Sher Afgan Khan Strange are the ways of Pakistani politics. The reflex of our rulers seems to be "when in deep crisis, involve foreign friends for a bailout." It does little to our national self-esteem, which takes a dip each time such a distress call is sent out. Are we really such an immature nation that our political leaders cannot resolve national issues amongst themselves and need mediators from abroad? The case in point is the recent approach made to His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the despatch, to Riyadh, of our trouble shooting Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, as the country's special emissary carrying an important letter for the king. Government's claims to the contrary notwithstanding Malik's meeting with the Saudi monarch resulted in an almost immediate visit of former President Musharraf to Saudi Arabia as the King's guest. His audience with the Saudi King, after flying into the Kingdom in the latter's special plane from London, was not without symbolic significance i.e. those amongst Pakistan's political leaders calling for the former president's trial for treason should "lay off." Mushahid Hussain Syed was spot on when he told a local TV channel, a couple of days back, that the most likely result of the former president's visit to Saudi Arabia was to pour cold water on all the hype that the PML-N had generated for an early trial of Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution. By staying the course on his professed policy priority, Nawaz Sharif will further establish his credentials as a man who honours his word. The whole process will be most salutary for the long term interests of the country as politicians will come into their own with our rulers no longer having to look over their shoulders in perpetual fear of being removed by wielders of the stick. The majesty of justice would have been established and our presently mauled and aberrant state institutions put back on secure and solid foundations. Apologists for Musharraf's non-trial are putting forth untenable arguments that the trial of the former COAS will, in addition to being a humbling act of a major institution of state, also result in instability and uncertainty. I do not see how such a scenario is being conjured up when no such consideration came in the way of the trial of a democratically elected prime minister of the country who was not only tried but also sent to the gallows. What earthly reason should hold us now from the trail of a person who violated his oath of service and the country's constitution? For me nothing is greater than Pakistan's honour, which has been violated four times by men on horseback. A start has to be made so that the defenders of our borders never again violate its constitution and then get away with it. We should, once for all, do away with the abhorrent attitude of "business as usual" and allow coup makers to walk away into the sunset. It is indeed most depressing that on such an important juncture of our national life we should seek intercession of friends from abroad. As mentioned by Ambassador Zafar Hilaly in his article appearing in a local English Daily of September 4, 2009, the Saudi good offices were used for the first time during the PNA movement in 1977 when the Saudi Ambassador Mr Riyaz Al Khateeb was made the pointman to hold parleys with the government and opposition. This trend has obviously continued and regrettably the net of the so-called "brokers" has widened to include some other friendly countries who now consider it a matter of obligation or right to give unsolicited advice on how best to handle Pakistan's domestic affairs. Some of these friends have even underwritten unsavoury deals, which undermine state institutions. Does any other self-respecting country, even in our neighbourhood, look beyond their borders for intercession by friends? We should have the friendliest of relations with Saudi Arabia, and other self-appointed honest brokers but to seek their intercession for sorting out our very own internal problems, is highly unbecoming of a self-respecting nation. No foreign country should have any business whatsoever to overtly or covertly interfere in our domestic matters. Returning to the subject of the trial of Musharraf, I would like to state that he might have had a premonition that his trial was ordained. In July 2004 he had come to Turkey, as guest of the Turkish president, on his first holiday with his extended family. I was serving as ambassador in Ankara. During the 10 days he spent in Turkey, I found him to be a person of many graces. So was true of all his immediate family members, which is only reflective of good upbringing. I didn't discern any overbearing or snootiness in their demeanour. During this trip one day, atop a mountain restaurant, in the exquisite Ottoman capital and one of the most imposing cities of Europe and Asia-Istanbul - his escort officer pointed to the Island of Yassiada in the Marmarra Sea, and said: "Mr President this is where former Turkish PM Adnan Menderes was held and tried before his execution on September 17, 1961." I cannot forget the manner in which Musharraf kept on staring for a considerable length of time at the island. I may be wrong but I got a clear impression that somewhere in the general's inner recesses he had an eerie feeling that one day he might meet a similar fate. The parallel is not exact though. In the case of Adnan Menderes, the trial was carried out by an adhoc military court trying a popular democratic leader. If the Musharraf trial ever takes place it will be of a military dictator who toppled a legitimate government and would be tried by their Lordships of the country's Supreme Court. Being a great believer in the paramountcy of civilian power, I hope that Nawaz Sharif will continue in his historic demand and not backtrack even if Saudi pressure is brought to bear upon him. I also sincerely hope that our political leaders and rulers will find it possible to fully rid us of outside interfering friends in our domestic affairs. The writer is a former ambassador and special secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs