Return of the General

Delusions of grandeur can be a very fateful. Something that the good General is finding out these days as he is confined to either his sub jailed farm house in Chak Shehzad or the Courts. What logical basis was there for Musharraf to return to Pakistan? A question which has been puzzling a lot of people in those comfortable drawing discussions.

Did he think he will be given a returning hero’s welcome? Come come now this nation surely doesn’t have a short term memory. Have we already forgotten what all he did for us? How he had put Pakistan First in his 8 years as commander and chief? Well they probably do remember, but more importantly what they also remember is the NRO and the fact that the last 5 years had him playing a big role.

Also did he think that the army would be blindly behind their old chief? More than anything else Kaiyani has adopted the policy of staying out of the ‘mainstream’ and ‘public’ eye in the political domain of things. He has tried to his best to distance himself and the institution of the army from the political arena. Not that it has worked brilliantly but it has been the policy nonetheless. So given that and the circumstances of the country where democracy recorded a crucial victory in a civil democratically elected government completing its 5 years there should really be no surprise that the army hasn’t thrown its weight behind Musharraf. After all many in the institution do feel that a major clean up image of the armed forces was required after the Musharraf era.

There are credible life threats looming around him. The Taliban have publicly announced their intention to kill him. A couple of days back a heavily explosive laden car was discovered nearby the farmhouse turned sub jail.

The election commission has rejected his nomination papers and the judiciary has put him on the ECL. He can’t go back. In hindsight Musharraf not running in the elections may probably safeguard him from the humiliation of a resounding rejection by the nation. He would most definitely have lost. It was clear to see that he hardly commanded any support whatsoever. At the airport, in the rallies protesting his arrest, on his face. When he was holding a press conference in Dubai before departing for Karachi, one had to feel almost sorry for him. From the look of it there seemed to be hardly any sending off party. Maybe a hand few of people. His expression seemed that of a man being fooled. The delusion on his face was sad.

The army had warned him not to come due to security issues. The looming judicial battles didn’t need any forewarning – that is something that Musharraf was I am sure prepared for. The lack of public support may possibly have also been tucked away in some denied corner of his mind. That MQM would give rhetorical offers of support would have been calculated. But what the good General may have completely miscalculated was the support of the army. I personally think Musharraf anticipated a blind support and welcome by the army for their ex chief which wasn’t coming. The only thing perhaps they will ensure is that Musharraf isn’t actually thrown in jail and maybe just something of a sub jail arrangement will continue. In any case the army isn’t being what might have been in the head of the General.

Someone said that power can make a person lose his ability to think clearly and straight. That is when the power has gone to his head and made him think of himself as indispensable or well … again…. delusional. That someone feels that is the case with Musharraf.

One thing is for sure – the fact that Mian sb has been more or less quite on Musharraf means that there was a dialogue brokered between the two by our Saudi brothers. That is more or less clear and obvious.

However the question and ultimate reason for Musharraf to have returned is still to be seen. I sincerely hope thou that he isn’t humiliated. Regardless of whatever his crimes or faults or mistakes or whichever way one would like to put it may have been – everyone deserves to be treated with respect. He was a former army chief and head of the state and should be treated with that respect even if the courts find him guilty and order him to jail.

I also hope that nothing does happen to him, the taliban threat is quite real and it can very conveniently be timed with an attempt to delay elections. 


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