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Five Questions for Pervez Musharraf

Pakistan Link, Commentary, Naveed Khan Posted: Jan 16, 2009

As General (Retd.) Musharraf arrives in USA on a lecture series, it is imperative that he addresses some of the most controversial issues of his nine-year rule. I could draft a list of his omissions and failures along with some of his achievements; however there are some decisions that stand out for moral and criminal dereliction. It is an opportunity for General Musharraf to address these controversial topics and clear his name.

When he clinched power he almost had unanimous support of the working middle class which dissipated after some disturbing developments and selfish decisions to preserve his power.

The foremost in my list is the disappearance of hundreds of Pakistanis allegedly handed over to the USA for ransom and the obvious angst of the government when the Supreme Court pushed the government to account for the missing people. These disappearances made people unsafe in their own country. He must let us know how much was the total ransom and who did actually benefit from it?

Cold-blooded murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti, an elected leader of the Baluch people, has sowed the seeds of discontent amongst the people there and that one day may eventually lead to secession of that province and disintegration of Pakistan. Why did Musharraf had to kill an elderly leader who was at the last stage of his life? What did it gain for Pakistan?

Appointment of Shauket Aziz as Finance Minister and then the Prime Minister. He was the closest confidant of President Musharraf and was responsible for almost all financial handlings, inclusive of bungling and misappropriations. Why did Mr. Aziz leave the country and has not returned to the land that he governed for four years as Prime Minister? Is Mr. Shauket Aziz a patriotic Pakistani?

Sacking, manhandling and house imprisonment of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Musharraf's imprudence has left a scar on Pakistans politics and the wound has not healed. People genuinely felt betrayed that a Chief Justice who stood for the people was not only sacked but also humiliated. Is it the work of a prudent and enlightened leadership? Was it good for Pakistan or was it done to save Musharraf's Presidency?

Last on my list is the grant of unfettered power to Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in urban areas of Sindh and control over very essential ministries. MQM, in my books, is an ethnic group that uses savage retribution to retain administrative control in urban Sindh to achieve its political goals. Why did Musharraf support MQM in such a blatant manner?

I wish when he addresses the faculty, students and intellectuals at Stanford on January 16, he shows courage and candor to address the five points I have raised.

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