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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Genl Pervez Mushraff back in Pak ~ claims Kargil war was victory

A leopard cannot change its spots, nor can a tiger change its stripes ~ is an old adage. [meaning the basic traits do not change]

This man was at the helm for long, from Army to the politics and after resignation went to perform a holy pilgrimage to Mecca. He then went on a lucrative speaking and lectureship tour through the Middle East, Europe, and United States.  He reportedly was a highly paid keynote speaker; in  2011, he also lectured at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on politics and racism.

A couple of days ago, he returned to his own State  after a four-year self imposed exile, despite the life threats from Taliban & Talal Bugti. A recent Taliban video threatened to eliminate him with snipers and suicide bombers.  He landed on Jinnah International Airport, Karachi via a chartered Emirates flight with Pakistani journalists and foreign news correspondents.  Hundreds of his supporters and workers of APML were at Karachi airport welcoming him. He also delivered a short and emotional public speech at outside the lounge of airport. He faces a string of charges including conspiracy to murder, but on Friday the Pakistani authorities granted him protective bail in several outstanding cases, freeing him from immediate arrest once he sets foot in Pakistan ~ that is Genl. Pervez Mushraff.

Pervez Musharraf,  is a retired four-star general and a politician who served as the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until 2008. Prior to that, he was the 13th Chief of Army Staff from October 1998.  Commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964, Musharraf rose to national prominence after being appointed a four-star general in October 1998 by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf was the mastermind and strategic field commander behind the highly controversial and internationally condemned Kargil infiltration, which derailed peace negotiations with India. Previously, Musharraf played a vital role in the Afghan civil war, both assisting the peace negotiations and attempting to end the bloodshed in the country. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, Musharraf was brought to power through a military coup d'état in 1999, subsequently placing the Prime minister under a strict house-arrest before moving him to Adiala Jail in Punjab Province.

The former military ruler of Pakistan, General (retd.)Pervez Musharraf, immediately on returning to Pakistan thundered that he was “proud” of the Kargil operation and blamed the political class for squandering away a military victory. At a press conference in Karachi — his first since returning from self-imposed exile on Sunday — he asserted that “a military victory was turned into a political defeat.”

Gen. Musharraf’s defence of the Kargil operation drew flak instantly from within Pakistan and elsewhere on the social media. At the same time, some Pakistanis sought to drive home the point that Indians held the former Army chief in greater esteem that his own fellow nationals. The kind of media coverage his return got in India, and the frequency with which he appears on Indian television channels and gets invited to conclaves organised by the media across the border has raised eyebrows in Pakistan often enough, particularly since Pakistani peace activists and players have been shown the door in India.

Some local media drew reference stating that he is simply hoping he will be luckier than Benazir Bhutto, another former president.  Bhutto, head of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, was assassinated while campaigning in Rawalpindi. She was gunned down in December 2007, barely two months after she landed at Karachi airport following an eight-year absence. No one was ever convicted of killing her, though Taliban sympathizers were suspected. Ironically, it was the Musharraf government that was blamed for failing to provide adequate security.

The General is hoping to start a new party and run for parliament. The army is demanding the government provide what it terms “robust security.” Apparently, he is entitled to it as a former military man. Whether he gets elected or not is Pakistan’s destiny ~ but he has started India bashing as a route to becoming popular does not augur well for India which has made honest attempts in bridging peace but now finds itself distanced by the tiny-dot Srilanka as well.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Mar 2013.


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