"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Amjad_Malik
Full Name: Amjad Malik
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‘Go Musharraf Go’, but this time to Pakistan
Amjad Malik writes on General Musharraf’s return to politics .
I must say that flimsy ‘oratory’ of General Musharraf on the first day of the launch of his new party (APML) at Birmingham has forced me to write on his unacceptable verbal attack on ‘N’ league leader and workers. I must confess that party workers, supporters and activists are the lifeline of any political party and the political process and ridiculing them like this is uncalled for when he himself is in dire need of such  workers to run his newly established group. Unless he desires to confine his league to a smaller group commonly referred as ‘tonga’ party. Now either the London plan also includes importing well dressed, good looking voters and supporters from London or he does not rely on those voters anyway and wishes for a miracle orchestrated through powers beyond access to commoners, is yet to be seen.
I think the general created some sympathy for himself by apologising to the nation for the crimes he committed, but 24 hours had not elapsed before he resorted to his original Ranchore line mind set and inaugurated the politics of personal vendetta, intolerance and dictatorship on the very first day of his democratic political life. That line of his politics especially in Britain is unnecessary, when he himself claims to fear for his life in Pakistan and cannot mingle with public due to fear of revenge. It is also a proven fact that former premier Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was an appointing authority at all times and good or bad, he made a choice to select General Musharraf as the chief of army staff of Pakistan, the very authority he later challenged and breached his oath and law of the land. It was later found that he committed treason under Article 6 of the 1973 constitution by abrogating it on 3 November 2007 and the highest judicial authority found on 31 July 2009 that his actions were unlawful, and unconstitutional and the Federal Govt is yet to determine how the prosecution takes place to make him answerable for his crimes. A senior General Hameed Gul remarked that Musharraf is passing sweeping statements against his adversaries in order to claim asylum in the United Kingdom, to me it may not be the case and he may be just making frivolous remarks to gain media, public and opponents attention which he would not get otherwise. I think the British Society is a very tolerant one, encompasses all kinds of views and respects them. However, as other exilees enjoy their freedom, similarly unfortunately, General Musharraf has the same freedom too, unless he crosses his limits. If a charge sheet is made out, and he is called to face a trial where fairness is guaranteed, I would be very much interested to see that.  General Musharraf must pay for his crime of subverting the constitution on 12 October 1999, and 3 November 2007, but current rulers who came as a result of ‘NRO’ may not be able to carry out this action as they afforded him a ‘guard of honour’ instead of checking his exit.
In principle, though it is possible to try a dictator if he is involved in mass killings as part of a widespread or systematic attack, directed against any civilian population with knowledge of the attack. This would include offences such as murder (Akbar Bugti’s killing & Lal masjid operation), torture (Nawa Sharif and his family and treatment with judges and their families ), rape, severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law and enforced disappearance of persons (missing person cases & Dr Shazia Khalid’s case), or involvement in Genocide (Baluchistan’s claims), Terrorist activities, or Organisations concerned in terrorism to advance political aims (5 April, 12 May, 18 October, 27 December 2007 incidents), if the answer is yes, he can be charged and tried here in UK too under existing Terrorism laws, and may be extradited to the state where those crimes have been committed or the country of his origin subject to some conditions. If state chooses, he can be referred to the War Crimes Tribunal in Hague, if the case is of such a nature. General Musharraf’s crimes are unlimited and he should go to Pakistan to show his bravery, but his claims cannot be given credence as his past speaks for itself and despite bad governance in Pakistan, he is not the cure of Pakistani situation as he is part of the problem and not a solution. Looking at his past record he installed current govt machinery by introducing (NRO) National Reconciliation Ordinance so how will he be able to wipe out corruption when he himself pardoned thousands of corrupt in one go, kept popular leadership out of arena, made Dr Qadeer Khan an example of revenge and hatred, eliminated Akbar Bugti off the scene, attacked on a mosque in the centre of capital, and unlawfully confined judges to their houses , banned popular media programmes, confessed daringly to transfer many suspects to USA for dollars including daughter of East Dr Afia Siddiqui and on top of it breached his oath and mutilated constitution of Pakistan twice. Nation is eagerly waiting for him to settle their score, now that he apologises, he should either sit quietly and leave himself to the historians or jump in the arena and be ready to face the wrath of the people and be prepared to pay for the crimes he committed. Musharraf announced in London  a few years ago that Pakistani parties should not have branches overseas and now he has started his own politics from London and set up his branch, the very step he denounced in the past. He was addressing the very people to whom he did not give a right of vote in his 9 years rule that shows his credibility and capacity of speaking truth.
I think Pakistan’s political situation is such due to ‘war on terror’ and economic meltdown and political divisions, bad governance and polarisation that the time for revenge and teaching lesson(s) is very little. Unless democratic forces sit together and see eye to eye with each other and Army, media and Supreme Court backs them, only then a few wrongs can be put right to start with. Later, if that journey continues a trial of Gen. Musharraf may take place. I hope this happens, one day. He made his views about his retied colleagues (ex servicemen) and he must relate those remarks onto himself because he has no visible political future, no propriety in his oratory, no political or military backing so he is irrelevant. Now either he may put up or shut up as if he does not, he will keep spilling the beans against national interest.  Interview to German newspaper is a fine example. General Musharraf must realise that he had his ruling term of 9 years and he is revered as a villain of past as a result of his actions, and sooner he realises that, the better it would be for him. So he must be ready to hear the slogans from British Pakistanis  ‘go Musharraf go’ but this time to Pakistan. He is irrelevant, unwanted everywhere around the world and that is the result of failing to hear what people are saying, thinking or demanding from their all in all ruler(s) current or past.
Amjad Malik is a chair of Association of Pakistani Lawyers (UK)
Thursday, 07 October 2010
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