Sixteen years on Former President General Pervez Musharraf sat confidently in his drawing room to give interview to Dr. Danish a prominent journalist on ARY News. “ I am not under arrest. I am free to move at my will and do move. But keep restricted movement due to security issues” said the former President confidently. “I have always led from the front even as an Army commander and its chief during war and peace. My fellow soldiers and peers respected me and respect me. I have earned respect with my actions and belief that still Pakistan Army loves me” said Mr. Musharraf candidly during a very straight forward interview by Dr. Danish.
On Pakistan current ongoing skirmishes with India. He reiterated that . Pakistan should respond tit for tat but we have limitations as we know if respond with shelling . We run the risk of hitting our own Kashmiri brethren . A concern which the Indian Army do not need to worry about. “Mr. Modi is an anti Muslim and an anti Pakistan politician. Negotiating with him one must hold cards close. Instead of go running to attend his inauguration like we used to do in British Raj. We should keep our dignity” said President Gen Musharraf as his ever green stride. Diplomacy is driven through domestic strength and via leadership qualities . Both of which lacks currently. How come one may expect strong Diplomatic policy. In diplomatic overtures national interests should hold supreme instead of personal interests. Sovereign equality , honor and dignity is each nation’s right in view of the former President and rightly so.
“I have made mistakes in the past . Like NRO was one of my mistakes. But it was after due argument and discussion that in the national interest I agreed half heartedly. But when I look back today It is one of the decisions I despise” former President Gen Pervez Musharraf further added. “ However what can I do? If our courts after 10 years are absolving people like Asif Zardari of 8 out of 10 cases. I could not have influence court’s decision. It was court’s responsibility to decide which unfortunately was not done” continued former President Gen Pervez Musharraf.
But he added that how much he feel today vindicated on the referance that he submitted with Supreme Judicial council against Chaudhary Iftikhar and how time proved that all the charges against him were right. Chaudhary Iftikhar only got appointed as per rules of Supreme Court not by my personal choice and I respected those rules. Further, he mentioned that again time showed that the lawyers movement was nothing short of a political ploy and how much damage Chaudhary Iftikhar has done to the nation unfortunately. He reiterated his action against Lal Masjid and rightfully so since recently the formation of a library dedicated to Osama Bin Laden proves the point.
“ We took all decisions amicably in the cabinet and I strongly denounce perception that I took dictatorial decisions” said former President Gen Pervez Musharraf strongly. We gave institutions to Pakistan and tried to stabilize and strengthen them . In President Musharraf’s government NAB was formed. PEMRA, OGRA, SECP , NSC and even institutions like media were established. We must not forget the ever successful Local Bodies set up also came under his government which we all miss today and even President Musharraf’s opponents cherish. “In my time Pakistanis were respected and had honor globally but now they walk with their heads down unfortunately” sadly said former President Gen Pervez Musharraf . “ What this so called democracy has given to the nation and its people apart from weakening it?” he reinforced . “There is no point getting elections done in this environment without procedural, structural and electoral reforms. The whole system needs re-engineering. Otherwise the same lot would get elected and come into power from other platforms” he passionately explained his concerns to the interviewer.
President Musharraf admitted trusting some wrong people but non intentionally. The character of all those people showed up when chips were down. He showed his surprise as to how some of them despise him today though enjoyed power . He agreed to give in on the choice of people when PML Q could not get absolute majority and coalition government had to be formed. The 14 people which he selected still remain un tainted inclusive his own character where unlike many other leaders he never kept with him the gifts given to him as head of state and deposited with national holding. About 40 bomb or bullet proof cars were returned as he left power unlike others. “ There is a lack of national character and reason why due to the patwari and thana culture the pseudo politicians want to remain with those who are in power. I feel sorry for such politicians and people who ditched me after enjoying power during my time” he reiterated .
As for Nawaz Sharif and family . He was let go abroad though he tried to hijack former President Gen Pervez Musharraf plane and was on death row on advise from the ruler of a friendly nation. “I am not a vindictive man” said the former President. Even I let Shahbaz and Hussain Nawaz travel out of Saudi Arabia though not part of deal.
“I belief in personal relationships” said smilingly former President. Reason he managed to generate US$ 6.2 Billion when earthquake hit Pakistan via 76 nations on personal calls made to many leaders. He still has many of those relationships and respect in place.
The recent interview from the Chairman of APML who is striving to fight of ill conceived cases against him show his resolve and sincerity towards Pakistan. No cheap slogans, no political rhetoric. Just facts and that’s it. This is the reason why I have followed him all these years and believed in him that he is sincere to Pakistan. Look today that the position he took post September 11th 2001. The current parliament takes the same position. All his decisions remain vindicated today whatever anyone might say which just increases my confidence and pride in him.
The reason why the international community look at us today as a weak nation as we do not have a strong leader at the center who is selfless , with character and respectful. Unfortunately as a nation we like to follow the status quo without evaluating the facts in front of them. Anyways I feel like with every day former President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s past stance become vindicated. The day would come when the nation would rise to accept the follies of their past when they let him go and did not stand up for him and would come back in his folds to help him correct the same institutions that he established led once. Inshallah! Pakistan Zindabad!