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Musharraf's Lofty claims, Shallow Performance

Nadeem Yousaf

(A modified version published in the daily Times 26.06.2003)

Musharraf made a coup against the civil government on the charges that it was a corrupt regime; and he made loud claims that he would eradicate corruption from the system, bring back the looted money, change the political culture and establish writ of the law. The nation till today has not experienced that his deeds followed his lofty claims. The recent news that his pre-election regime has written-off loans of Rs.18 billion to well over 1,000 influential businessmen and army men is the last nails to his claims of good governance. Undoubtedly, it is hard to see signs of good governance even by a magnifier. This is the time that he must answer to the nation what he did not do that had not done by his predecessors. Like his predecessors, he victimized political people through NAB; rigged results of so called referendum and elections 2002; appointed the same corrupt people on high political and administrative positions; purchased sympathies of politicians either through political bribes or blackmailing; introduced laws that strengthened his power; posted people in uniform in civil institutions to keep his personal control on the institutions.

 

Musharraf must remember that the nation cannot impress if he could make a telephone call to Bush or Blair; or have a dinner on the same table to dance on their tunes. Pakistan’s other head of governments or/and state had similar type of privileges in the past. The nation still remembers that it is not a long ago when US President Clinton had cut short his visit and refused to shake-hand with the dictator.  

 

In addition, People are tired of hearing romantic stories growth in national economy; he could not impress the nation by buying dollars from the open market and raise foreign reserves. He must appreciate that it is no big deal to raise revenue of the state by raising prices of essential commodities every second day. Now, it is high time that Musharraf accepts that he could not deliver what he promised so he must step down instead of sticking to the positions like Yaya and Zia. It might set a positive trend in Pakistan’s politics.

22 June, 2003

 

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