Democracy has not been tailored to Pakistan environment: Pervez Musharraf

"Army has always had a role since our independence. It has played a very prominent role in the governance of Pakistan, mainly because of misgovernance by all the so-called democratically-elected governments," Musharraf said

By: PTI | Washington | Updated: October 1, 2016 7:55 am
Pervez Musharraf, musharraf, pakistan, pak, pakistan army, pakistan government, pak govt, pak army, army, governance, world news, indian express Pakistan: Former President Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf also alleged that the United States has used his country at its convenience and ditched it. (Source: File)

The army has often played a prominent role in the governance of Pakistan as democracy has not been tailored to its environment, the country’s former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has said.

“Army has always had a role since our independence. It has played a very prominent role in the governance of Pakistan, mainly because of misgovernance by all the so-called democratically-elected governments,” Musharraf said in an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here on Thursday.

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He said the “inherent weakness” of Pakistan is that democracy in the country has not been tailored in accordance with the dictates of the environment. “There are no checks and balances within the system. The constitution doesn’t provide those checks and balances.”

“Therefore, the military is forced and pulled, sucked into the political environment, especially when misgovernance is going on and Pakistan is going down in all socioeconomic indicators. The public and the people massively run towards the army chief, and that is how the army gets involved,” Musharraf said, justifying the frequent military coups in the country.

He said this was the reason for Pakistan having military governments and the army enjoying high stature.

“The people of Pakistan love the army and demand a lot from it. So I’m very proud of the fact that army has backed me because I’ve been with them for over 40 years. I fought wars with them, I’ve fought two wars and I’ve fought a number of actions with them. So I know they are my constituency,” he said in response to a question.

“So, therefore, we have to maybe tailor the political structure in accordance with the dictates of Pakistan, introduce checks and balances so that misgovernance does not take place and the army does not have to come into politics,” Musharraf said.

He also alleged that the United States has used his country at its convenience and ditched it.

Musharraf said he has plans to return to his country. “I know that the trial is all politicised. One has to face it. And no risk, no gain, as they say,” he said, adding that he would not go back if the government in Pakistan was performing well.

“I have no such ambition of going back and ruling again. I just want people to run Pakistan well, because Pakistan is my passion,” he said.

However, the former president put forth conditions for his return.

“I’m not that foolhardy. So therefore, I would like to see the correct environment where a political change, the third political force is a possibility. I would like to see that the cases are to a degree at a level where my movements are not restricted, the cases can continue, I’ll face them,” he said.

“I want my movement not to be restricted because I realise that unless I lead from the front, I wouldn’t be able to generate the public support that I would require to create the third front,” he argued.

Claiming that he did not knew that Osama bin Laden was living in Pakistan, Musharraf objected to his hideout being called a palace.

Constructing a wall outside one home, he said, is a “normal thing” in that part of his country, so bin Laden living in a house fenced with a high wall was nothing that could have been thought of as unusual.

Musharraf said he had doubts whether bin Laden had indeed lived at his Abbottabad house for five years.

“Maybe he was going and coming, I still believe that. And if he was there in one of the — in one of the public gatherings where I was being grilled on this aspect, I finally said that the man living for five years in one room with three wives and 18 children, I think he must have rang up CIA himself and declared that he’s there,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.

Musharraf also said that if he was in power, he would be “counter-threatening” India in the wake of the recent surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“…they are threatening us that they are going to strike us at the time and place of their choosing. Now, this has been said by nobody less than Prime Minister, defence minister and the director general of military operations. This is a very serious matter,” he said.

“I think the war hysteria that is being created in India, I repeat, India, not in Pakistan, is an issue. They do that always. This is not the only time. Every time they do that,” Musharraf said.

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  1. M
    Oct 1, 2016 at 8:27 am
    (Claiming that he did not knew that Osama bin Laden was living in stan, Musharraf objected to his hideout being called a palace.)lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Really? Do you even expect many to respond to this knowing the sum and substance of what makes Paksitani establishment?
    1. M
      Oct 1, 2016 at 8:16 am
      Islam, specially jehad and democracy does not go together!!
      1. M
        Oct 1, 2016 at 8:24 am
        stan's only democracy is to hate India to the content of their heart! Using that as backstay one can go only that far when things start to bummerangue on itself!lt;br/gt;Result: even Musharaf chooses to live outside the country where he once ruled! What proof does he need to prove the point of failure of the system he subscribes to!
        1. M
          Oct 1, 2016 at 8:19 am
          What to speak of democracy even different denominations within Islamic fold will have difficulties living together! It is all to do with intolerance that is inherent is Islam, fueled by its desire to use religion for political ends!
          1. L
            Oct 1, 2016 at 7:28 am
            Pervert Musharaf says he fought several wars but failed to say that he lost all of them, particularly the last one which humiliated him in addition to the defeat. army is the most important industrial group in Pak and has invested over 25 billion dollars in different industries. Pervert now indicates that one of his stooges will throw out Nawaz.
            1. S
              Oct 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm
              1. A
                Oct 1, 2016 at 8:03 am
                If Mustaf did know Binladin was living under his chair, he is foolding the world or he was not fit to be ruling stan. Regarding his comments on war of words from India, he should have first spoken about the cross border raid his fostered terrosists did; he should have spoken about the poison fuming from Hafis Sa and other groups, the safe heavon given to Masood Ashar, Dawood Ibrahim ... many to speak ahout. Mushraf just want to be in lime light! He is no different or more whatever other stani Army are.
                1. D
                  Dev Verma
                  Oct 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm
                  Jub mushraf jaisay y hon to democracy ho hi nahin sakti. All s deserves to be in a cage.
                  1. d
                    Oct 1, 2016 at 8:54 am
                    True . But neither is dictatorship. After all what did stan achieved either in democracy or dictatorship ? Nothing. No industry, no education and practically nothing in any walk of life.stan is as good or bad as African nation, ready for take over or for looting. They still live in 7 century waiting for one more messenger of Allaha ! It's good that India separated, other wise these junglees would not have allowed us to progress.
                    1. P
                      Oct 1, 2016 at 9:09 am
                      There lies the difference between a Jihna and Nehru. Thanks to people like Pundit Nehru and his ilk.
                      1. D
                        Oct 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm
                        What role did Mr. Musharraf and other generals play to support and strengthen democracy in stan? And, does stan's consution support military take-over? It is easy to criticize democratic processes. But, it requires unselfish commitment and dedication to make them work. If the public likes military rule so much, it can change the consution of the country. Also, he lied about his mis-guided adventure in Kargil. It is clear how a greed general, who wants to further his personal agenda, can lead a country to war at the expense of the lives of the soldiers. Musharraf is a power-hungry liar. That much is clear.
                        1. H
                          Oct 2, 2016 at 5:22 pm
                          stanies are looking to pak army for their better and bright future as political system failed to provide relief to them.
                          1. g
                            Oct 1, 2016 at 7:00 am
                            Democracy cannot be found in any of the islamist country.
                            1. R
                              Rakesh Chaubey
                              Oct 1, 2016 at 10:25 am
                              Delhi born India hater thinks he is a Turk just because he studied there. If Army was so badly needed to right the wrongs of democratically elected governments, then the results speak for themselves! This architect of Kargil attacks and Baloch genocide finds a forum on Indian Express?! That's reprihensible!
                              1. J
                                Oct 1, 2016 at 6:50 am
                                Satan talking about vedas.
                                1. L
                                  Lalit Mohan
                                  Oct 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm
                                  On vertex I feel stan is tailored by God to tell the world, how much shameless Islam is all;br/gt;Very soon saudis are going to have same fate.
                                  1. A
                                    Anil G
                                    Oct 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm
                                    Just read stans consution.Its a joke itself,no laws can be made or ped thats against quran or sunnah for example.Theres quite a bunch of stupid stuff written there
                                    1. K
                                      Kartha MN
                                      Oct 1, 2016 at 11:36 am
                                      The wily General who never had any Statesman like qualities went on to become the Prez of Pak and could get welcome at Agra even after being the architect of Kargil. He says he fought several wars but must be said to have acquired or learned no good qualities of a soldier.People like him are there in stan who think that democracy is not suited to them and grab power. Too bad for him to think that stan is not mature to have democracy. Nothing can be expected from such a state but terror that is tailored to the needs of the whims and fancies of people like him. How is different from a trained terrorist is unclear. Unless the people there decide for what is good for them stan would remain a state committed for to terror policy than to the aspirations of the people there who would never know what is fact and fiction unless properly exposed to external system
                                      1. M
                                        Oct 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm
                                        Mushraf forgets that stan was once part of India.People are same.If democracy can work in India ,why not stan.It is only dictators like him who made this country what it is today.To impose their hegemony on the people the military fellows come up with all sorts of silly arguments
                                        1. N
                                          Nitul Bhatt
                                          Oct 1, 2016 at 7:11 am
                                          Look at this bombastic, untermensch ruffian. People running to Army !! what a joke. After losing 3 to 4 wars and condition of their country inspite of direct or indirect Army rule, it seems he is megalomaniac and cannot grasp the situation. U ask about Kargil loss, he prevaricates. Ask him why the begging bowl is still held by Pak leaders to beg from USA, KSA and now China.. No answer. And look at their patriotism, All their past leaders like Musharaf, Nawaz, Bhutto, live overseas in Dubai/London. They never spent a day in stan after they are thrown out. It is sad for the people of stan
                                          1. O
                                            O P
                                            Oct 1, 2016 at 7:05 am
                                            In fact stan has not been tailored for the world environment.☺
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