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Mr. President, Please Shut Up!!!

These are the very words that would come to ones mind if any of you were unfortunate enough to watch General Pervaiz Musharraf address the opening ceremony of Dawn News TV. It was a classy event and Hameed Haroon sat helplessly (and fuming) on the side watching the President ramble aimlessly on and on about his achievements as the supreme commander of Pakistan

True to his style, Musharraf was extempore in delivering his speech, he was able to touch a number of topics which were naturally dear to his heart specially in the recent few weeks. Media naturally came first where he accused them of doing a large part of sensationalization and bias reporting. Musharraf was bitter at the fact that his opponents got more airtime while ‘his’ side of the argument was being downplayed.

Continuing with his speech he unabashedly started to claim himself to be a ‘righteous man by design’ and could do ‘no wrong and only right’ in his leadership of Pakistan. To say the least these statements came as a surprise to anyone watching the live coverage, a leader trying to prove state that he can do no wrong, contrary to Islamic belief where only The Almighty can do no wrong. Granted, even if we were not to take this statement out of context, it continues to be a surprise that this leader now has to claim his righteousness in his speeches rather then relying on his actions to speak for themselves. Musharraf seems to act quite similar to a lazy employee who after a lazy day at the office tries to suck up to his boss in an attempt to convince him that the he has been grueling his ass doing his job, which is far from complete. The evidence should prove the facts and no verbal exchange needed to provide the proof.

Musharraf also goes on to defend his assassination of Sardar Bugti by sharing a few stories when he recently visited the Dera Bugti Tribe and according to him a number of people approached him thanking him virtually in tears to have removed / assassinated the tribal leader Bugti from their lives. These stories might be true and relevant but in context of his agenda to prove himself as the righteous, it did little to help his image but in fact discredited it more to show how narrow minded his logical thinking had become to have falsely attained a sense of accomplishment when a few hired peasants come sucking up to him in the middle of the dessert.

Talking about hired men, Musharraf had yet another point to prove. He was full-off-himself when he claimed that thousands of Pakistanis come clambering to hear him speak, quite evidently defending his rent-a-crowd rally in Islamabad on May 12th, but what should have been a simple statement turned out to be ‘the blooper of the night’ when he went on to say that 90% of these crowd members are poor and they were provided transport so that could hear ‘him’ speak. (I can be corrected on the exact words of this statement?) WOW rent-a-crowd arrangements for Musharraf, I knew it…..

This side of Musharraf is quite contrary to the one we have seen in the past where Mr. Musharraf would look into the eye of any journalist and challenge him to ask any question and be instantly served with an in-you-face response by Musharraf quite evidently speaking from the heart. A lot has changed over the years, this leader that we now see is more like a frail dictator hanging on to his seat for his dear life. His poker face is now easily deceived by his eyes, as they say the eyes reveal the person inside and since a few months they spell the words ‘failure’ and ‘greed’ quite evidently. His false notion that the country will crumble without him is also leading him down the wrong decisions. He has openly said that he can trust no one to lead Pakistan in the future and hence he continues to remain on the seat of power. What a fool !!!, it is this same feeling of Godliness that has history littered with many crumbling dynasties of Kings and Presidents in the past practically not one has lived to tell the tale, I wonder how long Musharraf plans to hold on.

Leadership I feel will come as a natural course of development, without doubt there are hundreds and thousands of capable leaders in Pakistan amongst the 160 million population, provided the right opportunity may will rise to the occasion of which many will be uncorrupted and truly patriotic to Pakistan, I honestly don’t believe this to be a Utopian dream but more of a reality, the virgin leaders are simply shrugged away in favor of the corrupt elite and even Musharraf did not live up to his promise back in 1998 when he told the nation that ‘I will bring a new breed of good and clean leaders into the forefront’. Sadly Musharraf could not fulfill that promise since any new leadership would become an imminent threat to his Presidential seat, quite simply he never worked to create the alternate leadership, and continued to nourish the old corrupt leadership to attain his own personal goals. It is because of this unfulfilled promise that we now look again nervously at a third term by either one of the corrupt leaders in the form of Benazir or Nawaz Sharif waiting in the aisle ready to pounce on any opportunity that may present itself.

Mr. President its time to Shut Up and move on, you have already been disgraced enough, count your eggs now and make a quick exit to still be able walk away with your head held up high. Its far better to walk off then be pushed off, though the time had come a long time ago and greed held you down but as they say better late then never, so a sincere advise from a fellow country man RUN.

But until then Mr. President, Please Shut Up, avoiding those extempore speeches trying to stick to the draft handed to you on the dais, it most definitely helps to keep that mouth in check from making any more blunders.


  • AH |

    It is truly sad to see the change in this man. When he first came to power, I thought he would help the country, and for a short time he did. However, as has happened with countless other “leaders,” he has been corrupted by power and bought his own myth. Very sad indeed.

  • Rabayl |

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I just find it disquieting that Hameed Haroon (with all his opposition for the government) actually INVITED Musharraf to strut his stuff! A slap in the face for media to be forming an alliance with Musharraf.

  • Teeth Maestro |

    I also agree but I feel he had no choice and accept it as part of the deal with PEMRA – also notice that it was NOT a mega function which Musharraf would have loved to address – it was a low key affair outside the offices of Dawn TV on West Wharf – so Hameed did do the needful strategically

  • Ejaz Asi |

    If you guys could read between the lines and observe the sharp satirical language Dawn used on the inauguration of its channel, I think this was one of the most hilarious news report I have read in recent times.
    For example:
    But at the same time he did not hesitate in taking full credit for the mushrooming of private television channels, saying that whatever freedom there was in the country it was only because of him. “I alone had insisted that we must give them freedom so that the media could hold everyone accountable…

    Dawn also notes:
    It was quite apparent that the president had come to the launching ceremony to not just praise the media, or take credit for his policy, but also to speak his mind about the prevailing trends in newspapers and television channels.

    Anyways, I think Musharraf is going to make more and more mistakes as the time progresses and the proud ladlay of Karachi would make sure (not that they could help it) he does :)

  • khilaal |

    The General has come in for some beathing today in the editorials of Boston Globe and LA Times. It seems that the trend is turning in the US for blind support of their blue eyed fauji jawan.

    But he has the deck in Pakistan well stacked. Surrounded by lackeys in the Pak Army, there are no generals who would dare to disobey him. The network of intelligence is so tightly spun around them, that Corp Commanders don’t dare even call on each others homes in private. No chance for a conspiracy against the chief.

    Can the judges bring him down? I doubt it if he chooses to resist. And BB is standing like a dai in waiting to deliver for him.

  • the olive ream |

    Great post, Awab!
    It is a sad situation indeed – an avarice fuelled egotistical leader who is so out of touch with reality that he now permanently resides in a state of denial.

    Mush mirrors his uncle Bush. Both refuse to accept the truth about their own predicament.

  • The Aussie |

    Pressure grows for Musharraf to go
    Even some of his former strongest supporters are deserting the Pakistan President, reports Bruce Loudon
    The Australian

    May 28, 2007

    WITH his civilian power base fast fracturing and public anger over his attempts to sack the country’s Chief Justice reaching a new pitch, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf last night faced the prospect of a new challenge to his authority – a campaign of civil disobedience aimed at bringing down his regime.
    Democratic opposition parties met in Islamabad over the weekend with the conservative Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal – once among the President’s strongest supporters – and agreed to a campaign of civil disobedience aimed at thwarting General Musharraf’s attempt to win another five years in office.

    The meeting, which came as thousands of protesters surrounded the Supreme Court building to stage yet another mass demonstration in support of suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, was significant for the cross-section of leaders it drew.

    General Musharraf plunged the country into a judicial crisis on March 9 by suspending Justice Chaudhry and ordering a panel of judges to hold an inquiry into misconduct charges against him. The act was seen as an attempt to remove an independent Chief Justice who might prove an obstacle to General Musharraf’s bid to win another five-year term in office later this year. But it has spectacularly backfired.

    The dismissal has sparked widespread but largely peaceful demonstrations by the country’s lawyers and those who believe General Musharraf abused his authority. Two weeks ago, clashes between government and Chaudhry supporters in the southern city of Karachi turned violent, resulting in the death of 49 people.

    The country’s Supreme Court has yet to rule on the dismissal and has put tight restrictions on Pakistan’s media in their reporting about the case. But a finding that General Musharraf abused his powers would add intense pressure to the President to stand down. At such a time he might hope to draw on support from traditional allies among the military and religious forces.

    But among the crowd at the weekend protest were several senior military figures who, though retired, still exert influence in the army.

    Also at the meeting, according to reports yesterday, was the one-time head of the shadowy ISI spy agency, General Hameed Gul, as well as former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg. Both are now retired and are long-time critics of the President. Both too would be expected to be natural allies of the military ruler.

    Instead, they have joined the powerful campaign that has built up against him since he launched his attempt to remove the Chief Justice, linking up with the likes of former Test cricketer Imran Khan, leader of the Tehrik-e-Insaf party, in seeking General Musharraf’s ouster.

    Experienced Pakistan observers suggest that while the President appears to maintain key support from the armed forces, his power base in the political class is rapidly eroding, with even his own Pakistan Muslim League increasingly in disarray.

    The PML is supposed to provide General Musharraf and his Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz, with political backing for what is basically a military regime, and is the primary vehicle for ensuring he is elected to another five-year term as President in October. But the PML is turning on itself.

    Key leaders are said to be appalled by Justice Chaudhry’s suspension and are making it known they have little confidence in the party’s leader and close Musharraf ally, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussein.

    Amid the controversy, Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who served as General Musharraf’s prime minister from 2002 to 2004, has quit the party. His resignation, despite personal entreaties from the President, is further evidence of the extent to which the regime’s civilian power base is fracturing.

    Yet another destabilising factor has emerged with the controversial Muttahida Qaum Movement, a key government ally which runs the province of Sindh, now talking about abandoning the coalition.

    The MQM, run from London by the shadowy Altaf Hussein, was founded 30 years ago to give political voice to the so-called mohajirs, Urdu speakers who returned to Pakistan from India at the time of Partition in 1947. General Musharraf is a mohajir.

    The MQM is blamed for the bloodbath in Karachi earlier this month when Chief Justice Chaudhry attempted to address a meeting in the city. Saturday’s demonstration drew thousands of protesters to the steps of the Supreme Court in Islamabad where the Chief Justice appeared to address a meeting.

    The crowd held banners reading “Go, Musharraf, Go” and shouted “The bloodshed in Karachi will not go to waste” as Justice Chaudhry lashed the regime, charging it with corruption and warning that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    The seemingly unstoppable national protests in support of Justice Chaudhry, and the threat of a campaign of civil disobedience, could not have come at a worse time for General Musharraf, as he faces a massive wave of Taliban-inspired extremist agitation. The religious zealots want to drive him from office, to see sharia law imposed in Pakistan.

    The regime’s inability to suppress the Islamic uprising in the heart of the capital, Islamabad, is an indication of just how serious his situation has become.

    The army, which cannot remain unaffected by the public clamour, will eventually act, as it has done frequently over the past 60 years.

    But until it does, the Pakistani President looks likely to survive the latest crisis and hobble over the election line for another five-year term. The question then will be whether it replaces the President with another general and takes another stab at democracy, or bows before the gathering wave of support for Talibanisation and installs an Islamic zealot into power.

    In any country it would be a desperately fraught scenario.

    Given Pakistan’s strategic importance in the war against terrorism, and the fact that it has a nuclear bomb, it is vastly more so.

  • Farhina |

    We Love General Pervaiz Musharaf. You are a really great and strong leader.