4th of July: Pervez Musharraf and Edward Snowden: Oppressor or The Oppressed?

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The world watches in awe.

On one hand there is Edward Snowden, the just turned 30 young man who spoke against PRISM and unheard of breach of civil rights, longing for his country roads, but no roads seem to take him there.

Is it George Orwell’s “1984” in full fledged action?

Perhaps. My theory is that he’s NOT a traitor to the US, that he is in fact among the few who can and hopefully will herald an era of US foreign and internal policy change that the statue of liberty symbolized for centuries. Of hope for mankind, as all colors, faiths and races have exercised freedom in the US, and hence the US has been a role model for the world. Until this point in time! My view is that Snowden is NOT happy seeking asylum, that he needs to be pardoned by the US and brought back, not as a POW but as a reformer and the intellectual that he is.

On the other hand, is a retired General, the one who had a dog named “Whiskey”, Pervez Musharraf. Not a saint, not a complete sinner either. Today Musharraf faces an impending dummy trial, more of vengeance and hate by the current Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Musharraf ousted Nawaz Sharif in 1999, for not only removing him as Chief of Army Staff but for periling the lives of hundreds of civilians in an aircraft the then Nawaz Sharif as PM put at risk by not allowing them to land whilst running low on fuel. Not to mention Nawaz’s gaffes and wild needless expenditures on a motorway, yellow cabs and other projects that had the country literally bankrupt. When Musharraf took over, he skillfully maneuvered the country out of the financial doldrums with an expert technocrat team. His achilles’ heel turned out to be his blind liaison with the “Chaudhrys” or B grade politicians, who not only took him for a ride and got richer and powerful, but also had him humiliated from hero to zero locally.

All along his troubled tenure, Musharraf skillfully handled foreign policy as his drinking buddy George W Bush should tell of his prowess and foresight, in how he handled America post 9/11. Many in the Pakistan Army and ISI circles describe him as a “raging bull.” Nawaz’s crony the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Mr Iftikhar Chaudhry, tried to throw him off balance and challenged his coming to power – one can well understand at whose behest and interest.

Musharraf got panicky, sacked Chaudhry, and then started the beginning of Musharraf’s end.

In the meantime, there were three other notable incidents, one that went against him, his blind support to the MQM, including appointing their thug as Governor Sindh (Ishrat ul Ibad) not to mention pouring billions of dollars into their hands. Most was misused – that got him their support but alienation from the Army and Punjab. He further took the very un-islamic Moulvis of the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) cum terrorist training centre in Islamabad, who were blindly implementing “sharia” as per their whims and fancies.

Musharraf took them head on, and had them taken to task, the West should have been happy right?

WRONG.

The West has a screwed up way of looking at things that belie logic or rationale at times.

Next there was Bugti, the Indian sponsored warlord of Balochistan, their answer to Pakistan’s fingering in Indian held Kashmir. He took Bugti far less ruthlessly than how the Indians treat the Kashmiris.

People in Pakistan should’ve been happy, right?

WRONG.

The Pakistani mentality is equally screwed up, especially the wining, dining, womanizing drawing room talkers, bullshitters, and anchors that grace the media.

Musharraf to them was ONLY a – dicatator. Period. The Army was disgruntled with Musharraf, he let their image down through his flop politicking, mujra dancing and public display of frolic and affection for the fairer sex. Finally there was the murder of Benazir Bhutto wherein none other than Asif Ali Zardari benefited as the dacoit cum landlord cum looter and crafty plunderer got a lease of 5 years as the president of Pakistan! Where else does this happen, except, Pakistan!

After Musharraf was ousted from power, Pakistan saw the dark ages rounds of People’s Party rule repeated, economy, law and order, power non existent, inflation skyrocketing, you name it. Pakistan was reduced to shambles.

Painful 5 years past, Imran Khan of PTI left no stone unturned to gain power, besides the Army, credit does go to him for inspiring the masses, he got people out on the streets, but to what avail? Rigged elections under an octagenarian election commission battling dementia and old age, besides a corrupt establishment that was “sold” to Nawaz and “handed down” KPK to Imran as a “trial” to test his performance.

The result is a nation already at its lowest of lows, “headed” by a revengeful Nawaz Sharif who is clueless, just like his last three rounds on solving national problems (in all honesty, his brother, Shahbaz would have been a better choice, if worse comes to worst) and focusing his energy on the “trial” of General Pervez Musharraf?

Egypt is down, there is an army coup as of yesterday but none object as it is the “Islamists” who went down. Were the same thing to happen to Pakistan would the reaction by the US / EU and others be similar?

When will the people of Pakistan and it’s army wake up to this delusional and corrupt duo of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, aided and abetted by sold off journalists and anchors?

Will we, the people, finally have Egypt part II in Pakistan too?

I ask the people of Pakistan, the so-called “civilized world” that lay quiet on Egypt round 2, the US of A on their National Day today, the Army, the EU, Australia, even the Chinese (who think the present regime will bring them bounties in Gwadar… think again) to stand up, and get this man, General Musharraf out of this framed case and deliver Pakistan to a government the likes of which are very well outlined in , with a firm anti terror strategy as outlined at Learning Pays.

Imran Owais Kazmi is a an expat Pakistani vocal on change locally and globally through good governance and tolerance.