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
    MyTake
    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?
    Reply
    1. M
      MyTake
      Oct 1, 2016 at 8:16 am
      Islam, specially jehad and democracy does not go together!!
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        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!
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          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!
          Reply
          1. L
            Lalu
            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.
            Reply
            1. S
              SubbuI
              Oct 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm
              THIS MUSHRAF GUY IS REAL JOKER. SOME TIME HE TALKS SO RUBBISH THAT YOU FEEL STILL SOME BODY CARE FOR HIS VIEWS IN EITHER IN INDIA OR STAN FOR THAT MATTER IN THE WORLD .HE IS ASPENT FORCE IN STHAN AND STHAN LAW IS NOT VERY KIND TO HIM. HIS VIEWS ARE BETTER LEFT ALONE AND SPEND HIS BALANCE LIFE FEARING AANATION BY HIS OWN COUNTRY MEN
              Reply
              1. A
                aravind
                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.
                Reply
                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.
                  Reply
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