There has been much talk in the past about General (ret.) Pervez Musharraf and PTI chief Imran Khan forming a coalition, as part of a ‘third force’ to break the status quo prevalent in the country. The former even expressed his desire to the PTI chief of an alliance, but Imran did not reciprocate. Whilst Imran Khan might be a popular leader who has the ability to mobilize and conduct mammoth political gatherings, it is Musharraf who has the sound experience and political acumen to govern the country in an astute manner.
1. Musharraf’s stance on terrorism
Well, this seems to be an obvious one! General (ret) Pervez Musharraf has always stood firm as far as tackling or dealing with militants is concerned. Owing to his resolute stance and in his bid to keep Pakistan free from terrorism, the general has had to face scathing attacks from pseudo intellectuals and had to face security issues quite frequently. Imran, on the other hand, has been erroneous and short-sighted with his policies of having dialogues with those who kill indiscriminately and burn schools of females. Twitter condemnations won’t do, Mr.Khan!
2. Musharraf is much more realistic and pragmatic
Musharraf does not shy away from accepting harsh realities and deals with them accordingly. His power sharing formula with MQM in urban Sindh proved to be a working formula, one for which he faces considerable criticism even to this day. However, the general did what he thought was best for the country and we saw during his reign how Karachi, and as a result Pakistan, prospered. For IK, the less said the better!
3. Musharraf took unpopular yet effective decisions
Musharraf has always had to deal with criticism that was unfair and unwarranted. When he sided with the United States and offered them military bases to attack Afghanistan, he knew the decision would dip his popularity at an all time low. However, he did what was best for Pakistan’s security situation and took the decision unwillingly. Imran, on the other hand, seems to be a fierce critic of the sole superpower of the world yet offers conspicuous positions in his political party to those who have been pro-USA in the past. If you’re looking for an example, think no further than Shah Mehmood Qureshi!
4. His foresight and vision is much better as compared to Kaptaan Khan
Be it the expulsion of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry or imprisoning pseudo intellectuals such as Asma Jahangir, Musharraf was fiercely criticized for suffocating social rights and ruling with an iron fist. However, 7-8 years after the general has departed from the corridors of power, it seems that Imran is having a bone to pick with the same people whose rights he protested for! For those who are appalled at my statement, compare Imran’s statements then (2007) and now (2014-2015) regarding Iftikhar Chaudhry, Asma Jahangir, Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party. Pick your battles at the right time and with the right enemy, Imran!
5. Support for the armed forces of Pakistan
ISI and Pakistan army are the eyes and ears of Pakistan, need I say more? Due to the likes of Imran Khan, Maulana Fazlur-Rahman and Siraj ul Haq, militant organizations such as TTP have a political standing among the masses of Pakistan. Also, Imran’s leaked comments about Pakistani generals, is for all to ponder on. As far as Musharraf is concerned, we all know he is a soldier to the core!
6. A more dignified and well mannered personality
Musharraf never stoops low or hits out at his opponents below the belt. Imran, however, always uses derogatory language for leaders such as Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari, Mehmud Khan Achakzai and any as well as every political rival of his.
7. Musharraf as an administrator
When Musharraf was commandeering Pakistan, the country was included in the prestigious N-11 list (Next 11 countries with the potential to become the world’s largest economies). We have yet to see how Imran Khan governs KPK, the only province which has given his party the mandate to administer it. For now, the Kaptaan is besieged inside his own Bani Gala fortress, surrounded by protestors demanding their rights!
8. Musharraf’s actions do not contradict his speech, Imran’s do!
Musharraf has always openly allied himself with those who have benefited Pakistan and feuded with those who harbor ill feelings towards the Islamic Republic. He has also candidly admitted his mistakes and apologized for them. For instance, he had the courage to admit that the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) passed during his reign was a blunder which cost Pakistan. Whilst Imran has remained haughty and stubborn for his political mistakes and never seems to acknowledge them!
9. Keeping India at bay!
Being the general that he is, Musharraf has always kept the Indian armed forces at bay. Through the tough statements and bold decisions Musharraf made, Indians knew Pakistan army was a force to be reckoned with. Also, during his rule, Musharraf was close to solving India-Pakistan’s historical dispute of Kashmir, if only the Indians hadn’t backed off. Imran, on the other hand, has no policy with regards to Indian interference in Pakistan!
10. Musharraf is diplomatically more sound as compared to Khan
By and large, the whole global community operates on self interest and benefit. Musharraf was smart enough to realize that and diplomatically aligned himself with the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia as well as any economically successful country with an impressive armed force. Imran’s policies lack sound judgment, credibility as well as practicality. If his statements are to be followed, Pakistan would be in direct confrontation with the Americans and Europe, something our country at the moment cannot afford!