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Friday, August 22, 2008

Najmuddin Shaikh on Pervez Musharraf

What he will be remembered and reviled for, however, is:

* The “selective accountability” process and the consequent unsavoury political alliances.

* The “hunting with the hounds and running with the hare” on the Taliban Al Qaeda question.

* The apparent kowtowing to the US even while being accused by the Americans of playing a double game.

* The concessions to India on Kashmir even while progress on issues of interest to Pakistan — even those apart from Kashmir remained in limbo.

* The dubious referendum.

* The manipulation which allowed the MMA to secure power in Balochistan and NWFP in 2002 and of course provided the votes needed for his election as president.

* The sacking of the chief justice.

* The gross mismanagement of the Lal Masjid situation and the deliberate ignoring of other madrassas which should have been placed under siege during the crisis.

* The carnage of May 12 and the terming of this catastrophe as a show of “political power” on par with the assemblage of paid participants in the PMLQ’s show of strength in Islamabad that fateful evening. (For me, it was the breaking point. Setting alight the powder keg that is Karachi jeopardised Pakistan’s lifeline and was far worse in historical terms than Nero fiddling while Rome burnt.)

* The admittedly unconstitutional actions of November 3.

* The washing away of all evidence at Liaquat Bagh after the tragic assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

* The recent revelation of his phone conversation with Bhutto in which he told her that the level of security she would get in Pakistan would depend on the level of cooperation she extended to him.

* The sky-rocketing cost of living and the revelation that Pakistan’s budget deficit and current account deficit had touched unprecedented levels as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

* The perception that the role of foreign aid in the economic development was not sufficiently acknowledged and that cronies if not the principal players drew huge benefits from the development process at the cost of the common man.



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