Softer Side of Freedom

Posted by sepoy on May 18, 2005 · 3 mins read

Freedom, as they say, is growing in leaps and bounds. And, one of the places it is leaping right over is Pakistan. In an announcement leaked to press, and surprising only to the South Asia Desk at State, The General has decided to "stand for elections after his current term expires in 2007". Of course, this is for the better of all concerned. Right?

I am going to come off as a broken record by now. Here is what they say: The General is good for Pakistan. He can keep the jihadists in check. He is good for the US. He can hunt for UBL. He is good for the economy. He is good for peace with India. He is good guy. He means well. He promises Enlightened Moderation. He shoots straight from the hip. Here is what I say: Bullshit. Give the Pakistani people what they deserve: Democracy.

One must remember, though, that there is no problem that a sychophantic press and a media consultant can't fix. Democracy included. The truth is that this General is not my father's General or my grandfather's General. This General "can talk politics with Manmohan Singh and entertainment with Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukerjee. Democracy, the LFO and coup d'etats aside, the President, to put it in a nutshell, is 'cool'.". COOL, I say. Take that, Mugabe. Take that, Lil' Kim.

In a puff piece that will shame Jeff Gannon, The News International visits The General to find him delighting to some Pakistani pop on his Bang and Olufsen system "which is one of the best sound systems you can buy"; ruminating on Urdu "Even Indian songs are in Urdu"; on the gentler side of Pakistan "Extremists held sway and they pushed the soft face; the art face of Pakistan into the background calling it unñIslamic whereas it is not"; on Art "Islamic art has been embraced and adopted by many in the world. It is known as Islamic art. It is Islamic and we should be very proud of it". Right you are, Mr. President.

To show the world the "soft face" of Pakistan, The General has hired a media advisor: One Mahreen Khan. I wish India Shining on the lot of them. I also breathlessly await the next press briefing from the State Dept. to see what they have to say about freedom in Pakistan.


Ellen Bobi | May 18, 2005

I praise the president Musharraf not on the reasons that he is one of the most powerful, straight forward, enlightend and friendly president; but on the basis that he is sincere to pakistan unlike majority of our known rooted and sprouted politicians. This is misfortune for Pakistan that he is an army man and has no democratic basis. Even then he may be popular by giving mass relief to his nation in the budgets. He knows that he has to harvest thorns sown by his ancestors by taking non-popular and illogical decisions. But he has no choice except to take U turn decsions which were fully backed by the US in the near Past. Had he been accompanied with a few so called master mind politician, he would have done a lot for the development of our country. If US can start wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to maintain peace, General Musharraf is fuuly justified to establish democracy while wearing uniform.

Umar | May 18, 2005

I wonder if his illustrious predecessors can match the fervor with which he defends his Na Pak Fauj's divine right of picking up pieces of prime real estate... Then again, maybe us (bloody civvie) pseudo-intellectuals shouldn't be jealous...

auqil | May 18, 2005

Musharaf is sincere to only one person:himself. All his actions are geared to protect himself. Like the American lawyer said, he had no compunction sellig his mother(land) down the river to save his skin. Anyone who praises Musharaf is either a hypocrite or an enemy of democracy.

Umar | May 18, 2005

Or an army officer... Then again, they are hypocrites and enemies of democracy, so you're right...

Amrit Hallan | May 19, 2005

He is still better than the previously elected democratic leaders. I guess we sometimes get too bogged down by the concept of democracy. Take for example India: does true democracy exist here? I doubt that. True democracy doesn't even exist in America. At a very advanced stage of human civilization we'll be able to grasp the real essence of democracy because democracy greatly hinges on the sense of responsibility.

Amardeep | May 19, 2005

2007! That's still a ways off; it's hardly even news. He'll change his mind three times before then.