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Archive for category Gen (Retd) Musharraf

The Shows goes on. By Mahfooz ur Rahman

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The Shows goes on.

“ As flies to wanton boys are to the gods

They kill us for sport .” Shakespeare’s “ King Lear  “

Mahfooz ur Rahman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing on Pakistan’s politics is beginning to be a tedious affair . It is a play that has no plot , no beginning and no end . No excitement from the drab and dreary humdrum of everyday life . Winning or losing , the same old , tired and worn out faces are to be seen adorning the newspapers or the TV Channels . Even the daily newspapers are pictures of the gloomy atmosphere .

Each political party is a fiefdom of its own where the fiat of big or petty  ‘monarch’  is abided by or else the defiant ones are crushed . There is no notion of shadow governments or shadow  cabinets . That is a play that is going on since Mr. Jinnah departed from the scene in 1948 . Talking about reforms is an illusion .    

Imagine a scene in which you are trying to sleep during the day and a bird flits and begins to sing . Whatever you  do to make it fly away turns out to be  futile . You are really mad at the innocent creature . The world is seeing the discomfiture of the present Government . It is standing static unable to drive the ghosts of Imran Khan and Taher ul Qadri . It has been reduce to a passive mode , a reaction mode . Meanwhile the two are making further inroads into the interior of the country , into the cities and into various communities or eg . farmers , workers none the less  equipped legally to which the Government has no answer except to hurl abuses at them .

“ Never trust the wisdom of a slave “ is an oft quoted advice perhaps by Hazrat Ali ( May Allah be pleased with him) . Here I reproduce an incident  about which I wrote in my article “ Buttering “  . In a meeting held in Islamabad , a participant referred to the department’s newly announced policy and also to the Battle of Badr ,which was fought on 17th Ramazan and in which the Muslims were victorious by the Grace of Allah . He said , addressing the boss ,that the Battle of Badr was fought on 17thRamazan and he( the boss)  announced the country’s policy on 17th Ramazan . All the participants were dumbfounded at his audacity .

Thus Pakistan has been caught at a vortex . Democracy  in its present shape has failed in Pakistan . It has never delivered however its supporters otherwise  claim . It suits the robber barons , the landed aristocracy, the major and small capitalists who  plunder  the exchequer and exploit the under privileged ones . There was a time when twenty two families used to hold sway in the country . The twenty two have swelled to much more .   

During my four months stay in an European city  forty years back, a man who had features like a Pakistani or an Indian , used to cross my path both mornings and evenings . One day , I stopped him to question about his nationality . His reply “ does it matter “ put me off . He repeated his observation and went on to say that when the purpose of making Pakistan could not be fulfilled , it did not matter whether I was  a Pakistani or an Indian .

A solid advantage has been achieved  by the fifty two day sit in  by  the duo of Imran Khan and Taher ul Qadri . Apart from being unique in the 67 years history of Pakistan and , perhaps the world over  , the rest of the major political parties were clean bowled , the batsmen could only gape in awe . Never in the history of this unfortunate land , they met their equals who badly exposed them  ,  disrobed them and shown the rest of the people what they actually were by using the facilities of telecasting their views  provided by an army general , Pervez  Musharraf . They robbed the common people of their Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution . You may not like Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri  . But it is difficult to disagree whatever they had to say because both Imran and Dr. Qadri were speaking of the basic  rights and the   Constitution . And it was last year when the latter held a five day sit in in Islamabad to emphasize the futility of participating in the elections unless all candidates were screened through Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution .      

The ‘independent’ Election Commission of Pakistan has lost its trust from the rigged elections between Field Marshal Ayub Khan , the President ,and Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah , the sister of the Founder of Pakistan and  onwards . Henceforth , it was viewed as another arm of the Government . The 18th Amendment to the Constitution did not remove the impression . On the contrary , the reconstituted Commission was viewed as a part of the Charter of Democracy signed by Mrs . Benazir Bhutto , the leader of the Peoples Party , and Mian Nawaz Sharif , the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League in London during the “ oppressive days  of the dictator , General Musharraf“ .

Where do we go now ?

Both the Government and the people are confused and lacking in direction . We are rotten to the core horizontally and vertically ie from the top to the bottom .  Army intervention is not a permanent solution as we have seen in the past .  It breeds many evils for eg. flight of capital . Even then some well meaning people are suggesting a government of the Technocrats under the army’s umbrella  to replace the current government  and cleanse the  entire society . This experiment has been tried by every military regime .  Ayub Khan screened out 72 bureaucrats , General Yahya Khan 303 and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto 1300 . Some of the screened out officers were not corrupt . To cleanse the society of ills , the Hadood Ordinance was introduced but  never used after General Zia , the President , died . 

There is talk of mid term polls in the country .   The present government is unwilling to resign and call for fresh elections . However , if it does , which Election Commission would be willing to undertake the task when the present one  failed to hold free and fair elections the task of that Statutory organization . In its “ Post Election Review Report on General Elections 2013 “ , the Commission admitted its failure .

Under the 18th Amendment , the leader of the House  i.e. the Prime Minister , and the leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly are supposed to choose of the Chairman of the Election Commission . But the experiment failed  in the previous elections and with both the leader of  the House and the leader of the opposition under clouds . Both Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri and their supporters  will no longer trust them .

 Pakistan is ripe for  constitutional ( Fundamental Rights and Articles 62 and 63 ) and social reforms without which any elections will be meaningless .

In the end I will reproduce the views of Mr . Mumtaz Piracha of the Good Governance Forum  

“ Contrary to general perception, I believe the long march and the dharna by PTI, in particular, highlighted bad governance in Pakistan. Look at the foreign media and you will find that there is only passing reference to rigging allegations and the allegation on military to have backed Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri but there is tremendous focus on the way Nawaz Sharif governs, the Sharifs’ dynastic politics and the PMLN’s performance since last elections. The domestic media have been more focused on rigging allegations but bad governance also remained in focus “.

 Mahfooz ur Rahman

Islamabad

October 5, 2014

 

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Pervez Musharraf’s bumpy tenure

Pervez Musharraf’s bumpy tenure

Part-Three

Asif Haroon Raja

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After untimely sacking of Gen Jahangir Karamat by PM Nawaz Sharif, Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan being the senior most and doing as CGS was the obvious choice for the next COAS. Hardnosed Lt Gen Khalid Nawaz, Commander 11 Corps was next in the line and flamboyant Lt Gen Pervez Musharraf commanding 1 Corps was third in the seniority list. The two brothers, Secretary Defence retired Lt Gen Iftikhar Ali and Chaudhri Nisar Ali, were unfavorably disposed towards Ali Kuli, unit-mate of Iftikhar. The latter never liked Ali Kuli because of clash of personality. The two brothers cautioned Nawaz that Ali Kuli would prove dangerous because of his political affiliations and strong family background. They strongly recommended Musharraf arguing that he being a Muhajir and rootless was harmless and would serve him more loyally and submissively than the other.

Musharraf was introduced by Nisar to Nawaz during a dinner hosted after the Corps Commanders conference in GHQ in 2008. Gen Pervez Musharraf’s elevation to the coveted post of COAS on October 6, 1998 came as a surprise to many. No sooner he took over, the first thing he did was to reshuffle senior appointments with a view to place his close confidantes at important places which alarmed Nawaz and his coterie. Musharraf placed newly promoted Lt Gen Aziz Khan as CGS who had served with him in SSG, his unit officer Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed as Commander 10 Corps, and Lt Gen Usmani as Commander 5 Corps Karachi. As a counter move; Lt Gen Ziauddin Butt serving as AG was appointed as DG ISI by Nawaz. From there on, trust deficit never got bridged.

The most intriguing thing which occurred was activation of Dras-Kargil front by Gen Musharraf in close consultation with Lt Gens Aziz, Mahmood and Javed Hasan (commander FCNA). A little later, Maj Gen Tauqir Zia (DGMO) was co-opted. No other general officer as well as the PM, President, Foreign Office and two service chiefs was taken into confidence. While Javed Hasan had started sending reconnaissance petrols across Line of Control (LoC) in Gulteri sector in September 2008, the movement of irregular Northern Light Infantry units located in Gilgit and Skardu started in November 1998, that is, one month after Musharraf’s takeover as Army Chief. In their enthusiasm, young officers went much beyond the planned bridgeheads in Dras and Kargil sectors and were in a position to dominate/cut the strategic road leading to Leh. Nawaz was casually informed by Musharraf in a briefing in PM Secretariat in March 1999 about the ingress across the LoC who couldn’t grasp the military implications of readjustment and improvement of defensive posture.

Accidental discovery of footprints of the intruders by Indian military in May 1999 led to Kargil conflict, which had all the potential to turn into full-fledged war with nuclear overtones. With its jugular vein clutched by the intruders, Indian Army used up its entire infantry including strategic reserves to recapture the posts but failed. Israeli supplied precision guided missiles were used to destroy the posts, but few hundred defenders devoid of air, artillery and logistic support and literally eating grass to survive, stood their ground. In that timeframe, Indian military was most vulnerable since it had lost offensive capacity elsewhere.

When Nawaz was taken on board mid-stream, he started swimming with the tide enthusiastically. After few weakly held forward posts were lost as a result of using 100 Bofor guns against a single post at a time and going roughened because of US led G-8 massive pressure, Nawaz with the consent of Musharraf dashed to Washington and agreed to ceasefire and vacate the occupied heights. Had the military applied brinkmanship by moving strategic reserves and posed a threat south of Pir Panjal, India would have come running to the negotiating table to settle Kashmir dispute. Kargil conflict was won by Pak on the battlefield but lost on the media plane orchestrated by Indo-Western media.

It is still not clear why Musharraf was in such a great hurry to carry out such a risky manoeuvre just after takeover and whether he took prior permission from executive head. Kargil proved to be Nawaz’s waterloo. Although Nawaz gave additional portfolio of CJCSC to Musharraf to appease him, but cold war between the two continued. Lt Gen Tariq Pervez, Commander 12 Corps/brother-in-law of Maj retired Nadir Pervez, minister in PML-N government was sacked by Gen Musharraf in September 1999 after a shouting match between the two on the issue of Kargil.                              

On the afternoon of October 12, 1999, Nawaz sacked Musharraf and appointed DG ISI Gen Ziauddin Butt as his replacement when Gen Musharraf was in the air flying home from his visit to Colombo. He took this knee-jerk decision fearing a military coup. The two key members of Kargil team, Lt Gens Mahmood and Aziz Khan and Brig Salahuddin Satti (Commander 111 Brigade) implemented the already approved contingency plan. They launched the coup the same evening and arrested Nawaz and others. Maj Gen Orakzai (DCGS) also took part. Lt Gens Khalid Maqbool (4 Corps), Abu Saeed Zafar (11 Corps), Usmani sided with coup-makers.

PM Nawaz, his MS Brig Javed and Gen Ziauddin were arrested by coup-makers and put in solitary confinement. Military takeover was rejoiced by all political parties. Nawaz was awarded life sentence by the court on account of unconvincing charges of hijacking and terrorism and he and his brother Shahbaz sent to Attock jail. The duo was lucky to go in exile for ten years under an agreement brokered by Saudi government since the prosecutors were trying to convert Nawaz’s life term to death sentence. Gen Ziauddin was dismissed from service and he remained in confinement for two years. Lt Gens Akram (QMG), Afzal Janjua (IGT&E), Salahuddin Tirmizi (Commandant NDC), and Salim Haider (Commander 1 Corps) were not in favor of the coup but were allowed by Musharraf to complete their respective service tenures. The coup was validated by the Supreme Court and Musharraf was allowed to amend the constitution.

Gen Musharraf’s seven-point agenda was promising and had the potential of ridding Pakistan of many ailments piled up during 11 years of sickly democratic era. Accountability of the wrongdoers and introduction of monitoring system to monitor the progress of each government and semi-government department were healthy initiatives. Good management, control of unbridled corruption through monitoring system, recovery of ill-gotten wealth by NAB and regard of merit system helped in growth of economic indicators. He expanded and liberalized media and introduced the concept of enlightened moderation to show soft face of Pakistan.

Things began to go astray when Musharraf made the first fatal mistake of docilely submitting to seven demands of USA after 9/11 and pushing Pakistan into the inferno of war on terror and placing Pakistan at the mercy of USA. His next mistake was the holding of farcical referendum in April 2002 to get himself elected as President. In his bid to help his King’s Party to wrest levers of power, he authorized massive rigging in 2002 elections. For the achievement of this purpose he made the accountability selective thereby pouring cold water on laudable efforts made by NAB. Entry of chronic crooks in the corridors of power re-opened floodgates of mismanagement, corruption, chicanery and intrigues. Civil officials and police extracted double graft from people in the name of Army. Puppets in the Parliament kept him charmed by singing melodious tunes of sycophancy that he was gifted with all-round sterling qualities. Persecution of religious extremists and change of Kashmir policy eroded his standing among the conservative segment of society. He survived three attempts on life by the skin of teeth.  

His concept of enlightened moderation made him the darling of the west and the liberal class in Pakistan. Carried away by plaudits he received from foreign media on account of his deft handling of media persons, he thought there was none in Pakistan wiser than him. Visible improvement in economy, rise in GDP to 7%, boom in estate property and stock exchange, enlargement of foreign reserves and visible improvement in higher education intoxicated him and he started to agree to the views expressed by his court jesters that Pakistan had not seen a leader better than him after Quaid-e-Azam. He started dreaming of becoming life-long President. It was this self-delusion which impelled him to get rid of Chief Justice Iftikhar on March 7, 2007 since he considered him a possible threat to his ambitions. This was his major blunder which pushed him down the slope. He tried to recover his lost ground by declaring emergency on November 3, 2007 and sacking 60 judges of superior courts but these draconian steps further accelerated his downslide.

The NRO brokered by USA and UK in July 2007 was his worst sin since the nation is suffering from its ill-effects to this date. By allowing exiled leaders Benazir and Nawaz Sharif to return home, he cooked his goose. Chairman NAB Lt Gen Shahid Aziz resigned from his post when Musharraf asked him to be selective and soft on some of the wrongdoers. On his way out one thing good Musharraf did was to appoint Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as COAS in November 2007. Inwardly, he wanted Gen Tariq Majeed, whom he appointed CJCSC.

Murder of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 was pre-planned by master planners to create a political impasse/destabilization, make Pakistan a ‘failed State’ and by 2015 fragment it like Yugoslavia. Some speculate Zardari was part of the gory plan. Benazir’s murder added to the woes of Musharraf since he and Brig Ijaz Hussain Shah, the then DG IB were suspected of having a hand in her murder. Threatened to be impeached by the new PPP government backed by PML-N, Musharraf considered it wise to step down in August 2008 and go in exile to London. Zardari helped him in his safe exit. Whatever his failings, Musharraf kept Pakistan relevant. During his exile, he formed a political party and committed the mistake of returning to Pakistan in March 2013 to take part in general elections. He is now in thick soup since he is facing several court cases and is undergoing trial under Article 6 of constitution.

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, war veteran, author of several books, member Executive Council PESS, Director MEASAC Research Centre, Director Board of Governors Thinkers Forum Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com            

 

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Musharraf ?

 

Musharraf ?

By

Inam Khawaja

 

The facts about General (Retd) Syed Pervaiz Musharraf have not been correctly and fully reported in both Pakistani and international media. It is therefore necessary to put on record all the facts.

Musharraf’s father Syed Musharraf uddin was a graduate from Alighar Muslim University. After graduation he joined the office of the Director General Civil Supplies Government of India in a clerical position. In 1947 he opted for Pakistan and was transferred to the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Karachi. In 1949 he was posted in the Pakistan Embassy Ankara. On his return from Ankara (in 1956) he progressed in his career retiring as a section officer in the Ministry of Foreign affairs. He was not a member of the Foreign Service.

Musharraf’s mother Begum Zehra Musharraf did her Masters in English literature from Indraprastha College Delhi. After the family’s return from Ankara she joined ILO in a secretarial position and retired in 1986-87.

Pervaiz Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi (Daryagunj). He was four years old when he came to Pakistan with his parents. In Ankara he was home tutored by a German teacher, he is fluent in English and Turkish. On return from Ankara in 1956 he attended Saint Patrick’s High School Karachi and passed the matriculation examination (not O level) in 1958 thereafter, he joined Forman Christian College in Lahore. He did not complete his degree just passed F.Sc.

Musharraf got married in 1968 to Begum Sehba Musharraf and has one son,
Bilal Musharraf, and a daughter, Ayla. Both are married with two

 

children of their own. His son lives in Boston. His brother also lives in the
United States. Both are US Citizens.

 Personal Likes

Musharraf is fond of designer suits (Armani), handmade shoes however; his recent pictures show that he has not kept up to date because he is wearing jackets with broad lapels!!  He smokes Cuban cigars, enjoys Pakistani music and the company of friends.

Army Career

 In 1961 he entered the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul as a cadet and was commissioned in the Pakistan Artillery in 1964. He is a graduate of the Staff College, Quetta, the National Defense College and the Royal College of Defence Studies, United Kingdom.

On 5, September 1965 General Court Marshal Proceedings were initiated against Musharraf for absenting from duty for a full week without permission but, were squashed due to the attack on Pakistan by India on the morning of 6, September 1965. As a result Musharraf escaped being cashiered from the Army and participated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Self Propelled Artillery Regiment and was awarded Imtiazi Sanad for gallantry. In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 he fought as a Company Commander in the SSG Commando Battalion.

He has commanded Regiments of Artillery, an Artillery Brigade and then went on to command an Infantry Division. He was promoted Lt. General in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto. In 1998 he was recommended for appointment as COAS by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in supersession of Lieutenant- General Ali Kuli Khan, who was the senior most and the second in line Lieutenant-General Khalid Nawaz Khan.

 

Relations with General Zia-ul-Haq

After General Zia-ul-Haq’s coup detate on 6, July 1977 Musharraf was chosen for special assignments, he served in District Martial Law Administration HQ. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 Musharraf was involved in the preparation of Mujahedeen for the Jihad in Afghanistan. Zia chose him to command the newly raised SSG base at Khapalu in Siachin area. In 1987 when Musharraf’s name came up for the post of Military Secretary to President Zia-ul-Haq his commanding officer wrote; “he is not at home with pomp and show”. This saved his life because Zia’s military secretary died with him in the air crash in August 1988.

Relations with Benazir Bhutto

In 1988–89, (as Brigadier) Musharraf proposed the Kargil infiltration scheme to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto but she rebuffed the plan.  After promotion Major-General Musharraf worked closely with the Chief of Army Staff as Director-General of Pakistan Army’s Directorate General for the Military Operations (DGMO). During this time, Musharraf became close to the Director General of ISI Lieutenant General Javed Nasir and had worked with him while directing operations in the Bosnian war. His political philosophy was influenced by Benazir Bhutto who mentored him on various occasions and he became close to her on military policy issues and India. During 1993–95, Musharraf repeatedly visited the United States as part of Benazir Bhutto’s delegations. It was Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman who lobbied for his promotion to Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently getting his promotion papers approved by Benazir Bhutto which eventually led to his appointment in Benazir Bhutto’s key staff. In 1993, Musharraf personally assisted Benazir Bhutto to have a secret meeting in the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. with officials from Mussad and the special envoy of Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin.  It was during these visits that Musharraf developed extremely cordial relationship with Shaukat Aziz who, at that time, was serving in a very senior position heading the global financial services of the Citibank.

After the collapse of the fractious Afghan government in 1994 Musharraf assisted General Babar and ISI in devising a policy of supporting the newly formed Talibangovernment in their war against the Northern Alliance.

 

His Failing Trait

Even a casual glance at what is in public domain reveals that he often acts impulsively without fully evaluating all the possible consequences of his impending action. A few of such well known acts are undernoted.

1)    Absenting from duty just before the war in September 1965.

2)    The 1998 incursion in Kargil.

3)    The reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in March 2007.

4)    Declaring emergency on 3, November 2007.

5)    The NRO deal with PPP.

In all the above acts Musharraf did not fully evaluate the possible consequences of his action. In 1965 the Court Marshal proceedings were squashed due to the Indian attack on the morning of 6, September 1965. In Kargil India instead of seeking a settlement of Kashmir mobilized the full force of their armed forces. The Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry instead of resigning and accepting a fat job stood firm, the reference failed and he was restored. In declaring the emergency he ignored the Article 6 of the Constitution. With respect to NRO he ignored the possibility of PPP joining hands with PML (N) and initiating impeachment proceedings against him forcing him to resign and go in self exile.

True to form Musharraf returned to Pakistan against (reportedly) the advice of his well wishers and ignored  all the cases pending in the courts. It needs to be noted that he has only been granted bail and has not been acquitted in any of these cases. Once again it appears the he ignored all the opinion polls and the fact that the July 31, 2009 Judgment of the Supreme Court declared that his declaring emergency on November 3, 2007 and his subsequent orders (under the emergency) unconstitutional,  ultra-vires of the Constitution consequently being illegal and of no legal value as a result Musharraf now faces the institution of a tribunal under Article 6 of the Constitution.

November 19, 2013

 

Additional Reading

General Pervez Musharraf

Quotes from His book ” In the line of Fire Memoir

General Pervez Musharraf, the second of three brothers, was born in Delhi on August 11, 1943. His parents chose to settle in Karachi after the creation of Pakistan. He comes from a middle class family, his father having worked for the foreign ministry. He spent his early years in Turkey, from 1949 to 1956, owing to his father, the late Syed Musharrafu-ud-din’s deputation in Ankara. He claims to speak Turkish Fluently. He accepts Mustafa Kamal Ataturk as his hero.

 

 

 

On return to Pakistan from Turkey, General Pervez Musharraf received his education from Saint Patrick’s High School, Karachi, and then from F. C. College, Lahore. In 1961, he joined the Pakistan Military Academy and was commissioned in Artillery Regiment in 1964. He fought in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 as a young officer, and was awarded Imtiazi Sanad for gallantry. He also achieved the Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) and the Tamgha-i-Basalat. He has been also on the faculty of the Command and Staff College, Quetta and the war wing of (the) National Defence College. He volunteered to be a commando, and remained in the Special Services Group for seven years. He also participated in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 as a Company Commander in the Commando Battalion.

A graduate of Command and Staff College, Quetta, General Musharraf also distinguished himself at the Royal College of Defense Studies, United Kingdom. During his military career, General Musharraf acquired varied experience in different command and instructional appointments. He also served as Director General Military Operations at the General Headquarters from 1993 to 1995.

General Musharraf rose to the rank of General and was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff on October 7, 1998 when Pakistan’s army chief, General Jehangir Karamat, resigned two days after calling for the army to be given a key role in the country’s decision-making process. General Musharraf was given additional charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff Committee on April 9, 1999. On October 12, 1999, when through a bloodless coup the military took over the government in Pakistan, he became the head of the state designated as Chief Executive. He assumed the office of President of Pakistan on June 20, 2001. In order to legitimize and legalize his rule, General Pervez Musharraf held a referendum on April 30, 2002 thereby elected as President of Pakistan for duration of five years. In accordance with the deal with MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal), he agrees to leave the army on 31st December, 2004 but will continue to serve five-year term as President as he got vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, from the parliament and the four provincial assemblies under the provision of the 17th Amendment duly passed by the National Assembly and the Senate.

General Musharraf got married in 1968 and has two children, a son and a daughter. He loves to spend most of his leisure time playing Squash, Badminton or Golf. He also takes keen interest in water sports and has been an enthusiastic canoeist. He calls himself an avid reader, he is well versed in Military History, his favorite subject.

PROFILE

General Pervez Musharraf
Nishan-I-Imtiaz (Military),
Tamgha-i-Basalat,

Ex President,
Islamic Republic of Pakistan

During the three years of General Pervez Musharraf as the Chief Executive of Pakistan, the country saw more structural reforms than at any time in its history. Ranging from economic and social sector reforms to – administrative and political restructuring – improvements were carried out in almost every conceivable facet of national life. At the time he assumed office of the Chief Executive on 12th October 1999, the country was in deep economic and constitutional crisis. His administration’s remarkable achievement of pulling the, country out of the economic and political morass in a short span has been widely acknowledged. On the international front, Pakistan’s‘ image saw a major turnaround from the point where it faced diplomatic isolation.

 General Pervez Musharraf was sworn in as the 11th President of Pakistan and concurrently held with it the office of Chief Executive till 23rd November, 2002: After fulfilling his commitment to the people of Pakistan to hold general elections in the country on 10th October 2002, he transferred the powers of Chief Executive to the newly elected Prime Minister. On restoration of Constitution, he was administered fresh oath of office of President on 31st October 2002.

 President Musharraf, the second of three brothers, was born in Delhi on 11th August, 1943. He spent his early childhood in Ankara, Turkey, where his father was posted on a diplomatic assignment from 1949 to 1956. He was quick to pick up Turkish language during his stay and developed fluency in a very short time. Upon his return to Pakistan, he pursued his education at St. Patrick’s High School, Karachi. He was at Forman Christian College, Lahore, when he got the call to join the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961. From his college years, he has retained his keen interest in water sports such as canoeing and sailing. He also spends his leisure time playing squash, tennis and golf. An avid reader, General Musharraf is particularly well versed in military history-his favorite subject.

 President Musharraf was commissioned in an artillery regiment in 1964. A graduate of Command and Staff College, Quetta, and the National Defense College, Rawalpindi, he, later in his career, returned to these internationally recognized premier military institutions to serve as a faculty member. He-also had the distinction to study at the Royal College of Defense Studies, United Kingdom.

 From the very start of an illustrious military career, General Musharraf excelled in his assignments. He received official recognition for valour and bravery in action during the 1965 war. He was selected to serve in the elite Special Services Group (SSG) “Commandos” and participated in the 1971 war as a company commander in a commando battalion. On promotion to the rank of major general in January 1991, he was given the command of an infantry division and later of a prestigious strike corps as lieutenant general in 1995. He was promoted to the rank of General on 7th October, 1998 and appointed the Chief of Army Staff. He also held the additional charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from April, 1999 to October, 2001.

 President Musharraf envisions Pakistan as a modern and moderate Islamic state. His bold initiatives to ensure Pakistan’s steady progression on the road to sustainable economic and social development have been internationally praised. He considers people of Pakistan as the most precious asset and, therefore, has always accorded special focus to human resource development in the country. A man who loves peace, he has shown his predisposition to dialogue over confrontation and finding just solutions to international disputes in accordance with UN resolutions.

He married Sehba Farid, on 27th December, 1968. They have two children, a son and a daughter, both now married and settled in their respective lives. General and Mrs. Musharraf are grandparents by virtue of their grand daughters, Maryam and Zainab, from daughter, Ayla.

He is now the leader of his All Pakistan Muslim Legue Party.

Impeachment movement and resignation of Pervez Musharraff

On 7 August 2008, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he step down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharraf, however, said: “I will defeat those who try to push me to the wall. If they use their right to oust me, I have the right to defend myself.” Musharraf, accordingly delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics, by a day. A senior coalition official told Reuters: “Yes, we have agreed in principle to impeach him.” The draft of the ruling coalition’s joint statement had been finalized by the draft Committee, and Musharraf would have to obtain vote of confidence from the National Assembly and 4 provincial assemblies. The government summoned the national assembly, or lower house of parliament, to sit on 11 August. Capt. Wasif Syed, spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party—confirmed: “A decision has been made that he has to go now, and all the parties have agreed on this point.”[93]. It is speculated that Pervez Musharraf would have had to face corruption and even murder charges if he had kept refusing a graceful exit from the president house.

On Monday, 18 August 2008, in a speech defending his record, Musharraf announced that he had resigned.

When announcing his resignation, Musharraf, 65, said: “After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign. I leave my future in the hands of people. Not a single charge in the impeachment can stand against me. No charge can be proved against me because I never did anything for myself, it was all for Pakistan. On the map of the world, Pakistan is now an important country, by the grace of Allah. Whether I win or lose the impeachment, the nation will lose. They don’t realize they can succeed against me but the country will undergo irreparable damage. My resignation will go to the speaker of the National Assembly today.” In an emotional one-hour speech, Musharraf raised his clenched fists to chest height, and said, “Long live Pakistan!”

“Nonetheless, despite his mistakes, he has been that rare phenomenon in Pakistani politics — an honest man with good intentions who tried to serve his country to the best of his abilities. In a country that has suffered so much over the years from corrupt and self-serving politicians, there have been too few figures like him”

Approval ratings

In early 2007, Musharraf was extremely popular. According to a US survey, IRI President General Pervez Musharraf was more popular in Pakistan than opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Around 37 percent of the respondents were of the view that Musharraf’s supported PML-Q deserved to be re-elected.

However, by August 2007, after the lawyers Judicial Activism started, Musharraf became slightly unpopular in Pakistan due to persistent media efforts and anti-Musharraf talk shows. An International Republican Institute survey, taken of 3000 people, showed that 64 percent of the population did not want another term to be granted to Musharraf as the president of Pakistan.

Musharraf’s popularity grew after his resignation and several pro-Musharraf websites and groups on Facebook emerged.

In the most recent interview with Musharraf, Daphne Barak admits that she receives mails and people have started missing Musharraf: “Many emails are relatively flattering to you. I even have emails from PPP members who say that they never thought they will miss you, but they do. Especially young people!”

Life after Presidency

After resignation, Musharraf went for an expected pilgrimage to Mecca. He may also continue his travelling on a lucrative speaking tour through Middle East, Europe and United States. Chicago-based Embark LLC is one of the international public-relations firms trying to land Musharraf as a highly paid keynote speaker.[98] According to Embark President David B. Wheeler, the speaking fee for Musharraf would be in the $150,000-200,000 range for a day plus jet and other V.I.P. arrangements on the ground.

Musharraf disclosed that he has planned to jump back into full time politics but not until he moves into his newly constructed house in Chak Shahzad in Rawalpindi/Islamabad as he does not want to misuse the army house for political purposes.

His speech at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in January 2009 marked his first U.S. appearance since he left office last year, as he embarks on a international speaking tour. The former president of Pakistan pleaded for understanding in his country’s fight against terrorism, in a region deemed central to the outcome of that battle. “Pakistan has confronted terrorism and extremism for more than two decades now,” Pervez Musharraf said in a speech to about 500 people at the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan event.

Regarding the Lahore attack on Sri Lankan players, Musharraf criticized the police commandos’ inability to kill any of the gunmen, saying “If this was the elite force I would expect them to have shot down those people who attacked them, the reaction, their training should be on a level that if anyone shoots toward the company they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down.”

Trial of Musharraf under Article 6


The PML Nawaz have tried to get Pervez Musharraf to stand trial in an article 6 trial for treason in relation to the emergency on November 3, 2007[103], which Musharraf signed as Chief of Army Staff instead of in his position as President of Pakistan[104], yet revoked it as the President of Pakistan, also revoking the PCO of 3rd November.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani has said a consensus resolution is required in national assembly for an article 6 trial of Pervez Musharraf “I have no love lost for Musharraf … if parliament decides to try him, I will be with parliament. Article 6 cannot be applied to one individual … those who supported him are today in my cabinet and some of them have also joined the PML-N … the MMA, the MQM and the PML-Q supported him … this is why I have said that it is not doable,” said the Prime Minister while informally talking to editors and also replying to questions by journalists at an Iftar-dinner he had hosted for them.

Meanwhile, Proclamation of Emergency and Revocation is the constitutional right of the President of Pakistan, according to the constitution of Pakistan, Article 232 and Article 236.[108] On 15 February 2008, the Supreme Court has delivered detailed judgement to validate the Proclamation of Emergency on 3 November 2007, the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 and the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007.

Saudi Arabia have agreements in place to stop any article 6 trial in Pakistan in relation to Pervez Musharraf according to the newspapers due to Saudi Arabia’s long standing friendship with all of the political parties in Pakistan. Sharif is under tremendous pressure from Saudi Arabia to shun his demand for Musharraf’s trial under the Article Six of the Constitution

The President of PML-Q, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said that those vying for article 6 against Musharraf to suffer and would themselves get embroiled in trouble.[113] Secretary General of PML-Q Mushahid Hussain Sayed, also ruled out Musharraf’s trial under Article-6 of the Constitution.

Cases against Musharraf

Abbottabad’s district and sessions judge in a missing person’s case passed judgment asking the authorities to declare Pervez Musharraf a proclaimed offender.

Edited and research by Jamal Panhwa

 

Reference

 

 

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