Sunday, February 22, 2009

Give the devil his due...

The vexed 60 year Kashmir Issue was almost resolved with backdoor diplomacy - Washingtonpost.
Don't get me wrong. I am no admirer of any dictator or any landlords purportedly to be leaders of the people of Pakistan but let's give the devil his due which our sense of fairplay demands. Was it this desire to etch his name in history and do something for Pakistan that he somehow wanted to complete his tenure and accomplish something before he left? Probably yes.
It now transpires that he was close to a deal with India on Kashmir. I have posted the link above that will tell you all about it. Now this was no small achievement. It is terribly sad that a single mistake of Shaukat Aziz let this fellow down. This is a classic example of what happens when you are surrounded by not true leaders but cronies.

While he did a lot of good he was the victim of his own policies in so many areas, there is no denying that but one thing that hurt him most was the media that could not digest the newfound freedom granted by him. They started biting the master that freed him. So much of scorn was aimed at him so thoughtlessly that the thinkers in Pakistan were forced to think if it was not harming the national interests. Now it seems their fears were not unfounded.

The report says that there was going to be almost no border in Kashmir and Indian troops were going to be withdrawn. That was a huge success for the people of Kashmir. But then Musharraf's popularity spiralled down so much that India found it easy to wriggle out of it. One wonders how and when could we get to that point again.

It is fashionable to blame Musharraf for every thing but let's not ignore the good the guy did.
His intense backdoor diplomacy that we now know may have been the factor he wanted to cling to power as long as he could and get some results. Apart from picking on him for overthrowing an elected government you can't much attack him. He was engaging India positively, dealing with the a Neocon President in Washington - wonder if any other president could have done any different and the country was cruising ok.

While there was growing insurgency in NWFP due to the Taliban and AlQaeda factor, the country was doing well economically. I bet there was more prosperity somehow. Foreign exchange reserves were swelling, dollar was holding around Pk.Rs 60, energy was not so expensive, law and order not as bad as now, Pakistan was attracting investment too. Then comes this issue of Judical Reference against Iftiqar M. Choudhry and all hell breaks loose.

What people do not talk about which I want to do now is the way he brought back the politicians into the country. If he wanted he could have carried on somehow with Muslim League Q etc. But he brought back Benazir and in the end even brought home Nawaz Sharif. They owe their political existence to him. You may argue adinfinitum on the merits or demerits of NRO but the fact remains he ensured free and fair elections and handed over the power to the politicians.


Jameel said...

Exactly he did some very good things along with some terrible. For Kashmir no body did better. His performance in Agra was second to none. I think the present government should carry on from he left. It is high time they started it.

Iftikar Bhutto said...

Poor guy did not get time enough and these selfish politicians screwed up.