I am prepared to accept gracefully the charge of being anti-democracy, while stating that I was among those countless Pakistanis who had celebrated the fall of Nawaz Sharif after the sunset of October 12, 1999. It was for me the end of a nightmare. This man’s corruption and anti-people policies had brought Pakistan to the brink of bankruptcy. I had witnessed how he alongwith his finance minister Ishaque Dar had manipulated the glorious occasion of ‘Pakistan going at par with India in the nuclear area’ for his selfish goals. Do you remember the freezing of foreign currency accounts? That had come in the wake of a huge flight of capital abroad by a Nawaz –Dar network.
Today people know a lot more about Nawaz’s exploits in the realm of mega-corruption and money-laundering than they knew at that time.
At that time Nawaz stood hidden behind a strong anti-Bhutto sentiment. He had cleverly bracketed corruption exclusively with Zardari—and in the process projected his own image as Mr Clean.
He had even at that time created inroads into India for his commercial goals. The famous Vajpaee bus-visit to Lahore after some hectic back-channel contacts, was a climactic moment in this project.
General Musharraf first spoiled the party by his Kargil adventure which I believe re-kindled the dying Kashmir issue. Then on the 12th of October 1999 the General hit back with vengeance. I am using the phrase ‘hit back’ for the simple reason that Nawaz had fired the first shot by dismissing the General in his absence and then by attempting a plane-hijacking to complete his mission.
My case against Musharraf is not that he violated the Article 6 of the constitution, but that he failed to eliminate two major menaces from Pakistan’s politics. I hold him responsible for the return of Mr Asif Zardari and Mr Nawaz Sharif.