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Has General Musharraf Prepared Ground For Disintegration of Pakistan?

All serious analysts agree that the foundation of separation of East Pakistan was laid by general Ayub Khan. Had Ayub Khan not imposed martial law in 1958, Pakistan would have avoided circumstances that led to separation of East Pakistan in 1971.


General Musharraf has exactly done what general Ayub Khan did during his rule from 1958 to 1968. He has laid the foundation of dismemberment of remainder of Pakistan. The longer general Musharraf stays in power, the chances of dismemberment of Pakistan will become more imminent.


Former prime ministers, Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, regardless of mutual tug of war, rejuvenated Pakistan during 1988-1999. They took several successful steps to pull Pakistan away from the shadows of Generals Ayub, Yahya and Zia. They revived peoples’ confidence in Pakistan. They made Pakistan a real entity which Pakistan’s internal and external opponents eventually accepted as a reality that was not going to wither away. The people of Pakistan put martial law behind for ever. They started believing in Pakistan’s future and they stopped talking about its demise.


General Musharraf reversed all these things on October 12, 1999. He moved Pakistan’s clock back on October 8, 1958. Another Ayub Khan emerged on the scene and motion was set in to undo what had been achieved during fledgling democracy during 1988 to 1999.


Right now, Pakistan is going through the phase of 1968 to 1971. It’s the same chaos, same lawlessness, same disbelief in Pakistan’s future, and same struggles in Balochistan and Waziristan. GHQ’s scenario, generals’ priorities and behavior, is also same as described by Hamoodur Rehman report prior to 1971 tragedy.


Unfortunately, general Musharraf’s behavior, outlook and thinking are not any different. In many ways he is worse than general Yahya Khan. He lacks general Yahya Khan’s qualities, but has his many times inflated idiosyncrasies.  


In his view, things are not as bad in Balochistan. “The situation in Balochistan is not like 1971”, he assures Pakistanis in his statements, but people don’t trust his words. As a matter of fact the people of Pakistan don’t trust whole Musharraf regime at all. “They are liars”, that is how many people describe Musharraf regime.


There are several reasons behind peoples’ this view of Musharraf regime and their faltering confidence in the future of their country. First and foremost reason is the gap between the rosy picture Musharraf’s exponents paint and the harsh ground realities of Pakistani society: Officially, economy is growing at the rate of 8% and foreign exchange reserves are record high, but people are committing suicides because that is the only way out for them from massive poverty.  Officially, general Musharraf believes in enlightened moderation, but practically he behaves most ruthlessly. His many political opponents are in jail for life time, many newspapers and journalists have disappeared without a trace, whereas many criminals have become governors and ministers. Apparently, he is fighting war against terrorism, but his allies in government have been running terrorist camps, still committing terrorist acts against their local and international opponents and blaming others for these crimes.


Politically, he has imposed a barren system on Pakistan. He insists it is democracy, but practically he has blocked political process in the country. Parliament which he insists will complete its term is more like a brothel house which has only catered or satisfied general Musharraf’s dirty desires throughout its existence.  


During his 6 ˝ years (mis)rule, general Musharraf has not only reactivated Pakistan’s all old political fault lines he has created many new fault lines which are more deadly, destructive and ferocious.


In our view, general Musharraf has prepared the ground for Pakistan’s further division and dismemberment.


It is a bleak scenario. However, general Musharraf can reverse this process by resigning and handing over power to Chief Justice of Supreme Court. Chief Justice should hold elections within three months and hand over power to the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.



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