General Musharraf and Engineered Democracy Paper
President Musharraf and Engineered Democracy
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
The period of the Musharraf regime in terms of the political scenario was clearly articulated by The International Crisis Group (ICG) that said that President Pervez Musharraf has been unilaterally instituting political and constitutional changes intended to ensure that generals retain the real power after the Oct 10 elections.
In a latest report titled “Pakistan: Democracy needed not more military rule”, the highly-reputed international group has noted that the Musharraf government is following the pattern of the country’s previous military rulers of carrying out constitutional changes intended to ensure that “the generals retain the real power and any democratic transition falters before it begins.”
I believe that to get things going their way, the Musharraf government had started playing its cards from the very beginning. Probably, they realized that the international community was not going to stand a military regime in a country of geo-strategic importance for an extended period of time. Musharraf had to plan early, plan well and in the process stay well ahead of his adversaries.
After the military coup, General Musharraf sent out a clear message to all by proclaiming himself as the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that he was clearly in control, and was here to stay. He started with suspending the 1973 constitution and promulgating the PCO. The judiciary was made to re-take the oath under the PCO, and Justice Irshad Hassan Khan was made the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, following the refusal of the senior judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Ajmal Mian, to retake the oath under the PCO. By installing the Chief Justic…