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The Good General - more Indian praise for CE!

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    The Good General - more Indian praise for CE!

    Has the Indian press fallen in love with our CE? Now I find a third article in an Indian newspaper praising the qualities of our great leader

    Rajiv Shukla

    The good general

    Those who are trying to undermine General Pervez Musharraf obviously don't understand his personality, style of functioning and strategy. So far, he has not created any hype for his regime in the international arena and has deliberately maintained a low profile. He knew he would have to first generate wider acceptability for himself on the domestic front, then go for a global image.

    As far as his own country is concerned, he has established himself well. People by and large have accepted him as the ruler, though, of course, this may be primarily a reaction to Nawaz Sharief's misrule. Secondly, the people of Pakistan are so used to military regimes that the kind of political system in the country hardly makes any difference to them. They feel as good under army rule as they do in a democracy.

    During my recent visit to Pakistan, I noticed that everything is normal and that the government machinery is taking instructions from serving and retired army officers who have been given different responsibilities by the military ruler. The political parties seem to be in very bad shape as the Muslim League is virtually on the verge of a split. Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of the deposed prime minister, has not been able to keep the flock together as she has never been in politics and was a housewife till her husband was jailed.

    The People's Party is in equally bad shape as Benazir Bhutto is hardly ever in Pakistan. Most of the time she is in London and only visits Dubai to find out what is happening in her country. She is apprehensive of being arrested by the Musharraf regime. Her husband has also been languishing in jail for more than three years now.

    Musharraf seems to be quite a straightforward person who speaks what he feels. But going by the way he speaks, one cannot help feeling that he cannot continue for very long as the head of Pakistan. Once you are in office you have to be very guarded in your language and cautious in your policy statements. He himself realises this and after a media conference in Islamabad, he returned to take the mike and apologise to those whom he had inadvertently hurt with his words.

    Earlier he had virtually snubbed a journalist from Bangladesh who tried to remind Musharraf of the atrocities committed by Pakistani forces in East Pakistan in 1971. The journalist asked this question when Musharraf was talking about the so-called excesses of Indian forces in the Kashmir Valley.

    At the end of the media conference, Indian media personnel, by and large, were impressed by Musharraf's straightforwardness. In fact, he did not parry any question. He also spoke on a one-to-one basis with a number of Indian journalists and tried to cultivate them in his own way, a habit typical of the late General Zia-ul-Haq. Though I would go so far as to say that those who are trying to compare General Musharraf with General Zia are doing an injustice to the former.

    What I strongly believe is that given the opportunity, Musharraf will surpass General Zia as a military ruler. He will see to it that Nawaz Sharief does not acquire martyrdom, so much so that even if a court sentences Sharif to death, Musharraf will pardon him.

    He has already acquired legal sanctity for his regime by wrangling a three-year time frame to restore democracy from the Supreme Court. This he has obtained knowing full well that three years is a long time and that perhaps he can influence "democracy" in these three years to take such shape as he wants it to. There may be an elected government under a military ruler, for instance. He has also deliberately coined a new designation for himself -- chief executive -- as he does not want to be called a martial law administrator.

    He is now enjoying all the powers that General Zia used to enjoy in his time, without even being called a martial law ruler. He has placed the president, who is supposed to be the head of the country, above himself. Though of course, in effect, the president has virtually no role to play and all powers are vested with the chief executive.

    Musharraf is doing all this to avoid a confrontation with the various institutions. He realises the discontent in Baluchistan and the feelings of separation in this tribal-dominated province. He is trying to woo them by giving them an express highway and some industrial establishments.

    As far as India is concerned, on one hand, he is talking about resumption of dialogues on various issues, including Kashmir (not Kashmir alone as was his earlier stand), while on the other he is comparing the Kashmir situation with Afghanistan, justifying the term jehad as used by him. This is a significant development and India needs to be very careful after this statement.

    The last and most important factor for Musharraf is his identity. He is a Mohajir by virtue of being from Delhi. His wife is from Lucknow. He also knows the feelings of Punjabis and Sindhis towards a Mohajir ruler. The general perception in the media is that Punjabi generals will not let him continue for long. This could be one reason why he is taking decisions after consulting a core group of the military's top brass. At the same time, he has not given any preferential treatment or concessions to the Mohajirs.

    never trust a crooked hindu baniya... the fact that indians are speaking goof of musharraf is enuf to throw him out...


      We cannot rule sub-continent again unless we are 10 times better than Indians...a distant dream?

      Sarfraz Khan


        Musharraf has handled matters pretty well so far. quite liberal and easy going when needed, but prepared to put his foot down hard when being pushed too hard. Other than the fact that he is a General, the critics can't really throw too much mud at him.

        ZZ, it is a credit to some of your Indian journalists if they are prepared to recognise his qualities.


          Xtreme, I am happy that u have become a supporter of liberalism. Keep the spirit up. Dont shout too mucgh though. There are bearded blokes looking over the shoulder.
          I was just reminding that praise from Indian journalists has been a bad omen for Pakistani rulers. Nwasz sharif made it an election plank to make peace with India and Indian journalists praised him quite a bit. look where he is now.
          atif ruling india is a good aim. u start with that and then take over burma, then thailand and so on.



            I am not necessarily a supporter of liberalism. Just people who get the job done. Musharraf is too popular in Pakistan right now. No chance of him being thrown out. As for the bearded blokes, I would rather have them on our side than against, thanks.


              I agree he seems a straghtforward person.
              He seems to have realised the troubles his country is facing.

              He is good for Pakistan, not necessarily for India.

              I feel things have gone so far between the countries that whichever rulereven hints at peace with India risks expulsion from office.

              So every ruler of Pakistan finds himself in a bind.

              They can't win a conventional war and they can't reign in the bearded ones.

              So they keep the pot boiling.

              I do agree that he sounds to be a sincere person


                His behavior is not surprising -- he should be seen as acting tough against India to please the public and he's doing that. Nothing wrong in that. However he can't expect a "soft" attitude from India if he's wants to be seen bullying us into a settlement. If he's going to act tough, he'll find even tougher people across the border.


                  It great to see Indian journalist giving good and mature analysis not swayed by emotions. This will help average Indian to understand the power structure - CEO, military and Mullahs back their government in dealing with them.


                    I knew from day one that this man would be different and indeed he is. Indian praise for him is nothing like NS because the CE has earned respect for putting Pakistan first - getting rid of NS to begin with, salvaging the economy, by a successful tax drive, a responsible nuclear policy, genuine peace overtures etc. Through these policies he has won respect and legitimacy - and confused his enemies at the same time!


                      >>a responsible nuclear policy, genuine peace overtures<<

                      He is blowing hot and cold at the same time, he has no room to maneuver, Mullah at one side and strong and unrelenting India on the other. He would need more than ambigious signals he is sending India. I don't think he has any thing to offer to India hope for peace or friendship for a long time. India can afford to adopt wait and see attitude.


                        Hence my point that you people are confused Rani? General Musharraf has not given India one excuse (internally or externally) to cause trouble for Pakistan... indeed he has gone quite a way in getting his government repect and legitimacy. Not only are the Indian press queuing up to interview and praise our beloved CE, but the Americans are praising him publicly, and the British are dying to sell weapons to Pakistan.


                          >>I don't think he has any thing to offer to India hope for peace or friendship for a long time. India can afford to adopt wait and see attitude.

                          wait for what Rani?

                          If Inda wants peace it will have to agree to talks over the Kashmir issue, otherwise no peace. if they want war, well, this is why the madrassahs are useful. we have plenty of volunteers who want war as well.

                          And they dont. ever. stop.



                            >>If Inda wants peace it will have to agree to talks over the Kashmir issue<<

                            Why would India ever want to talk ?

                            Consider this
                            1948 Kashmir issue was in UN the whole World was involved.

                            1965 War - Tashkent Agreement India,Russia & Pakistan were involved.The issue was trilateral.

                            1971 War Shimla Agreemnet India & Pakistan are the only parties involved.
                            The issue is Bilateral.

                            What we are waiting for is to make this issue unilateral i.e. an internal issue of India. That is what we are waiting for.


                              Unilateral? With mujahids landing from all corners of the globe?

                              Hell, your brahmin leaders might enjoy it sitting in their offices, but the sikh soldirers who are getting popped off in the frontlines might get a bit sick of it.

                              No problem. 3000 madrassahs. we got somethin for ya