A. R. Jerral General (retd) Pervez Musharraf has recently launched his faction of Muslim League - All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) - from London. So, the uncertainty is finally over. Some say that power is an addiction, especially in our part of the world. Once there, everyone longs to regain it and, if possible, stay there forever. The General has made a rebid for the same; how will he fare only time will tell. He has relied on one proven fact concerning Pakistans population; we have very short memories. Once bitten, twice shy is an old adage, but it does not apply to people here. We love to undergo the same experience time and again. The former dictator has bet his chances on this trait of the masses. The media says that his press conference where he launched his APML was packed to full, where he announced to return to Pakistan before 2013 elections. He claimed that his new party will be national salvation - a tall claim. When he had ousted the elected government in October 1999, he made similar tall claims. When he left, the nation was virtually at financial collapse and slave to the commands of Uncle Sam. What national salvation he has in mind, only he can tell. The policy lines he has given make an interesting reading; these contain clichs, which appeal to masses. Let us analyse what he has said. I could not watch his press conference on television; my assessment is made from what has appeared in the print media in Pakistan. His statements are cleverly chosen to attract the attention of Pakistani audience who get allured by the mention of the Quran, the Quaid-i- Azam and promises of common mans welfare. His partys manifesto will be governed by three documents, he said. The Holy Quran, the Quaids address of August 11, 1947, and the Objective Resolution. Yet, he claims that his party will follow the strategy of enlightened moderation, how will he balance this he did not elaborate. Quran lays down strict code of conduct in judiciary, economics, interest (riba) and law making. His enlightened moderation, as witnessed during his nine years of rule, made a mockery of even the basic norms of Islam. He has just mentioned Quran to make it palatable to masses in Pakistan. The Objective Resolution is part of our constitution, but has never been implemented; Musharraf knows this fact and has no intention of making it work. This resolution was there when he had absolute power for nine years, he ignored it then; there is no chance that he intends to follow it in future. He has put it in party preamble just to lure the people. He vowed to eradicate nepotism and corruption from the country as these are the biggest curse for any society. These utterances amazingly coming from a person who inducted his boyhood friends and classmates in lucrative government posts. An international banker, his classmate in college was inducted as the Prime Minister of the country; the man has left harrowing tales of corruption and mismanagement. Internal and external threats will be dealt with strongly, the General promises. Such statement coming from a person who capitulated on one phone call does not carry any weight. I recall an address he made in a military officers gathering, in Nowshera, where he said: One ought to bend before a strong gale, if one does not one breaks. The way he gave into the demands of Uncle Sam shows that he follows this axiom strictly. His autobiography, In the Line of Fire, depicts him as a street smart guy who bullied the weak and meek of his neighbourhood. Such persons collapse before anyone who is stronger. The collapse before Mr Bush demonstrated that trait amply. How will he deal strongly with external threats he did not elaborate. Anyone can deal strongly with internal threats; all in power in Pakistan have done that from time to time. He knows it; he is the one who is held responsible for the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti. In the same breath, he vowed to deal strongly with terrorism till it is eliminated. This is a deliberate attempt to appease the US for political support in his bid for a comeback. At this time, fight against terror is centred around FATA and Afghanistan. So, what he has tacitly implied in his statement is that when he regains power in Pakistan, the present policy regarding fight against terrorism will continue 'in Pakistan. This may tilt American support in his favour. He claims the authorship of slogan Pakistan First (sab se pehlay Pakistan), yet he is the one who pardoned all those who have looted Pakistan and paved the way for them to indulge in further loot through the infamous NRO. Now, he blames his advisors for this 'mistake. He has accepted that he made mistakes - rather a late confession - while in power he never admitted making any. Even now he says that the reasons for those mistakes he will announce when he comes back. What it implies, let me return, elect me to the office and I shall tell you why I made those mistakes. Now, he realises that signing the NRO was a blunder and seeks forgiveness of the nation; indeed, it is called rubbing salt into the wound. During his press conference, he asserted the need for check and balance on the President, Prime Minister and Army Chief. However, this sounds comical coming from a man who sacked his Chief Justice for the same idea. He was the President and COAS and while he ruled the country, he did not like any check then. Besides, if put in power again there is no earthly reason that he would like to see his powers curtailed; he is certainly playing with the sentiments of people. What Musharraf has gambled on is the political track record of the masses in Pakistan. We, the people in Pakistan, have time and again voted the same faces to power, despite the fact that every time they let us down. We are an emotional group of people who develop a cult following in politics, or are victims of wishful thinking. Here, politics is played as family heritage and those who follow them are motivated by personal gains and social benefits; country takes secondary place in this arena. Musharraf has understood this psyche of the masses well and he has bet on this weakness of the people. Some politicians are vocal in his support already and they attended his meeting in London; some are waiting in the wings here who will he on the wagon, if he meets some positive response from a section of people. There will be some who will wait and see and decide later. This is how it has been in the past and will be in future too. Although there are voices in Pakistan who are opposing Musharrafs return, yet there is a need to put a collective national struggle to tell him in loud and clear terms that he is not welcome as an aspirant political figure; however, he can return as an ordinary citizen. It is time the people in Pakistan let it be known to all that they were not willing to accept those who took this country to ruins and then ran away in foreign lands to escape the miseries they inflicted on people here. We should declare that such leaders have no place in Pakistan; only those will be accepted who love this country, share the miseries and hardships along with the masses and have the courage and conviction to build Pakistan where we can live in peace, prosperity and harmony. The writer is a freelance columnist.