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Showing posts from August, 2013

Our masters' impunity

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was indicted this month for the murder of Benazir Bhutto. He was charged with “murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation of murder.” It is a matter of public record that the security agencies that were answerable to Musharraf, who was a powerful dictator at the time when Ms Bhutto was assassinated, engaged in behaviour that amounts to a cover-up and resulted in the destruction of vital evidence. An article adapted from Heraldo Muñoz’s forthcoming book, Getting Away with Murder, was recently published in the magazine Foreign Affairs, highlighting such a cover-up. Muñoz headed the special UN Commission that investigated the assassination of Ms Bhutto.

While General Musharraf’s indictment is quite symbolic in a country where the military has directly ruled for more than three decades, most analysts believe he will be set free sooner or later. Being a general in the Pakistan Army means you are immensely powerful. Being the army chief means you…

Decline and fall of the general

Decline and fall of General Pervez Musharraf

High on his popularity on social media (Facebook 'likes' and Twitter followers) and misled by party workers that Pakistanis wanted him to come back, General (retired) Pervez Musharraf returned to a country he once ruled.

That act of hubris has landed him in the dock for murder. On August 20, Musharraf was indicted by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi for the December 27, 2007 assassination of two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto. "He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder and facilitation of murder," Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar told AFP.

Musharraf's farmhouse in Chak Shahzad on Islamabad's outskirts was declared a sub-jail by the courts. Gossip is, he lives a comfortable life there. He watches TV, reads newspapers, smokes cigars, drinks Scotch every evening and is in touch with the world. Pakistani political prisoners have never seen such luxury.

Time is another luxury the general has. H…

A rollercoaster ride

Freedom from colonialism is something worth celebrating but as Pakistan fights for its survival, it was hard to be in a celebratory mood this August 14. Being an optimist (some may call me an ‘idealist’), I have always been hopeful that my country will one day defeat all its inner demons and be at peace with itself. I am still an optimist but the mindless violence around me has all but sapped my spirit and energy. I am sure there are other Pakistanis who feel the same way. Despite our weariness, we trudge along in search of something meaningful … in search of fulfilment … in search of a new dawn.

To many it may seem as if Pakistan is in a self-destructive mode but that is not entirely true. There is still hope. Despite terror threats, we saw an increase in voter turnout in the recent general elections. It showed us that the people of Pakistan want to have a better future and won’t give up. Living in Pakistan is like a rollercoaster ride: it is rough, has its ups and downs but in the …

Scandalising the courts

The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan has come under criticism in recent days. On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court Bar Association adopted a resolution demanding presidential references against CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry and two other SC judges for allegedly violating the constitution by rescheduling the presidential elections. Then came another blow. Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim resigned on Wednesday.

According to a report published in Dawn, the CEC saw the SC’s decision to reschedule the presidential elections as an “encroachment into the domain of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)” and an “attack on the independence of the ECP”. On top of that, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has been asked to appear before the SC today (August 2) to explain his remarks against the apex court. Khan had alleged in a press conference that the ECP and the judiciary played a role in rigging the general elections. The contempt notice sa…