Back to Pakistan after five years of self exile, former President Pervez Musharraf has filed his nomination papers for the coming general elections. With wide protests against him culminating into a ‘shoe throwing incident’ during his appearance in the Sindh High Court, he has not received the hearty welcome he perhaps expected. Otherwise too with his ten years of dictatorial rule during which he made some vital mistakes which defamed the country, the people of Pakistan do not want his return into the country’s politics It must be realised that with the people’s choice divided between the old stalwart like Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, the newly emerged hero in politics for the top position, Musharraf stands no chance.

Remembering his crucial mistakes during his last tenure causing frustration and resentment among people, the worst was the enforcement of NRO. Although he admits having done so on the advice of his political cronies, he should have realized that nowhere in the world such law was promulgated which condoned en-masse all the crimes and irregularities committed by the criminals, politicians and bureaucrats.

The Red Mosque episode could have ended without any loss of life, being an ex-army officer, I wonder why Musharraf did not know that like the tear gas commonly used by the police to disperse unruly mobs, another gas exists the use of which renders the people unconscious for a certain period of time, instead of firing at the insurgents holding the mosque such gas should have been used and when the people became unconscious, their weapons should have been taken away rendering them helpless. The whole incident could have been handled peacefully.

A book written by Lt Gen (r) Rashid Aziz reveals that as C-in-C Pakistan Army the Kargil operation was the brainchild of Gen Pervez Musharraf. He conducted this operation which cost a colossal loss of life to the Pak army without taking other generals in confidence. Even Nawaz Sharif the then Prime Minister claims not have been consulted about the operation. The book portrays Musharraf as narcissist who humiliated the country with his arbitrary adventurism against India without any gain.

As for the deadly wave of terrorism that we are faced with, its history may be pretty old but one thing is sure that the major influx of Taliban in Pakistan took place during Musharraf era. With the Pak-Afghan borders wide open, the Taliban in large numbers entered into our northern areas unchecked and established their colonies and settlements. They even dug big tunnels underground and dumped huge quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives therein. In view of all these acts grossly detrimental to Pakistan’s security and development, would the people of Pakistan like to give Musharraf another chance to rule?

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, March 31.