Musharraf’s chest-thumping interviews to US papers

bq. “Let me assure you that President Bush never talks about when are you taking your uniform off,” Musharraf said before offering an energetic defense of his democratic credentials.

While Musharraf it not even close to Bush when it comes to putting his foot in the mouth, in this press conference in New York he aptly demonstrated the fine art of putting one’s foot in one’s mouth, eating it, and repeating the process with the other foot. Oh, and the above is certainly true – Bush certainly wouldn’t ask Musharraf such a delicate question, after all it would infringe on his god given right to rule. The US State department might have an issue with this statement, but luckily for Mush, it’s run by Condi Rice, who’s not big on this democracy talk. (She works for Bush, after all).

Read on for the -Bushisms- Musharafissims:

bq.. Musharraf said he had “totally turned around Pakistan” and had made key advances in fostering democracy, including protecting freedom of the press, empowering local government, improving the position of women in society and giving greater representation to minorities.

“Leave the developing world aside; I think *we are better than all of them,”* Musharraf declared. “Bring the developed world and let us compare Pakistan’s record, under me, a uniformed man, with many of the developed countries. I challenge that we will be better off.”

>> ‘Washington Post’:, ‘Daily Times’:

p. I wonder what sort of data points he is thinking of when he makes statements like these. This months issue of one of the leading Pakistani news magazines, the Herald, has a story about 2 Swedish and one British journalist who were illegally arrested in Peshawar, held in jail cells complete with torture equipment (though they weren’t tortured) for 17 days and interrogated repeatedly – and then deported to Norway. They were not allowed to contact their embassies – concerned friends got worried, flew to Islamabad, and finally got them released. These were foriegn journalists – they get far, far better treatment than Pakistanis.

His concern really shows here:

bq. “You must understand the environment in Pakistan,” Musharraf added. “This has become a moneymaking concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.”

>> ‘Washington Post’:

Musharraf also said he has no regrets about his handling of the ‘Mukhtar Mai’: case. The scary part is that he actually means it.

The ‘Human Rights Commission Pakistan’: sent him a letter:

bq. LAHORE: Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Asma Jahangir sent an open letter to President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday *severely criticising his government’s policies and alleged inaction on women’s rights.*

>> ‘Daily Times: HRCP writes to Musharraf on women’:

The letter points out that Musharraf has not repealed laws, like the Hudood Ordinance, which discriminates against women. Under the Hudood ordinance, a woman must have four ‘pious’ male witnesses to prove rape, or face a charge of adultery herself. Punishment for adultery is stoning to death, or a 100 lashes. Oh, and if the witnesses aren’t ‘pious’, male *and* muslim, they can’t testify. Of course, this has nothing to do with why Pakistani has such a low number of reported rape cases.

Like past governments, Musharraf set up a committee to ‘investigate’ these laws, and like anyone could have told in in a second flat, after many months, conferences, trips abroad, 5 star hotels and experts and chefs flown in, all the committees recommended doing away with the laws. So here we have a dictator, all powerfull and what not, shooting his mouth off at every opportunity about his wonderfull womens rights record, while the same old shit goes on. In his defence, he has talked and talked and talked about women’s rights, and called for ‘critical thinking’ on the Hudood laws. After all, he’s only been in power for a few years, in a decade or two once he’s through with his critical thinking he might just decide that a law which puts rape victims in jail and then stones them to death (if not acquited) is not very women friendly. Perish the thought, to speed up the critical thinking process he could even ask one of those western leaders he keeps getting photographed with.

Musharraf keeps saying over and over again that changing the laws won’t solve the problems, one must also change the mindset of the poeple. Obviously, since laws don’t apply to him, he can’t understand how changing the laws might have some effect on those which have to live under them…

There’s also the blasphemy law, according to which a person *accused* of speaking or acting against Islam can be sentenced to death. The operative word here is ‘accused’ – proof is optional. Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code imposes the death penalty on anyone found to have “by words . . . or visible representation . . . or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiled the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.” Minorities just love this law.

*Update:* Musharraf denied making ‘remarks about women using rape as a means of making money and getting out of pakistan’:

However, the foreign press doesn’t roll over so easy:

bq.. …But Glenn Kessler, co-author of the Washington Post article, told the BBC News website: “The president’s comments were tape recorded and they were quoted verbatim and in context.”

“The article did not try to sensationalise the quotes and in fact they were not the main focus of the article,” he said.

>> ‘BBC News’:

p. The Canadian Prime Minister Prime Minister Paul Martin saw red, and breaking diplomatic norms, ‘publicly lashed out at Musharraf’: for dragging the good name of Canada into this whole sordid affair.

Musharraf then went on to further drag himself through some mud at a press conference with a number of NGO’s and human rights activists: “Dawn: Opponents are enemies of country: Musharraf”:

h4. Lies, lies and damned sincere lies:

‘Musharraf Denies Rape Comments:’:

bq.. “Let me say with total sincerity that I never said that, and it has been misquoted,” Musharraf told the women’s group. “These are not my words, and I would go to the extent of saying I am not so silly and stupid to make comments of this sort.”

p. The Washington Post: Recording Shows Post Article Correctly Quoted Pakistani President

bq.. The interview was conducted by three Washington Post reporters and was tape-recorded. A review of the recording yesterday confirmed that Musharraf — who was surrounded by aides who took notes and also recorded the interview — was accurately quoted.

h4. links

* ‘Google blog search for Musharraf+rape’:

* ” The Glasshouse on Musharraf loosing his marbles”:

* ‘Gen Musharrafs Lies’:

9 thoughts on “Musharraf’s chest-thumping interviews to US papers”

  1. Ejaz: I don’t think it is actually a matter of his rising high or something. I think he’s exactly the same person today that he was 6 years ago. Remember that he’s the guy who took control of government because he was fired from his position. What could be more “l’etat, c’est moi” than that.

  2. ->Ejaz, Zack: What you said Zack, is the thing. It is 2 and 2 equal 4 issue.

    One is prime minister, entitled by all legitimate means, and in complete accordance with Pakistani law, to dismiss him. The second one is a public servant, and has taken oath, the he would accept and protect law. Former fires the latter, and the latter (Mr. Musharraf) against all legal norms, AND in complete violation of Pakistani law, AND shamelessly disrespcting the oath, unlawfully assumes unconstituional control of the country and maintains it, to date, with the might of oppression any tyranny. Can’t we see how pakistani papers have kept silence on all his blunders during this visit?

  3. This is a matter of serious conecern for a civilized world, that a head of a (so called) democratic country speaks like this. If we analyze all Mushi’s statements ever since he snatched the power, and compare them with his state of mindset, atleast I’ve come to a conclusion that he is one of the few dangers present in this civilized world alongwith Osama, Mulla Omar etc. For a while, just keep aside Osama and his team, I think Mushi is one the main persons who really tarnished muslim immage.

  4. Infact Musharaff has lost more , during this visit, then anticipated.

    Karzai and Manmohan are in Unision , and are saying in very clear terms.

    Its Pakistan that is the source of ” terrorism ” , India is now considered a strategic Ally of USA, Canadian PrimeMinister has taken him to ‘ TASK ‘ over his remarks, and when he denied making any such remarks, Washington post , posted them on their website, for any one to download and listen .The frustration and failure is written all over

    and Musharraff after taking so many U-turns , is now complaining of Being left alone and high and dry ‘ Washington abondoned Pakistan after the defeat of USSR ” are his words,… No wonder the realization came toooo soon.

    His historic meeting with the world Jews Conference can be called the only saving grace

    But then maybe Israelis were expecting too much , as their disappointment in getting any thing concrete out of it , can be seen in their Newspapers ,and opinion polls.

    Musharaff I think , is now tired,…….and this should be the occasion when he starts

    sharing his responsibilites with Others, Instead of going Sole on every thing.

  5. I mostly agree with the article and the comments by you people, It is a shame what has been recently happening in Pakistan especially with women rights, As a muslim country whose leaders say that they are preaching enlightened islam i must say the leaders need to be enlightened. The presidents recent trip was a fiasco, pakistan’s government is loosing its ground, its loosing its close allies because of our policies towards them, true pakistan has been left high and dry before when others needs were fullfilled, but it is only because of our enlightened leaders that we have been left high and dry previously and im sure we are on a path of self destruction and is our own doing no one can be blamed . On a side note Good Blog, worth reading regularly.

  6. Whatever else you might say about Musharraf, we can all stipulate to this:

    1. Musharraf is not in it for increasing his personal wealth.

    2. Musharraf and his developmental policies for Pakistan are better than any

    that could have possibly come from any of the major political parties.

    He is a dictator. He is not a politician and as such, he is ma’wara of the tact

    of one.

    Pakistan’s problem is that it has 160 million feudals in it, who are all

    certified entitlement whores.

  7. Really good article…only that i want to correct onething that the Huddod Ordinance say that if a man or women has indulged into adultry by their own will then, they need 4 people who have witnessed them doing the act of adultry…the punishment in this case is 100 lashes (for unmarried men and women) and stone to death (for married men or women). If a man or a women has been raped (i.e. act of adultry against one’s wishes)..then the person who raped him or her is to be punished by stone to death. Regarding Musharraff…he an army chief, a dictator and an idealist of Ataturk..who himself has admitted bodily relations and rapes with almost 30 women..dont believe me…then read his autobiography…The Grey Hound…i think with rape cases Musharraff doesnt feel a thing coz he may have also indulged in these acts its known that the high position Army personalss..are allowed to indulge with prostitutes….to fulfill their sexual needs.

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