May 122008

Alas! We are today like motionless wooden marionettes singing opera with flapping mouths which somehow fits with the bizarre dark humour of the medieval ages. Our wooden faces do express the most dramatic of human emotions, lust, jealousy, fear, anger, greed and despair but with a surrealist, weirdly hilarious quality. We are endlessly lost in what could pass for a puppetry drama where actors made of flesh and actors made of wood are together producing a constant comedy of errors.
Every one knew General Musharraf’s personal involvement with the Queue League which he himself cobbled together as “king’s party” in 2002 when he used state machinery and resources as well as arm-twisting through NAB apparatus for securing large scale defections from other major parties to huddle together a group of self-seekers and political wanderers familiarly knows as “Lotas.”
He used this group for his personal aggrandizement as long as he was its “uniformed” icon. He thought he could still dictate his terms to its leadership. Musharraf re-enacted his March 9 script with his old partner, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to persuade him to give up the PML Queue leadership, and to let the party acronym PML now stand for “Pervez Musharraf League” under new leadership.
Our “philosopher king” refused. Musharraf was not in uniform this time. He had to digest even things the old Chaudhry did not wish to say. The meeting, like the March 9 encounter, ended in a stalemate as a grim reminder for the president of his receding “power and influence.”
 He is now leaning back on his old sources of strength. The hidden hand is active again. The backstage intrigue is sowing confusion and chaos in the civilian government’s camps. Musharraf has himself been drawing a scary scenario by threatening that if he was forced to step down, the US will attack the tribal areas and will also take away Dr A.Q. Khan. He also claimed that without him, Pakistan’s relations with China would suffer a setback and the operation of Gwadar Port would be affected.
The sum-total of this scenario is that Pakistan will not survive without Musharraf. He was right in claiming in his book, In the Line of Fire, that the “buck really stops with him.” He considers himself indispensable for the future of this country. It was with this conviction that he “decided” to remain president for another term by all means, because in his view, the country will not survive without him.
The people of Pakistan, however, have a different opinion. They availed themselves of the opportunity on February 18 to show the door to him and to his allies. It was clearly a vote of “no confidence” against Musharraf and a referendum for change in the country. The people want an end to dictatorship.
Prime Minister Gillani seems to have taken Musharraf’s message rather seriously. He told journalists in Multan Press last Sunday

Courtesy: The Post, 10/5/2008

 Posted by at 6:25 pm

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