June 02, 2007

Musharraf & Bush: Blaming ‘The Enemy Out There..’

Source: themoderatevoice.com

By Swaraaj Chauhan



When a top political leader (or a military dictator) faces a substantial public opinion that openly expresses its lack of faith/trust in his leadership qualities, the leader/dictator in turn tries to find (real or imagined) enemies ‘out there’ to divert public attention.

While President Bush and his team have been chasing ’such enemies’ for over four years (in what appears to be an unending ‘war’) to make the USA a ’safe place’, his comrade-in-arms in Pakistan now sees a ‘foreign hand’ in the ongoing major crisis in his country.

And that ‘foreign hand’ inevitably means India. The genial, quite and soft spoken Indian Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, who has been accused in his country of being ‘too soft’ towards General Musharraf’s regime (some say under pressure from the US administration), must be feeling hurt.

Some time ago when General Musharraf’s elderly mother and his son came visiting India, the gracious Indian Prime Minister (a virtual non-politician and more of an academic) and his hospitable wife insisted that they stayed in his own official house.

A leading Indian newspaper, The Hindu, today carries a story by its Islamabad correspondent Nirupama Subramanian: “Over the last three months, Opposition activists in Pakistan have occasionally voiced the view that India was overly fond of President Pervez Musharraf for his ‘flexibility’ on the Kashmir issue and, therefore, not supportive enough of its ongoing struggle against the regime.

“With the Opposition struggle intensifying, India stands in the dock again, but this time accused by the (Pakistani) Government of a conspiracy to malign the Pakistan armed forces through the ongoing judicial crisis.

(Military ruler Musharraf removed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on March 9, citing alleged misconduct. The move sparked the biggest political challenge to the general since he seized power eight years ago.)

“Tightening rules for television programmes, the Government announced on Thursday that it would strictly enforce an existing rule that requires private channels to seek permission for live coverage.”

Meanwhile a CNN report says: “Thousands turned out to greet Pakistan’s suspended chief justice as he traveled to a northwestern town on Saturday to muster support for his legal battle against President Pervez Musharraf’s attempt to sack him.

“Chants of ‘Go Musharraf Go’, that have become a signature of the three-month-old judicial crisis, were raised as Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry passed through towns and villages on his way to address the legal fraternity in Abbottabad.

“Along the way, Aitzaz Ahsan, the leader of the legal team defending Chaudhry against charges of misconduct, delivered a sharp riposte to a statement of support for General Musharraf issued by the army’s top brass a day earlier.

“There were no live broadcasts of Chaudhry’s journey, as the authorities have clamped down, partly out of nervousness over the increasingly bold criticism of the powerful military.

“Earlier, television channels had followed Chaudhry on his travels to address the legal community in various cities, and broadcast live pictures of rousing receptions given to the judge.”

The Australian reports that: “Pervez Musharraf was in crisis talks with commanders of Pakistan’s 650,000-strong army last night as fears rose that a state of emergency would be declared to quell unrest after the President’s attempt to sack Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.”

In an interview to the BBC, General Musharraf brushed aside the demand for quitting the post of army chief. He said his uniform is like a second skin, which he cannot remove.

Some present day rulers do develop the mindset of the 17th century king Louis XIV when he bemoaned about his beloved France: “Après’ mois le deluge!”

1 comment:

Ejaz Asi said...

Ironically, fewer people would believe the Mush story as compared with Bush's politics of fear and "war on terror". There are more people in Pakistan today who want good friendship and better trade policies with India than ever.