It was horrible. My brother, my relations, myself- we were all thrown in jail and tortured badly. It was utter anguish. Our mother was ill but we were not allowed to see her and when she died we were not permitted even to attend her funeral.

Still, we are political workers and in our struggles we never yearned for offices or ministries. Our purpose was not to get rewards for our roles but to serve the masses.

The coup of October 12th was a preplanned action taken without any constitutional authority. Its sole purpose was to grab power, as has been the history of military dictators in Pakistan. This was clear from the way PML-N was cornered and the kind of treatment that was meted out to an elected Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif was lucky that Musharraf’s real intentions failed to realise.

People wonder if Musharraf should be awarded deterrent punishments for his intervention. But I say, the continuity of the democratic process and popular prosperity is his punishment. What Musharraf did cannot be approved of on any legal or moral plain. Yet, public support for democracy is an even bigger check against military inroads into the civilian government. And that comes only when the government delivers and the people are satisfied.