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  Asia-Pacific
A Change Awaits Pakistan
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
President of Pakistan and Chief of the Pak army General Parvez Musharraf

Although Pakistan is considered a democratic country in the world yet it is also true that since the last 60 years when Pakistan came into existence, there had been a limited period of time when there ruled the democratic governments. Otherwise the military rulers remained in power & ruled over the country. At international level, it is also a biter truth in the politics of Pakistan that these military governments remained in controversy because of their relations with the neighbouring countries. It is worth nothing that the democratic governments there didn't involve themselves so deeply in disputes with neighbourhood comparatively so as the military governments. Even there in Pakistan a military dictator, just to keep himself on throne made a popular Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to face the death sentence.

In fact, the Pakistan military commander has many rights in the constitution of Pakistan. He can interfere in the political affairs & in the running of the government. In the other words it can be said that the Pakistan army, on the orders of its chief can immediately oust the ruler there & the military ruler can take over the charge. Such events in Pakistan politics has many a time brought discredit to the goodwill of Pakistan on international level. As a result of it, the common life & thinking of the Pakistan people has also been influenced. As a common politician, whenever he gets a chance to occupy the chair, to remain glued to it unless there is no compulsion of holding elections within a limited time. He doesn't want to be separated from the power. Similarly, the military dictators think in the same way. They also don't want to leave the reins of the power & a military dictator is always prepared to fulfil his wishes. At that time he doesn't care for the rules, law or humanism.

Now Pakistan is passing through the same type of circumstances. President of Pakistan and Chief of the Pak army General Parvez Musharraf, who was the commander-in-chief of the army at the time of a democratic government of Nawaz Sharif, ousted Sharif at that time. Since the time, Parvez Musharraf took control of the government. He may or may not have done something for the development of Pakistan but clearly he had been the most controversial military dictator. Undoubtedly he seems against the extreme thoughts & the terrorism in the name of Islam. But it can't be said that his opposition is real or just to show the world. The common people in Pakistan are of the view that General Musharraf is a dictator who follows the directions from America. The Bush administration in America also admits that General Musharraf is their notable companion in their mission against the worldwide terrorism. So it is natural that America is in his favour.

But America is also deeply concerned because Pakistan has equipped itself with nuclear power. Now America doesn't want the nuclear power station to go under the control of extremist powers. So it issues its directions to General Musharraf from time to time. It is not a mistake to state that American high level leaders & officers have visited Pakistan many a time. People of Pakistan understood it well that General Musharraf is taking all these steps to remain in power only because America favours him.

But now it seems that the hold of General Musharraf on the rule of Pakistan has been losing its strength. On the one side, there is a pressure of the public of Pakistan to hold the elections in Pakistan at the earliest. Secondly the two leaders of the two main political parties Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who had been ousted from Pakistan by General Musharraf, are being heard to agree to oppose General Musharraf collectively. Because of the pressure of holding elections at the earliest, General Musharraf is feeling that the power is slipping from his hands. As a result of it, there seems a great change in the behaviour & political decisions of this military dictator.

Ultimo, there was a great hue & cry because of an interview of General Musharraf that he gave to a famous TV Channel, Geo TV. All the media persons in Pakistan came under one banner against General Musharraf, on this issue. After the telecast of this Musharraf's interview by Geo TV, the guards who were Pro-Musharraf attacked that TV Station & did a great loss of property to that TV Centre. As this dictatorial step was still fresh in the minds of Pakistani people & the media, on the March 9, Parvez Musharraf took another dictatorial step. He suspended the Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Choudhari. Parvez Musharraf accused Choudhari of misusing his power as a Chief Justice. The suspension of Iftikhar Choudhari added fuel to the fire & anger of the public was now beyond control.

Justice Choudhari, instead of sitting quietly, became aggressive. He came among the people of the Pakistan so that he might prove his innocence. Most of the intellectuals, literates of Pakistan, lawyers & administrative class seem standing along with Justice Choudhari. On May 12, in a rally to be organised in favour of Justice Choudhari, there was a strange view of violence. It was continue many days. There had been a bloody confliction for many hours between the supporters of Parvez Musharraf & Pro-Justice Choudhari group. In this misfortunate incident, it has been learnt that more than 40 persons lost their lives & more than 300 persons were injured.

Now the question arises if these dictatorial steps of General Musharraf will help in his power retainable desire? Will this behaviour of General Musharraf prove a step for ousting him from the power? Whatever it is but clearly the sacking of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Iftikhar Mohammed Choudhari has been understood taken as a step to remove the thorns of his way by General Musharraf. But it is also true that appearance of Justice Iftikhar Choudhari in public has proved something else. Although he has been suspended from the post of Chief Justice of Pakistan yet he can prove as an alternative for General Musharraf or any other Pakistan political leader, in future.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes in a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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