Musharraf says no timeframe to quit army

“General Zia”: (Our last dictator/general) didn’t talk in timeframes, but did also consider himself a godsend for this country. As a wise man once said: “The works of dictators and gods is never finshed.” Still the way the current General is going, he will be stepping further and further away from reality over the next few years.

bq.. LOS ANGELES, June 29: President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said he would leave uniform at an “appropriate” time and defended constitutional amendments under the LFO.

Addressing the Pakistani community in the West Coast, the president said he was ready to give up his hat of army chief for the sake of democracy but would not do so because the country needed him.

“I don’t want to bluff so I cannot give you any timeframe,” he said, adding he considered himself someone who had brought harmony to the power structure to check internal tussles.

“The moment I see democracy is strengthening and that assemblies are doing well I will quit from the army chief’s post,” he said.

>> “Dawn”:

p. It is only logical to ask, how the hell can democracy be strengthening under martial law? By this reasoning, Musharraf will be around till he dies, or is in turn chucked out by some other general or the other. People will write platitudes about nurturing democracy, and how China has done it, but in the end it boils down to a whole nation based on sycophancy. For when one person controls everything, then the rest must kowtow.

We have a massive sycophancy chain in this country, and the longer this dictatership lasts the more people are going to get used to it. Not that our democrats are any better, mind you, but at least with democracy people fill out tons of forms to get things done and use their contacts, while with generalship you have to go begging to the nearest general to get anything done. By the time Musharraf thinks he’s finished with Pakistan, the whole population after years of sitting around thanking the general for all his good work will no longer be able to do much else. Already, almost every day the newspapers are full of advertisements congraluting the good general for something or the other.

In a democracy the citizens are the key to getting things accomplished. If you want to educate the country you would think we need the population involved in the effort to do so. In Pakistan, we have the army doing everything, and I mean everything for us. They go to school for us, run all our institutions, make sure we vote right, represent us abroad without any annoying civilians in the way, they even take all the cushy jobs.

*Update September 15 2004:* The good General had promised to hang up his uniform for good come December. After much see-sawing back and forth, Musharraf comes out with it:

bq. Pervez Musharraf is to stay on both as president of Pakistan and head of its armed forces despite a pledge to stand down as army leader by January. “The national situation demands he keeps the two offices,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said.

>> ‘BBC: Musharraf backtracks on army post’:

Sometime’s it takes a leap of faith to let go… and that’s not going to happen in this country. Considering the politicians Musharraf has let loose on the country, including numerous criminals on the NAB list, bank defaulters, and a whole lot of other very unsavoury characters including so called islamic parties[1] it’s actually a good thing he’s keeping the uniform a bit longer. It’s actually a bit harsh saying Mush let these chaps loose as they’ve been there forever now, but he promised to rein them in and then procceded to do nothing concrete about it.

bq. The decision will anger hardline Islamic parties in Pakistan, analysts predict.

The sad part is that they’re only going to get stronger.

bq. Analysts say the president may feel his real source of strength lies in commanding the military.

Now, these analysts are really turning on the brainpower here.

!- 450×439!

_cartoon from the Sept 12 issue of Dawn._

More reactions:

bq. It would be funny if the fate of 160 million Pakistanis did not depend on it. I grew up hearing General Zia talking about justifying every stupid act of his on Islam and the nation. Now, it is Musharraf�s turn.

>> ‘National Interest = Narcissism’:

New York Times ‘interview’: with Musharraf on Sep 20:

bq. “Yes, I did give my word that I would,” he said of his promise to serve only as the country’s civilian president after Dec. 31, 2004 in a step viewed as fulfilling his larger promise to return Pakistan to democratic rule. “But the issue is now far greater than this.”

So it stands. The alternatives to Musharraf are so dismal that at the end of the day he is the best option. In a better world Musharraf might have recognized that, and at the end of his five years ran for elections. He would have won too. But he’s kept the same old political system, and in many ways has taken it to new lows by inducting the mullahs and keeping the same old tired has-beens around and so on. I see a good man doing his best, and he’s doing good, but in the long term a few percentage points of growth here and there won’t matter so much as the mess there’ll be left behind. The problem with these ‘strong men’ is that once they leave there’s a vaccum left behind which can only be filled by yet another strong man. Musharraf has now passed the point where he could have fixed the system, as was one of his most fervent claims back in the days of the fiery speeches. Ironically, his gestures towards democracy which further weakened it… to the point where he is now truly the only choice.

fn1. These so called islamic parties would take this country as close as they can to their taliban ideal. Going by their speeches on tv and their parliamentry demands, they got stuck in a time warp a thousand years ago and haven’t even quite grasped that time era yet, let alone the present.

7 thoughts on “Musharraf says no timeframe to quit army”

  1. Well todays comments in the news infuriated me – Shaukat Aziz / Sh Rashid and co all think that Mushy baby does not have to step down. and according to the reported press Sh Rashid said that “hopefully he will accept and stay “- MY MY what BOOT POLISH

    Well the only way he can be brought down would probably be an attempt on his life (Watch out for US/CIA activists as per the SA Tribune after 6 months of Aziz) – he is becoming a 10-Yr dictator like Zia – if you cant step down yourself someone else will make you. BUT unfortunately power hungry mongers once they taste blood – feel that they simply cant live without it. And Mushy feels and bleienves sole heartedly that once he goes all hell will break loose – it might but i can live without a dictator.

    For the past 5-years he could have tried to EMPOWER THE PEOPLE – BUT “NO” he EMPOWERED himself ONLY

    PS – if any ISI people read this I AM NOT GOING TO KILL MUSHY – don’t bother coming after me 😉

  2. well mushy will always be there as long we have an ass kissing puppet government. why dont they just bend over backwards and let him walk all over them! anyway no one is a saint. each is worse than the other. it wont make a difference if we have a dictator or some corrupt prime minister around. we never had any rights during the previous so called democratic regimes. its just a farce. so lets just swallow that xanax and deal with it.

  3. Can someone please ask him why he is clinging to the uniform for dear life? Is he being forced to by someone else, or does he think the country can’t go on without the uniform? For some reason I doubt a man of this calibre can actually think that he and his uniform are the only things keeping this country together. If he does, God help us all.

  4. In my views, the steps so far, he has taken in Pakistan, are in the best interests of Pakistan. I my opinion, due to his wise and timely important decisions, he has given new life to Pakistan. Due to his bold and wise decisions, the Pakistani society is now changing and moulding from very dangerious threat of Sectarianism which had taken deep roots in Pakistan. He has banned i think, all such groups who are promoting sectarianism and bloodshed in Pakistani Society. All during his tenure, Pakistani economy has improved a lot. Now Pakistan economy is in such state which was never before.

    On the other hand, due to his wise political steps, he is successuful to start political process on Kashmir Issue which is hanging since 1947.

    So, due to the above mentioned reasons, I am great admirer of his Personality and I wish he should continue to lead Pakistani Nation on the path of Peace and Prosperity for the Pakistani Nation.


  5. aslam o alikum

    president of pakistan mere app say guzarish hay k app mujhay insaf dain humarey sath kisee nain insaf nahi kya 1997 ko mere bhi ka murder hua tha ab tak us k qatil sarey am phir rahey hain app nian un ko phansi k phundey main q nahi charhya app itnain imandar pakstan k president hain main app say yeh umeed rakhta hoon

    app zaroor mujh ko insaf dain gay JUN ;1997 KO shia union sipha Muhammad main

    saheed hua ab tak us k qatiloon ko rest kya jaye main app say bohat umeed rakhta hoon

    mera e mail address

    acha Khuda Hafiz

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