JUST when one thought one had seen all manner of political absurdities in Pakistan, General Musharraf surprises us with another one: an ex-military dictator seeking to make a political comeback through the democratic process And, again, the worn-out but still popular refrain in the West of the dangers of Islamic extremism, is being used as a means of justification for this comeback This has to be yet another cruel joke on the people of Pakistan and their sacrifices in order to build and sustain a democratic political edifice for their state. It is not simply the fact of the dictatorship that is at issue here. It is the devastating legacy of his rule that makes his announcement of a political comeback so galling. After all, it was Musharraf who first created a judicial crisis simply in order to flout the law and constitution; it was him who inflicted the NRO on us and the resurgence of the culture of political corruption; but, perhaps the most devastating for Pakistan was his total kowtowing before the US post-9/11 to an extent that even surprised the Bush Administration. From that day one till the present, the state has used Musharrafs deals with the US in the so-called 'war on terror to continue to oblige the US and gradually destroy not just the social fabric of the country but also its very security. Of course, the present rulers are using this as a mere pretext because they know that secret deals have no legality in international law and therefore if they want they can disown the secret commitments Musharraf made with the US. The country has been rent asunder by terrorism, especially suicide bombings, and continues to see its people killed either by drones or by its own military. All these are Musharrafs legacies as is the aggravation of the Balochistan situation by the murder of Akbar Bugti. The irony is that Musharraf still does not accept the damage he did to Pakistan when he sold the country, and cheaply too, to the US. Nor does he admit his gross mistake vis a vis the judiciary. His regret for the NRO presumably comes because that eventually caused his exit from power Therefore, while Musharraf has apologised for his mistakes, he has not identified them beyond the NRO. With this excess baggage, he has now had the audacity to simply issue a long distance apology and admit that the NRO was a mistake. That is not good enough for the long-suffering people of Pakistan. They need their rulers to be held accountable and Musharraf must also be held accountable for his many crimes against the nation. As a citizen of Pakistan no one can stop him from returning to Pakistan; but, equally, as a citizen he must be subject to the law on all counts of his wrongdoings. To simply enjoy ill-gotten gains in a third country, like other self-exiled leaders, is to tub salt into the nations already deep wounds.