As Pakistan approaches the Presidential elections this weekend, Muslims both home and abroad will not be given any real choice other than continued oppression from Musharraf’s rule. The American backed dictator, who has been ruling Pakistan for the last 8 years, has shown absolute subservience to America at the expense of betraying the Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the wider Muslim Ummah.
In fact, the people have no say in the outcome of this election with the national parliament and provincial assemblies choosing the President-all of which were elected further to rigged elections http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2048652,00.html of 2002.
Musharraf has stated that if he wins the election, he will step down as the Chief of the Army and if not he will remain as head of the army. So the result of this election pledge is that whatever happens Pakistan will continue having Musharraf in power in some form or the other, whether as President or Chief of the Army and regardless American influence will be further entrenched.
Even if Musharraf steps down as Army Chief the army will still be run by a small band of those who share his secular vision for Pakistan and idolise all governance models from the West and its institutions. Lt Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, the chosen heir to Musharraf’s dishonourable legacy, is a hardcore supporter of Musharraf and his policies of ‘modernity’ which he believes can only be attained via a western lifestyle. Kiani has also had extensive training in America at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and so the cycle of US inspired leaders continues.
It is clear then that whatever the result of the sham ‘election’ on 6th October America will be the only true winner. The track record of American interference through Musharraf is plain for all to see. No matter what face is heading the regime in Pakistan, the interests of Pakistan will always be last, as can be seen from Musharraf’s rule. Musharraf originally came to power on the basis of overthrowing the corrupt and inept Nawaz Sharif, who had taken Pakistan to the brink of economic ruin.
After Musharraf performed the coup of 1999, he put forward a seven point agenda which pledged:
(1) Increasing Accountability
(2) Achieving Economic stability
(3) De-politicizing state institutions
(4) Promoting inter-provincial harmony
(5) Establishing Law and order
(6) Devolution of power
(7) Improvement of National morale.
Not only has Musharraf not succeeded in implementing any part of this 7 point agenda, he has actively been working against some of these stated objectives. Musharraf’s legacy after 8 years of mis-rule is the following; civil war now exists on Pakistan’s western flank, the state institutions have been filled with Musharraf’s own military lackeys. On the economic front the national debt has reached $40 billion dollar mark for the first time and the price of basic, essential items has gone up five times since 1999. The media and judiciary have been robbed of any independence, interfered with and literally attacked when deemed non compliant to Musharraf’s wishes.
On top of this catastrophic mismanagement of Pakistan, the very fabric of Pakistani society is being actively undermined by Musharraf’s western inspired secular ideals. The explosion in nightclubs, drinking and immoral behaviour has been mirrored by a soaring crime rate, as the youth of Pakistan are being driven to corruption and licentiousness. The result of Musharraf’s policies has left a nation wracked by internal divisions and strife, weakened by the plotting of Musharraf’s foreign masters. The Pakistan Armed forces, once a symbol of honour for all of Pakistan, is now itself embroiled in corruption and war against its own people-something unprecedented in Pakistan’s history. While the top brass of the Armed Forces, purged of Islamic elements by Musharraf, busy themselves with giving each other titles, honours and building businesses, the common soldier is forced to fight his own brothers on the street to serve the colonial interests of the West. This has led to unrest in the Pakistan Army and a drop in morale, causing Pakistan’s military power to weaken.
It is clear for everyone to see the dangerous position Pakistan finds itself in. Even Musharraf recognises this, and knows that his position in now untenable. To this end he has sought to strike a deal with the very politicians he promised to remove from Pakistan due to their corruption. Chief among these corrupt traitors has been Benazir Bhutto. Recent months have seen America and Britain act as match makers, eager to facilitate the political marriage of Musharraf and Bhutto with the preliminary meetings held in Dubai and London.
Bhutto who was deemed so corrupt that even Nawaz Sharif appeared respectable has been courted by Musharraf in an attempt to split the opposition and present a civilian face to his regime. The fact that both Musharraf and Bhutto have come to an apparent deal with corruption charges being dropped marks a complete u-turn of their previous positions towards one another. It clearly shows their prevalence of desperate self interest at the expense of the nation so as to hold the reigns of power and vie for America’s affections.
Pakistan will not be saved from its current course by either a new General or the return of a failed, corrupt politician to prop up Musharraf.
Pakistan has tried all forms of ruling, from direct colonisation to democracy to dictatorship in an attempt to progress, yet it has failed. It is time for Pakistan to structure its politics and institutions along the Islamic creed and ideology so that it offers constant and comprehensive solutions for its problems. It is time for Pakistan to shed its baggage of corruption and realise the goal of its inception, to be a homeland for Muslims where they can live by Islam and Islam alone.