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Why we need Musharraf back?

Six or more years ago, on 18th August 2008, Pakistan’s powerful dictator General Pervez Musharraf in a televised address to the nation, offered his resignation in the wake of unrest following the deposition of then ex- Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The commando’s resignation came as welcome news to many, in fact most within Pakistan; little did they know what lay in stock for the nation.

Pervez Musharraf Last Speech by arynews

General Sahib took to isolation after his resignation, rarely seen outside his fort-like farmhouse of Chak Shahzad. The scenario in Pakistan had drastically changed with the Pakistan People’s Party holding the reigns of the country and forming the federal government in the country. Musharraf’s arch enemies and rival predecessor, Nawaz Sharif was ruling the much prized province of Punjab from behind the curtains. The ecstatic crowds in almost every political gathering loved to chant ‘Musharraf ko phaansi do’ and ‘Go Musharraf Go’. On the mention of any and every ill of the country, the withering economy, the rise of extremism in the country or the energy crisis of Pakistan, accusing fingers were pointed at Musharraf. The PPP promised the masses a magic wand via which the always cynical promise of roti, kapra and makaan would uplift the poor in every nook and corner of the country. Everything was hunky dory, all was good and both ruling parties were having a field day bashing the general.

Six years later the country has been reeling from the same menaces stated above amid absence of governance. The PIA, Steel Mills, Railways and Federal Board of Revenue have been staggering at best and the economy is in shambles. Had Bill Clinton been a political candidate from Pakistan, he would have been shrieking the words ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ and the noise would of course fall on deaf ears. Whilst Asif Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif relish more than sixty delicacies in meetings held at Raiwind House to calm the Kaptaan’s Tsunami, destitute mothers in Thar cradled their infant’s famished corpses. The Interior Minister’s jocular manner and light humored response connecting vengeance craving wives and girlfriends to the much grave Karachi manslaughter reflected how serious the government was in providing relief to the masses. The whole nation was gripped in astonishment and an unprecedented shock when the National Accountability Bureau chief Fasih Bokhari admitted the country lost a whopping sum of Rs.7 billion daily to corruption.

The people of Pakistan have much to regret and blame themselves for axing their foot. Back in the day when Musharraf used to rule the roost, all wasn’t good but the man ruled with an iron fist and accountability existed at some meager level every now and then. The much anticipated tenure of the messiah-like Iftikhar Chaudhry also failed to dispense justice to the masses however one must give props to the judge on how efficiently the controversial case of his son’s financial mishandlings was dispensed. Well before Imran Khan was commandeering the waves of his torrential tsunami, it was the military dictator who had issued permits to countless number of TV channels to politically educate and empower the nation. The impressive performance of the stock exchange as well as Pakistan’s image as an ally of the West and a progressive nation in the world was taken for granted by the state’s own citizens. Karachi never became hostage to Naamaloom Afraad bearing weapons nor were bullet riddled bodies being discovered the order of the day. Whilst the general faces many charges, mostly politically motivated to discredit his image, he hasn’t embezzled a single rupee from the national coffers; can the same be said for the honorable parliament we voted for to change our destiny?

Time is of the essence and we still haven’t lost it as of yet. The general has popped up on our TV sets and become active by offering his analysis on the current political scenario. Whilst Imran might seem a decent, educated, upright candidate to lead the country, it is Musharraf who has been tested and has delivered before. The judgment rests with the Pakistani nation of course who have disappointed us all numerous times before with the verdict of the ballot box.

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