Pakistan: Showdown of a showcase state

What has General Pervez Musharraf done for the country of Pakistan? In my opinion, nothing. Our Dear ‘dictator’ has done nothing to improve the quality of life in the state of Pakistan. Instead he has focused on enhancing an image which runs on the approval of the west; a view that apparently takes Pakistan into a much talked about ‘enlightened moderation’ – banishing extremists and supposed militant jihadis – Thus creating the ‘showcase state’. Pakistan may today be on centre-stage in the global arena, but it is comparable to a sixty year old car which although has a polished and shiny exterioir, is totally busted from inside. The past eight months have exposed this car  revealing it completely, standing on all fours, with a ghastly spotlight, glaring upon it.

So long for being figurative, the civil society of Pakistan, for the last nine years has been almost deaf, dumb and blind; confused into thinking that they are the most modern societies of the world; not least because they now get free SIMs, 50 odd channels and a Fashion TV owned by a Pakistani organization (note that interestingly enough FTV Pakistan is banned in India because of its content). But instead, for the last fifty years, Pakistan has been slipping away to corrupt corporate hands via the back door, without knowledge or concern of its people. Even Pakistan’s largest telecommunication network, PTCL was sold for a quick buck, and if somebody had not called on the Supreme Court Pakistan’s Steel Sill would have been sold too. It seemed, until then, that nobody cared. 

The mindset of the people of Pakistan truly began to change post March 2007, when the real face of Musharrf was exposed. From there onwards the path of Gen. Musharraf went downhill and awareness amongst the masses has increased. But so desperate for power he is, that Mushrraf seemed to make one blunder after another. Some say he has no chance of being let alive if he steps out of Government Head Quarters or the President’s house and that is the reason that he is craving for power. It seems funny, but it could be true – Musharraf has made an array of enemies in his regime, and of course the King’s party, which is also going to be blown away with the removal of Musharraf.

The only thing that makes this second coup any different from the first is that Pakistan’s students are now standing against it. The Editorial in the Dawn describes the situation:

Apart from what future does this student protest have, it’s remarkable for another extremely important reason. Poster-children of Pervez Musharraf’s enlightened moderation and economic upswing that he claims to have ushered in, the students of these elite institutions were least expected to speak up against his policies. Now that they have done so, catching the analysts and media on the wrong foot, they show how widespread the anger against Musharraf is.”

Dawn, 11-11-07, Protest on Lahore campuses

Thus the only good thing resulting from Musharra’s self-imposed emergency has been the growing realization and sentiment against a dictator that has no right to govern the state of Pakistan. Never, I believe has a coup been opposed this vehemently in such a short time in Pakistan. Pakistanis have the reputation of being a dead nation, because it is hardly ever that we stand up for our rights. Hopefully this time we will.

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