11 Silver Estate,
Pilibhit Bypass Road,
PO Rohilkhand University
Air Marshal Ashok K. Goel (Retd.)
PVSM AVSM VM
As I Saw It
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who announced his political party on October 1 in London, has been in the news for his admission to a German magazine that Pakistan had trained militant groups to fight against India and “the government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir”.
We want good relations with India, but it has to be based on justice and fairness. Kashmir is the primary problem and improvement in bilateral relations between the two countries depends on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan’s security situation gets muddled when India becomes hyper active in Afghanistan.
Taliban has conducted several suicide attacks in the heartland of Pakistan. Military action has to create space for political solution. Tough measures were not undertaken on a whim. We tried all option but failed. Now, a mix of soft and tough measures need to be adopted. If I return to power, the armed forces in Pakistan will be well-equipped and maintained. Any adventurism against Pakistan will be thwarted.
Pakistan is passing through turmoil and turbulence and we believe that an alternative political option should be available to the people. Democracy needs to be overhauled in Pakistan and it will have to be rid of the traditional vestiges like kinship and feudalism.
But he has to remember that Pakistan has been its most important ally in the war on terror and he has to acknowledge the sacrifices and initiatives that Pakistan undertook after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11.
Failure of governance is the greatest threat today. Immediate necessity on the ground in Pakistan is a functional governance structure free of corruption.
While people like Bhutto and Sharif were sent into exile by dictators, in Musharraf’s case, the dictator himself had to flee following the return to democracy in the country. Musharraf is now trying to be part of that democracy with the launch of his political party, The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML, on October 1 at London’s former National Liberal Club.
Two things are clear about Musharraf’s politics in London. One, his reading and thinking have increased his conviction against religious extremists like the Taliban; second, his exile has not been apolitical.
No one knows why Musharraf decided to relaunch his political career. It is a popular joke among Pakitani journalists that Musharraf did so because he considers himself a gift of a God to mankind.
Low on international trust, under assault of Islamic fundamentalists and Taliban, ravaged by worst floods in the century, Pakistan is a challenge to any aspiring ruler. Musharraf, it seems, is not afraid to take up the challenge. Apart from “Pakistan First”, his other slogan is “Jaag Pakistan Jaag”. His party’s symbol is the introvert eagle, shaheen in Urdu. Musharraf, like the bird, is not afraid of being a lone ranger.