Sunday, October 19, 2008
So What's Mush up to?
When politicians get defeated in elections and have to leave office, they still manage to command some column inches in newspapers and some face time on tv, so that people know that a comeback bid is in the works.
But it’s different for ousted military rulers like Parvez Musharraf. It’s strange to think that it’s been exactly two months (and one day) since the former Pakistan president quit office to avoid impeachment. After one or two days of where he might go and what he would do, he disappeared almost entirely from TV and newspapers after dominating them for eight whole years. Pouf! Just like that.
For sure, his name does get invoked a hundred times a day by media, politicians and political pundits, mostly to roundly condemn all his policies. We have also been told he’s spending his time playing golf and bridge with friends. He’s also said to have hosted a dinner for some retiring army buddies at his Army House residence in Pindi. We know he went to Karachi for a few days to be with his daughter. We also know he arrived in Lahore on October 18 and disappeared towards some “secret” destination.
But he’s himself been completely invisible, offering no pearls of wisdom on what’s going on the country
(and plenty is), as if he had all along been just some Parvez on the street with no interest in anything but getting along with his life. Not one interview, not one press conference. That may well have been the condition of his being allowed to remain in the country – that’s another big mystery. Just what exactly was that deal? Everyone knows in their bones that the Pak Army stepped in to protect him from being exiled or prosecuted but there’s nothing more about this.
But in the last two or three days, there have been some teeny-weeny reports, quoting anonymous sources, about his intention of making a “political comeback’ once he moves into his house in Chak Shehzad, the equivalent of Delhi’s Sainik Farm ( btw Chak Shezad is all legal, the similarity is in the population profile -- rich) on the outskirts of Isloo. Apparently, that little piece of architectural candy with slopey green tiled roofs set in four acres is going to become a “hub” of political activities for all those disgruntled with the current dispensation.
I find it hard to believe that Mush is really going to move into that under-construction farmhouse when it’s ready in a couple of months. It’s zero from the security point of view, unless the government barricades the entire area. All those rich neighbours of his must be nervous already about what’s coming to them.
If he does move in and starts holding a political darbar there everyday, what chances of his comeback? In my humble view, Pakistan is nor ready yet for Musharraf Mark II. In the last one year or so, he’s been hated at different time for different reasons. Right now, it’s for dragging the country into the US war in Afghanistan (as if there was a choice!) and almost equally, for bad economic policies that are now threatening to bankrupt and ruin the country so badly that the government has had to get out there with a begging bowl.
But let’s not foreclose any possibilities here…