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From General to Mr Pervez Musharraf

03 October, 2007

By Syed A. Mateen


It seems that all is set to go for re-election of President General Pervez Musharraf after General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani has been promoted as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. After the re-election of the President, General Pervez Musharaff is going to doff his army uniform and will become a Civilian President and in future he will be addressed as “Mr. Pervez Musharraf”.

 

I do not foresee any hurdle in President’s re-election after the verdict was announced by Supreme Court of Pakistan and the acceptance of the nomination papers of General Pervez Musharraf by the Election Commissioner.

The nation has to wait for couple of more days when the presidential election will take place on October 6, 2007 and the legislators will once again elect General Pervez Musharraf as president so that he should become Mr. Pervez Musharraf for the next five years term.

General Pervez Musharraf has joined Pakistan Military Academy in 1961 and was commissioned in Artillery Regiment in 1964. During last forty-three years, General Pervez Mussarraf has served army in different grades and cadres.

After doffing his army uniform, General Musharraf will become “Civilian President”, and at the beginning, it would be a difficult task for General Pervez Musharraf to change his mindset after remaining with the army for forty-three years, when presently the lawyers and opposition political parties are agitating against his re-election in the country.

There is a lot of ill-feeling among different segments of society against the President. The issue has taken a new turn when the lawyers, journalists and members of the civil society were severely beaten by the brutal police of Islamabad at the Constitution Avenue, in which many lawyers, journalists and members of the civil society got seriously injured.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan has taken suo moto notice and consequently Ministry of Interior has suspended Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Chaudhry Mohammad Ali, Inspector General of Police Moravet Ali Shah and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Dr Naeem Khan.

Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has also formed a bench consisting of Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokar and Justice Raja Fayyaz.  The bench has issued contempt notices to the Deputy Commissioner, IG of Islamabad and Magistrate Irfan Ahmad and have been asked to explain their position as why they should not be punished for contempt of court for firing teargas shells inside the Supreme Court premises.

This was all going on in Islamabad when the President having all the powers could not stop the brutal police of Islamabad, who was severely beating lawyers, journalists and other members of the civil society.

After doffing army uniform, it will become essential for the President General Pervez Musharraf to take into confidence the lawyer’s community, journalists and the members of civil society in order to pave the way for holding peaceful, transparent, free and fair general elections in the country.

The matter of re-election of the President should not become a matter of life and death for people representing different segments of the society. The matter should be dealt by the president in a way that it should create a congenial environment, so that general elections should be held according to its scheduled programme.

Since General Pervez Musharraf after doffing his uniform will be relieved off from army duty, I would request the President to spare more time in solving the problems of hundreds of thousands of the citizens, who have been denied the rights of getting justice in the country.

Among a lot of other priorities, the first thing which President should take care after becoming the “Civilian President” is to eradicate the menace of corruption which now-a-days has become the order of the day. The corruption starts when the government officials take bribe from the innocent citizens in facilitating them to get their jobs done and the poor citizens who are unaware of their rights pay bribe to government officials in order to get their jobs done. 

For eradicating extremism and terrorism from the country, the President has to ensure that the country should run according to the Constitution of Pakistan. All amendments made during the tenure when President remains as Chief of Army Staff should be deleted by the present assemblies and Pakistan should be governed by the original Constitution of 1973.

I would like to conclude my letter by saying that extremism and terrorism from the country cannot be eradicated when our young generation has been brought up under the “shadow of the guns” when martial law, emergency and military rule was imposed in the country, time and again.

While General Musharraf is leaving his gun behind and will become a Civilian President on November 15, 2007, I would request the President to make sure that in future no person in the country should impose martial law, emergency or military rule, if we really want to see our young generation to become honourable members of the society, instead they become walking bombs and militants.

Solving problems of the society with a civilian mindset would be more appropriate for the country. Our young generation, who has all the potential to do all the good things for the country, could not set a straight direction, due to lack of real democracy and civilian leadership in the country.

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