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This is neither Egypt, nor Syria nor Indonesia. This is Pakistan

Notwith-standing the issue of his democratic legitimacy, a consensus to a reasonably large degree can be created on General Pervez Musharraf faring only behind Zalfiqar Ali Bhutto in possessing natural leadership potential and charisma.
Among the others, Ayub Khan had an impressive personality and Zia ul Haque ample guile. Benazir Bhutto can be said to have an edge in brilliance and diplomatic skills, and Mian Nawaz Sharif an affable ‘I-am-one-of-you’ style. I wish H.S. Suharwardy had played a long enough innings to register his greatness in our history but his brilliance unfortunately was not allowed to come into play.
Thus General Pervez Musharraf does not have to worry much about ‘the prospects’ of losing his place (in our history) to any of the visible contenders. Only he himself can succeed in demolishing the image he had created of a daring, dauntless, down-to-earth and determined Pervez Musharraf on the basis of his performance as a leading leader of the developing world. Not till he decided to go back on his declared commitment to shed his uniform before the commencement of the year 2005, did his image start ‘slipping’. Unpopular though his alliance with America in the War on Terror was, there was no dearth of those who were prepared to shower high praise on his ‘skills’ in dealing with a ‘hubris-consumed’ administration led by a President keen to act a step beyond his threats.
But after the U.S reverses in Iraq, and his own unwillingness to demilitarize his leadership, President Musharraf started losing moral high ground, as well as that air of indispensability that had made him look invincible.
General Pervez Musharraf has made no effort to conceal his fear that he would be spineless without the uniform which enables him to preside over the meetings of the commanders. In the first place he needs to remember that eight years are a long enough time for any strong man to reap the benefits of unchallenged, uncontested and authoritarian leadership. If he feels that he has not been able to do enough to change the face of Pakistan, it is his failure. It is time for him to learn to adjust with the rules of power-sharing in both the areas — the military which deserves to have for a change, full-time leadership functioning single-mindedly to upgrade its professional standards—and the political system which cannot remain indefinitely divorced from normal constitutionality simply for the reason that “one man” is not comfortable with less than ‘everything.’
Presdient Musharraf should also learn more about the psyche of the nation he is leading. This is not Egypt or Syria or Indonesia, where the likes of Hosni Mubarak, Hafiz Asad and Suharto can continue to rule indefinitely purely on the strength of their whims. This is Pakistan, which on the one hand has a neighbour that takes pride in being the biggest democracy of the world, and on the other hand was created by a man whose faith in total constitutionality, democratic order and civil rule was legendary. Also Pakistan was colonialized by the Great Britain which left its well-known traditions behind, It was because of these traditions that Ayub Khan had to face a failed revolt in his seventh year (under Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah’s leadership) and a successful one three years later (under the leadership of Bhutto and Asghar Khan)
General Zia ul Haque also managed to hold on for a decade but then look at the fate he met!
General Pervez Musharraf cannot defeat history and its forces. But he can certainly carve his way out of the present crisis by taking a new birth -by throwing away the legacy of ‘the power that emanates from the uniform he wears, then the will of the people can come behind him.
People are supreme Mr President
Not the Army. Nor the Uniform. The army and the uniform have not been mentioned in Al Quran. People have been.
Over and over and again and again.
Treat yourself and the army as a part of the people whose endorsement you need, and whom you want to lead.
Let us join hands— the whole nation — to rethink our priorities and rebuild our resolve to build Pakistan together. Lead us from the front Mr President!

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