Monday, 18 November 2013

Musharraf: treason against Pakistan?

The Musharraf trial is motivated by revenge in a country where justice is applied selectively. 

Pervez Musharraf

On Sunday Pakistanis learnt that former military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, will stand trial for treason. The announcement was made by Federal Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who only two weeks earlier had described a US drone strike against Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, as 'counterproductive'. Khan, who had spent the last few months negotiating with Mehsud's terrorist organisation, said his death had 'murdered the hope and progress for peace in the region'

So, in the eyes of this Pakistan government, the killing of a man who had orchestrated a decade long bombing campaign causing the deaths of almost 50,000 Pakistanis - many of whom were children - was 'counterproductive'. (The Taliban's own response to the drone attack was less measured; they promised to 'teach a lesson to the Pakistan government' by killing anyone they can lay their hands on). 

Mehsud had apparently been negotiating with Pakistani authorities from the North Waziristan region. The government were either unwilling or unable to imprison this mass murderer and so let him roam free while employing a policy of placation. The reverential treatment of Mehsud is routine in Pakistan, where the Shia, Christian and Ahmadi victims of terrible attacks tell stories of how some officials are unwilling to even register complaints against bloodthirsty religious extremists.  

Now Musharraf was no angel; he was a military dictator who let the US drones into Pakistan, eroding the country's sovereignty. All the same, was Musharraf's alleged crime - imposing emergency rule in 2007 on the same country which last weekend imposed military control on the cities of Rawalpindi, Kohut and Hangu after clashes between Sunnis and Shias - really so much more treacherous than the countless, unpunished murders committed by Mehsud and his cohorts? So why is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government so enthusiastically enforcing the law when it comes to Musharraf? Call me cynical, but perhaps the policy of 'justice for some' is related to the fact Sharif's last government was brought to an end in a military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. @Taalay
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