Musharraf’s Resignation- Déjà Vu for Pakistani Politics

By Majed Iqbal- “No charge sheet can stand against me, no charge can be proved against me, because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan…….This is not time for individual bravado, it is time to think seriously. With impeachment, the country’s dignity will be undermined and, as you all know, Pakistan is my love, my life is ready to be sacrificed for it.”

Musharrafs last days

In his usual Military mantra and irrational charisma, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf made these statements on a televised address to the nation on Monday 18th August in which he announced his resignation from the Presidency of Pakistan.

This move came amidst growing pressure form the newly formed government, elected in February this year who planned from the onset to oust Musharraf from his position and impeach him for violating the constitution in November last year, gross misconduct and economic mismanagement.

It asked the president to seek a vote of confidence from national and provincial lawmakers or to resign. Otherwise, they warned, the assembly will ask Parliament to impeach him

The National Assembly, or lower house, convened in Islamabad on as coalition officials gathered to prepare a “charge sheet” against Musharraf to strip him of his presidency.

Threats of Impeachment surfaced in early August as Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, the heads of the two main parties in the coalition government began making open proclamations of their plans.

These two parties, who had earlier conducted their “forced marriage” with an agreed contract and dowry to join forces to embark upon the ‘noble’ path to rid the country of Dictatorship made concentrated efforts to realise their aims and bring Musharraf down.
Zardari, the chief of the governing party reportedly accused Musharraf of misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid earmarked for the military and its support for the war on terrorism.
“We’re talking about $700 million a year missing,” Zardari was quoted as telling The Sunday Times of London.
Musharraf supporters responded with exasperation Monday to the reported comments from Zardari, who was labeled “Mr. Ten Percent” on the basis of corruption allegations during the two governments of his late wife, the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto
In his Final Speech to the nation, Musharraf attempted to defend his track record and respond to the allegations made against him.

“If we continue with the politics of confrontation, we will not save the country. People will never pardon this government if they fail to do so.”

Such words echoed by the Former President reeked of hypocrisy which stand no different to what his current opponents are vocalising. From the onset in 1999 when Musharraf was ordered by America to stage a coup amidst growing disenchantment with the then prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he actively pursued the politics of confrontation following in the footsteps of his predecessors in Government.

It was Musharraf who exiled Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia while Benazir Bhutto opted for her Self-imposed exile in London, Dubai and New York amidst charges levelled against her by NAB (national Accountability Bureau) of Corruption and embezzlement of government funds.

Such moves were undertaken to establish his authority and act as a mediator for America to realise her plans of strengthening India mainly, followed by Pakistan secondly in quelling the growing influence of china.

Yet Musharraf wishes us to believe that “some elements acting for vested interests leveled false allegations against me and deceived people.”

Musharraf fractured the politics of Pakistan by pursuing the American War on terror blindly by silencing dissent against Editors of Newspapers who challenged his agenda, Locking up Journalists, Harassing political groups, Shipping off 600 Pakistani Citizens to Guantanamo Bay with no proof for charges levelled against them, Brutally Killing and bombarding civilians, men women and children in the Lal Mosque showdown under the pretext of fighting Extremism, re-shuffling his army to make sure they have no excuse in fighting Pakistani Citizens in Swat and Baluchistan and questioning the role of the army in the War on terror and attempting to re-brand Islam through his warped philosophy of ‘Enlightened Moderation” to appease the proponents of Secular

So who is to supposed to believe Musharraf when he says “Pakistan first has been my philosophy.”?

The new government has continued in its effort in de-stabilising Pakistani politics in the run for the Presidential position. Nawaz Sharif has gone on to split over differences with re-instating the judiciary with Zardari who believes that such a move will work against him over his discredited CV of corruption if the chief judge is given his position and will more than likely strike down upon him.

Both Musharraf and the present government are adamant on pursuing personal and foreign agendas over the responsibilities to the people of Pakistan who are struggling with a plethora of problems from Electricity Shortages, Rising Prices of Petrol, Sky high prices for Food stuffs and a population resorting to Suicide in light of all these difficulties.

The people of Pakistan require a sincere leadership and the right political set up and policies to see it developed into a leading state in the world with its credentials of being the sixth most populated country in the world, the second largest Islamic country, a nuclear state and a people who are determined with their skills, political acumen and expertise to realise such achievable aims.

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