I find Musharraf’s return baffling at this point in all the political commotion and upheaval. No sane person would have returned from a safe haven like Dubai and London to face three murder trials, the Benazir, Lal Masjid and Akbar Bugti, a number of high treason petitions and violation of article 6 charges, a host of hostile political parties and civil society organizations, an army with a no-nonsense and an indifferent attitude and on the top of it all with no political future. Agreed, he is not that brilliant, but he is not that stupid either to return to the lion’s den

Does he have any chance of winning a seat or two for his party other than probably his own? Would he be contented to be just an MNA and listen to the speeches of people he never considered his equals? Is he ready to play someone’s second fiddle? If not, what is he doing and at this time of history in Pakistan? The reason behind his sudden arrival came to mind when I tried to analyze the cliché ‘What’s in it for me?’ It seems as if he has been sent on a special mission, what with Qadri coming out of nowhere and highlighting Articles 62, 63, 215 and 218 hereto unknown, become a common language. Now there is the factor of an independent ECP supported by the SCP, unexpected caretakers at national and provincial levels. The reopening of cases of NRO, ‘fake degrees’, Asghar Khan petition, funding of politicians, media persons, bank defaulters all seem to aim at disqualifying the bulk of the stalwarts of all political parties.

If Article 62/63 is implemented strictly, would a huge number of the disqualified bigwigs take it lying down? I don’t think so. Then what? Of course agitations, strikes, and bloody clashes would ensue! MQM has already proclaimed its lack of trust in the ECP, so has PML-N, though mildly. Others affected parties may follow suit. Punjab caretaker CM has said in a press conference that he can’t guarantee full implementation of 62/63! What does it all boil down to? Chaos and confusion, near anarchy and the law and order situation at the time of the polls may become horrifying. The man in the street is already crying hoarse that Musharraf’s period was thousand times better than that of these democratically elected ones! So, why hold elections? Would you, therefore, be surprised if Musharraf is ‘given’ again to the nation to assuage its miseries!

Now don’t ask how and who could ‘gives’ Musharraf to us, who gave us Sethi? The USA is the main partner in what happens in Pakistan; don’t they have to pull out of Afghanistan next year, with almost 600 billion dollars of war machinery and equipment? Would they not need an assured safe passage for that? Do you think Imran will provide them that? So many mysteries and so many hidden factors playing deadly games behind the curtains in Pakistan, while simple public moans and cries about local everyday issues.

COL RIAZ JAFRI (R),

Rawalpindi, March 29.