Supporters appreciate former president’s economic policies, efforts against extremism
ISLAMABAD: Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf is gone from the presidential palace, but he is by no means forgotten on Facebook, the online networking site where friends and foes are fighting over his legacy.
Some Facebook users say they appreciated his liberal economic policies and efforts against extremism. His fans include a number of young Pakistanis, many of them expatriates.
“Thank you Musharraf for all you have done for this nation and its people,” wrote Seema Ahmed from Los Angeles. Facebook fan Sherbano Ahmed said, “If we, as the silent majority, don’t speak up this time, then we have surrendered our decency and freedom to thieves.”
The idea that Western-style democracy is what Pakistan needs has also come under fire. “Fixing the system with American or UK systems will be mimickery at best and will produce thieves or even worse, third-rate actors,” said Shahedah Ahmed from London.
Their entries are found under headings like ‘The only hope – Musharraf’ and ‘Pakistan would be lost without Musharraf’. The anti-Musharraf groups were equally unsubtle – ‘Burn in hell Musharraf’ and ‘I hate Musharraf’.
Although supporters say one of Musharraf’s strengths was being clean of corruption, critics question his reported wealth, especially a luxury villa on the outskirts of
Islamabad. “How can a general get an expensive villa even if he makes Rs 300,000 ($4,000) a month? How long would he have to save to make so much money?” questioned Adnan Cyprian.
Ahmed Javed, another Facebook user, agreed. “I think Musharraf should be tried. He violated (the) constitution not once, but twice. Does his being an army officer give him a licence to commit crimes?” he said.
And as always among people fond of conspiracy theories, some on Facebook assume there was more to Musharraf’s departure than is visible on the surface. “The Central Intelligence Agency’s regime change game finally succeeds. Musharraf’s removal is only a milestone in the larger CIA game of taking over Pakistan’s premier intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence,” says Zaid Hamid. Reuters