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No two opinions are same about time-tested notion that what appears to be convenient in short-term is likely to be catastrophic in long term. Who knows this better than US, which is being blamed for its past patronage of today's rascals and past "freedom fighters"--the Muslim fundamentalist? A key lesson of September 11 is that terrorism springs from religious and political extremism nurtured by autocracy and suppression of democratic voices.
Before September 11, Pervez Musharraf was more shunned than sought after by world leaders. Today, opposite is true. The General himself, when he was army chief, was seen as an instigator of dangerous Pakistani provocations in Indian-administered Kashmir in 1999, a period best remembered as "Kargil crisis." Later that year, he seized power in a bloodless coup and named himself president in 2001, kicking out civilian Prime Minister by accusing him of selling national interest to US and India by agreeing to withdraw from Kargil area in Indian Kashmir--an agreement Musharraf characterized as compromising national security.
General Musharraf is lucky as he is riding high internationally, having transformed his image from a virtual pariah to an ally of West following his post-September 11 desertion of Taliban. He has used that American-compelled turnabout in Pakistani policy and his assistance in anti-terror war to reap major benefits, including significant Western aid and legitimizing his dictatorship. He has also kept Washington happy through certain concessions, like giving permission to US forces to join Pakistani troops in hunting in Pakistani territory. In turn, General Musharraf has taken advantage of friendly attitudes of West not only to break his democracy pledge but also to shrink back from promises he made in when he took power.
General Musharraf oils his dictatorship with American aid, as did previous Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, who spurred on rise of forces of jihad and Islamisation campaign are still being felt today. The militant groups remain well-organised, well-armed and well- financed. Yet General Musharraf continues to place limits on American anti-terrorist operations, barring American forces from making independent hot-pursuit raids from Afghanistan into Pakistan. It is becoming more certain with every passing moment that international community--read as 'USA'--is going to repeat mistakes of past--the mistake of supporting and nurturing Suhartos, Pinochets, Marcos and Zias.
The perpetrators of "Operation Enduring Freedom" are collaborating with Pakistan's generals to snatch very freedom from people of Pakistan that they claim to be fighting for.
The country’s fifty-five year history has been a series of lengthy duels between general and politician, with civil servants acting as seconds for both sides. Statistics reveal winner: while elected representatives have run country for fifteen years, and unaccountable bureaucrats and their tame front men for eleven, Army has been in power for Thirty Five—leading some to suggest that green-and-white national flag might be re-coloured khaki. It is a dismal record, but Pakistan high command has never tolerated interference from civilian politicians for too long. The last elected leader to believe he had Army firmly under his control, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, had to be disabused of notion. In 1977, on orders of General Zia—an erstwhile favourite whom Bhutto had promoted over heads of five, more deserving, superior officers—the prime minister was removed from power and hanged two years later.
No dictator believes in a short tenure. If Musharraf had any plans of turning over power to a civilian, he wouldn't have given Sharif family its one-way ticket to Riyadh
Of four dictators Pakistan has had, two have been assassinated; another two were removed in disgrace. There should be no reason for Musharraf to believe he would buck trend
Author is currently living in EXILE in Sweden. By: Aftab Hassan Khan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronics and computer system engineer by education currently living in exile in Sweden since october 2003. Author was the human rights activist and advocate in the pakistan and was working against the injustice in the society and against the undemocractic military govt of Pakistan.