Musharraf Seeks US Support to Regain Power in Pakistan
| Virendra Kumar Gaur, Former IG, BSF - 01 Jan 2019

Musharraf Seeks US Support to Regain Power in Pakistan

By V K Gaur

New Delhi, January 1, 2019: General Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani dictator and architect of Kargil infiltration of 1999 that nearly drove India and Pakistan full-fledged Indo -Pak war. In an undated leaked video, he was seen seeking secret US support to regain power. He is aware that the present government of Pakistan under Imran Khan is weak and could be toppled with foreign support.

He was seen in the video telling American lawmakers that he was "ashamed" of the ISI being negligent about the al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts. He is heard saying on video, "All I am saying is, I have certain credentials from the past. I need to come (to power) again and I need to be supported. Not overtly, but in a covert manner. So that we win again."

The video clips were made viral reportedly by dissident Pakistani columnist Gul Bukhari.

Musharraf lives in Dubai since March 2016 after he escaped from Pakistan ostensibly for medical treatment.  He did not return ever since, citing security and health reasons. He is facing the treason case for illegally suspending the Constitution. It is a punishable offence for which he was indicted in 2014. 

Needless to say that Pervez Musharraf a Muhajir( born 11 August 1943 in Delhi and raised in Karachi and Istanbul) was the tenth President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering his resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008.

Musharraf rose to prominence when he was elevated as the head of the Pakistani Armed Forces by then-Prime Minister Sharif in October 1998. He was responsible for Kargil fiasco in 1999. After months of contentious relations with Prime Minister Sharif, he unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf from the army's leadership. In retaliation, he staged a coup d'étatin 1999 which allowed Musharraf to take-over Pakistan and subsequently placed Prime Minister Sharif under house-arrest. Nawaz Sharif finally landed in Adiala Prison for trial.

Musharraf's government was also accused of human rights abuses.

 Musharraf's position was dramatically weakened in early 2008. He tendered his resignation in a threat to face potential impeachment movement led by the ruling Pakistan People's Party in 2008. Musharraf moved to London in self-imposed exile. He later returned to Pakistan to participate in the general elections held in 2013. However, he was faced with

legal battles after the country's high courts issued warrants against him and Aziz for their alleged involvement in the assassinations of Benazir Bhutto and Bugti- the Baloch leader. Musharraf was disqualified from taking part in the elections by High Court judges in April 2013. On 31 March 2014, Musharraf was booked and charged with high treason for implementing emergency rule and suspending the constitution in 2007. \

On 31 August 2017, he was declared an "absconder" by Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court in the verdict of Benazir Bhutto murder case.

Musharraf thinks it is opportune time to stage a comeback. Several factors have made the present Army Chief of Pakistan and Behind the curtain power broker the ISI most powerful. The present incumbent PM is on their mercy. The Political arena is opaque with most of the top leaders trembling under the clutches of powerful lobby managing the operation of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The top court on 24 December banned the sale, purchase and transfer of properties owned by three business groups after a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) submitted its report revealing that Rs42 billion was laundered through 29 fake bank accounts that had also been used to pay expenses of former president Asif Zardari’s home.

The JIT report claimed misdeclaration of assets by Asif Zardari in his nomination papers submitted in the 2018 general elections.

Legal experts say that if JIT’s findings are proven true then Zardari may be disqualified for life time as lawmaker by the Supreme Court under Article 62 (1) (f) of the constitution. His passport has been impounded and foreign visit banned.

Among 600 politicians, bureaucrats, government functionaries, businessmen and others, who are facing NAB’s complaint verification, inquiries, investigations and references are former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Shaukat Aziz and Raja Pervez Ashraf, former Balochistan chief minister Aslam Khan Raisani.

The list of provincial ministers, MNAs and MPAs is large. They belong to PPP, Muslim League MQM etc political parties. Incidentally, no serving armed force officer has referred by NAB to its courts.

In Pakistan, the provinces of Punjab and Sind are politically well organised. Most of the Presidents and Prime Ministers belong to them. PPP, MQM and ML are the main political parties with grass root level followings. However, their leaders face harrowing task to wriggle out of NAB dragnet.

Pervez Musharraf has strong bonds with the rulers of Islamic countries in Asia. He is hopefulthat after harsh utterances by Imran Kahan against US administration consequent to annual monetary aid refusalto Pakistan his Days are numbered. Pakistan is going through rough weather. Its economy is in shambles. The survival of the government will depend on which leader is acceptable to the western powers and simultaneously enjoys support ofarmy and ISI. However, the present day army and ISI are unlikely to support Musharraf.

Photo – Courtesy Pakistan Today / Express Tribune

(The writer Mr VK Gaur is former IG, BSF and has written more than 50 Books on the issues related to Defence, Strategy and Internal security. )

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indian Observer Post and Indian Observer Post does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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