he was not a rebel but protested against the federal government siphoning off the wealth from Balauchistan.

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  • Raja Islam
    Apr 16, 2013 - 11:28PM

    @Asad Malik:
    Democracy is all about people having the choice to elect their rulers, whether good or bad is another matter. The system is supposed to take care of itself. If you are so concerned about good governance, why don’t you elect honest people instead of voting for criminals?

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  • shamim
    May 3, 2013 - 10:13AM

    @naeem khan Manhattan,Ks:

    Naeem Saheb, I never thought that a person living in Kansas will be making such a statement. Foreign earning are exempt from taxes in Pakistan. Have you paid any taxes to Pakistan while making an earning in USA. Please share with us your knowledge about any one paying taxes to Pakistan while making a living abroad.Recommend

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