Letters

General Musharraf – Perceptions, Politics and Pakistani Realities

President Musharraf’s recent ARY News interview with Dr. Moeed Pirzada and Fawad Chaudhry showed a man in the proverbial hot seat.

The Former Chief of Army Staff, President and yes, Dictator, was asked several uncomfortable questions that have previously been opined, dissected, and analyzed by both international and Pakistani media.

What struck me the most was the high level of honesty and comfort with which he answered each question on the conspiracies and politics in Pakistan that have long surrounded him. The list of controversies was lengthy:

The armed rebellion in Baluchistan and the Bugti case
The 2007 Emergency Proclamation and resulting treason charges
The nation’s relationship with India and Kashmir’s role
International pressures from Saudi Arabia and the United States
Accusations of playing a double game on the fight against terror
Benazir Bhutto’s premature return to Pakistan
His departure in 2009 and subsequent 2013 return to Pakistan
His frustrated attempt to be a third political force in Pakistan
Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan
The role of the military in a reform-based democratic set up in Pakistan
Imran Khan’s political movement and it’s strengths and weaknesses
Pakistan’s blasphemy law and much, much more…

He answered each with his characteristic frankness and without deflecting or shifting the direction of conversation. In comparison to other politicians anywhere in the world, let alone in Pakistan, he was neither offended nor upset by either host’s questions. He was honest, candid, straightforward and in many ways welcomed the hard questions by Moeed Pirzada and Fawad Chaudhry. He set an example of how to stand by one’s principles, admit one’s failures and to implement change from hard lessons learned. With this particular interview, Former President Musharraf revealed himself as a man both seasoned and humbled by experience.

I hope that present and future emerging leaders in Pakistan see him as someone to look up to and emulate.

Shailah Yazdani

Tweeter handle: @Sh_Yazdani

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