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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now the Hard Part - Ikram Sehgal

Wise words: The patience of both the PPP and the PML (N) will be tested, there is a far freer media than that they were used to in governance. With Musharraf no longer their bogey, it will ultimately turn on them and their known weaknesses. Restoration of the superior judiciary will be the first test; the media will hold them to this solemn pledge. Subsequently, will the NRO stay or was the rule of law rhetoric by CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry only lip-service? Musharraf should have at least given these to us as a parting gift, would this have compromised the "arrangement" for indemnity?

To tar and feather the uniform may be the real intention of those who want the Army as a truncated force engaged in internal policing duties in a de-nuclearised Pakistan. The send-off from the Presidency was complete with a guard of honour from all three Services as befits their Supreme Commander, a strong but subtle message. With Musharraf no longer a "problem", the Coalition has no further excuses in finding solutions for the many crisis confronting Pakistan.

Quoting "The singer not the song", as far back as October 11, 2007, "For me personally Musharraf still matters, the song he is now singing does not, it is out of the sync with the ideals he once professed". Those in power seldom want to leave power, Musharraf was no different. In the end he at least exercised good sense and judgment in not dragging the country through another debilitating crisis. Discretion being the better part of valour, the most difficult military operation is not "attack" but "withdrawal". For whatever it may be worth, Musharraf withdrew gracefully. Whatever his detractors may claim and/or would have hoped otherwise, it was a dignified exit.


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