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Told you so!!

Pervez Musharraf the former president and chief of army of Pakistan once said that “Pakistan ka bus Allah ke hawaley.” In recent days it seems that as always the once president of Pakistan was right, Pakistan has turned into a pandoras box of problems with each surfacing the one before.

A bad globally performing economy, a crippling energy crisis, a breakdown of the transport infrastructure, huge health risks, a war between institutions and the list could possibly go on. But Pervez Musharraf seemed to have all this under control during his tenure in fact even amongst all the problems that surfaced in Pakistan Pervez Musharraf still generally had everything under control. Unfortunately things did turn sour though when old ghosts began creeping back to Pakistan in the face of so called foreign backed democracy.

In July 2007 Pervez Musharraf after attempted negotiations with the students and clerics of the Lal Masjid decided to take action. The mosque became the centre of a siege covered both nationally and internationally by the media. Many from the media had praised Pervez Musharraf in fact he was even praised by former Prime Minister of Pakistan and leader of one of the opposition parties of Pervez Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto who stated "I'm glad there was no cease-fire with the militants in the mosque because cease-fires simply embolden the militants…there will be a backlash, but at some time we have to stop appeasing the militants."

Unfortunately though the Lal Masjid siege was and has until recently been constantly used by the PPP and the PMLN to attack Pervez Musharraf. Pervez Musharraf after the siege was over in a statement said "Unfortunately we have been up against our own people…they had strayed from the right path and become susceptible to terrorism…What do we as a nation want? What kind of Islam do these people represent?…In the garb of Islamic teaching they have been training for terrorism…they prepared the madrassa as a fortress for war and housed other terrorists in there…I will not allow any madrassa to be used for extremism."

Weirdly enough the same person who during the Lal Masjid siege attempted to run from the Lal Masjid draped in a woman’s burqa Maulana Abdul Aziz is now the same person who the current government has placed at the top of charge in the negotiations with the TTP. So the government is utilizing one terrorist to negotiate with other terrorists to protect the interests of Pakistan? Did it not occur to the government that Maulana Abdul Aziz had close links with those committing to the same activity as the TTP and initially threatened Pakistan with suicide bombings in 2007? Was it not the same Lal Masjid (which Maulana Abdul Aziz was in charge of)that stated that Pakistan Army who had lost their lives fighting against the TTP could not be given an Islamic burial? Maulana Abdul Aziz once the person who people sided with against Pervez Musharraf yet now people in Pakistan, government officials and even celebrities were reputing against.

It is unfortunate that for political wins and to build negative publicity against Pervez Musharraf the current and previous governments and some media houses attempted to malign Pervez Musharraf and attempted to portray him as an enemy of Pakistan due to the attack on the Lal Masjid, if his quote is read again  it bears great relevance to the current situation against the TTP.

In the same year as the Lal Masjid siege Pervez Musharraf imposed a media blackout. Channels such as Geo TV, ARY News and AAJ TV were blocked according to General Musharraf “these channels were creating discord, misrepresenting facts, were not responsible, and were contributing to the instability of the nation.”

There was instant outcry from media officials, opposition government members and even international media houses with constant chants saying Pervez Musharraf was infringing on people’s rights, that he was being a dictator etc. Yet almost 7 years down the line people of Pakistan, media houses and even government officials are placing pressure on PEMRA to cancel and ban Geo due to their “misrepresenting facts, irresponsible and instability of the nation” especially during the recent attacks on the anchor person Hamid Mir.

One of Pervez Musharraf’s greatest achievements to date was the economic excellence that came out of Pakistan during his tenure, with Pakistan being highlighted as one of the next eleven highly economically developing countries of the planet, yet this took a setback when the PPP and PMLN decided to make a return to Pakistan. Even though all Pervez Musharraf’s decisions economically were for the betterment of Pakistan as a globally economically successful country, the efforts of the opposition mainly the PPP and PMLN in maligning his achievements were successful. People in Pakistan forgot the economic success the country was touching with 8% economic growth in some years, its disgusting to think that the economic growth rate for years after barely hit 4%.

Pervez Musharraf did make mistakes in his tenure in office but compared to the mistakes that are being made and were made by the current and previous governments, these mistakes do not really look like mistakes. Although I’m sure that Pervez Musharraf could sit back and look at Pakistan and say I told you so he is way to patriotic and way to much of a soldier to say such a thing.

Zaid Hamid once stated that “there is no one as patriotic as Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan” and this statement is still true. His decisions should be looked as precedent in Pakistan and his tenure should be classed as the years that Pakistan was successful. Instead we place him under house arrest and throw politicized legal cases his way. Well done. At least we know he was right at least we know he can say “I told you so.” 

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