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Pervez Musharraf is also involved in bringing Pakistan to the current crisisTAZAA News

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General Pervez Musharraf, the fourth military ruler of Pakistan, died on February 5 in Dubai. His personality reflects the contradictions and problems that have gripped Pakistan for more than a decade since he was ousted from power.

A military man who hates civilians seized power in a military coup in 1999, promising to restore democracy, rebuild the economy and end terrorism. They had to fail in all these areas. He was ousted from power in 2008, and politicians tried to teach him a lesson. It was a move that all military rulers before Pervez Musharraf were safe from. After that he went into exile and lived anonymously.

After the removal of Parviz Musharraf, efforts were made to somehow balance the affairs of the country with billions of dollars of aid received from the United States and its allied countries. But this balance was very superficial. Indeed, after the departure of Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan faced one crisis after another. The country’s democracy remains in a state of uncertainty, the economy is on the brink of default, and terrorism has become an even greater threat. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is an extremely important country, and Pervez Musharraf’s mixed legacy has something to do with getting it to where it is today.

Pervez Musharraf’s foreign policy and his legacy abroad were also very complicated and based on contradictions. Musharraf was a supporter of the US in the war against al-Qaeda and at the same time supported the Taliban, who are fighting the US forces in Afghanistan. This policy led to the return of the Taliban to power in 2021. However, Pervez Musharraf is remembered by America as a better friend than his relatively weak successors.

Similarly, Pervez Musharraf’s desire to make peace with India was influenced by Pakistan’s refusal to change its anti-Indian national narrative about India. What Pervez Musharraf failed to realize was that Pakistan had invested the bulk of its resources in military confrontations with India for over half a century. The military’s popularity in public life is based on the fact that India poses an existential threat to Pakistan. A lasting peace with India would end the privileged position of the Pakistani military. Parviz Musharraf, as an experienced military man, can make some progress in this matter.

They have never satisfactorily prosecuted Pakistani terrorist groups targeting India. This is another proof of how far they wanted to go and what their limits were.
I met Pervez Musharraf in 2009 during his visit to America when he was removed from office. At the time, I was Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, representing the civilian government that had taken over after Musharraf’s ouster. We had a heart-to-heart talk in his suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington. The former military ruler was talking to one of his biggest critics.

During the meeting, Musharraf spoke about his training process and his evolution from the training of a soldier to fight against the enemy to the position of the president of the complex country of Pakistan with 200 million people. He was particularly vocal in his view that Pakistan was a difficult country to rule and that his motives were always patriotic, even when his actions involved respecting constitutional and legal boundaries.

General Pervez Musharraf admits that he is a product of a culture that sees the army as the center of Pakistan’s world, and he believes that the commander of the army has almost divine power to run the country’s affairs, even if it is against the law, and why should he? Constitution is violated? After coming to power in 1999, Pervez Musharraf had to interact extensively with the civilians he had trained in the military, who were always looked down upon. I remember when they told me; The army has its own way of thinking, and in hindsight I say that this (military) way of thinking is not the right way to run the country.”

When Pervez Musharraf was in exile, he seemed to admit his mistakes in private, but he didn’t want to regret them in public. Pervez Musharraf defended himself during his last visit as Pakistan’s president to the World Economic Forum in January 2008, describing Pakistan as a troubled country. By then, he had imposed a state of emergency in the country to quell protests against his decision to remove the chief justice of Pakistan. In his media interviews during this period, he described the people of Pakistan as unruly, “tribal” and “feudal”, saying that they were not yet ready for modern democracy. He said that the politicians of Pakistan are naturally “corrupt”, the judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan are “political”, “incompetent” and “nepotistic”. Pakistani journalists intend to harm the country’s army and their own country. According to him (which is also true to some extent), the religious leaders of Pakistan are inclined to “extremism”.

A European journalist asked me at that time; “When Musharraf has such a disgusting behavior towards his nation, why does he want to lead this nation?”

After the removal of Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan suffered and the qualities that Pervez Musharraf described in the elite of his country have not changed. But just as he failed to save a nation on the brink of collapse, Pervez Musharraf’s successors should learn from this lesson: because a nuclear-armed Pakistan needs a functioning democracy and an economic plan instead of self-righteous Christians. was completed.

Hussain Haqqani’s article was published in The Washington Post, translated and presented by the Urdu readers of Asri Nav.

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