Musharraf would have us believe that had Ms Bhutto been alive today she would have been the PM and he the president. Come of age, general. Don't forget that you have been thrown out by her husband and her party despises you. Your era is long over. You have played havoc with this country. It's your turn now to stand in the dock and face the consequences of selling out our sovereignty and doing the American bidding to perpetuate your rule. You must admit that you were the worst thing that has ever happened to this country. The nation would not let you disappear quietly into the pages of history. That their lordships have baulked at issuing a binding summons makes the chances of Musharraf's personal appearance before the 14-member Supreme Court Bench, currently hearing a constitutional petition, remote. But that doesn't automatically exclude the possibility of his being tried for treason if he decides to come back home and face any criminal proceeding initiated against him on the charges of subverting the constitution. There is no disputing the assertion that the Supreme Court will have to take extra care to ensure that there is no element of personal grudge involved since all the 14 judges on the Bench were the victims of Emergency. The issue is obviously complex. Much at the stake would be the judiciary's own credibility and fairness of the process. It has to avoid walking into the trap of those seeking revenge in the guise of justice But when the atmosphere in the country is hostile against Musharraf and everyone thinks that he is indefensible there is little likelihood of his returning home and defending his decision to issue Proclamation of Emergency, sack 60 superior court judges and put them under detention along with their families. Talking to an Indian television channel he insisted: "I'm prepared to fight any legal case brought against me. One has to face realities on (the) ground and I will face them." Easier said than done Musharraf must be aware of the fate of many of the despots like him who were banished from their countries in the past. The fear of retribution had prevented them from going back home. Being the most repressive dictator the country has ever seen he knows his crimes were simply unpardonable. If he thinks he can drag in the army to support him in the event of any adverse court verdict he must be grossly mistaken since the acts he had committed while in power had brought the institution into disrepute. Then who else is going to be his sympathiser? The pygmies whom he had launched into the corridors of power but found them turning their back on him as soon as he had been ousted from the presidency? But they were not to be blamed. Despite their repeated pledges to elect him as president in uniform over and over again he made a treacherous move to dislodge them from the party in a bid to take over its control. If he still has any penchant for active politics, the MQM and Karachi can be his best bet. But he can well imagine the situation he might have to face even as a backbencher in the National Assembly. Who is going to tolerate his presence in the House? The Baloch: Are they going to forgive him for the cold-blooded murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti? Are they going to forgive him for thousands of incidents of mysterious kidnappings or killings carried out by the intelligence sleuths on his orders? Are they going to forgive him for the frequent bombings of civilian populations carried out by our sacred saviours under his command? They will be justified in holding him accountable for handing over the fellow Baloch to Americans to be transported to Guantanamo Bay for investigation on the suspicion of their links with terrorist networks. Their only crime was that they had been seeking protection of their rights and resources. And what explanation he will have to offer to the people of the tribal areas? For much of the time he was in power the presidency and every other organ of the state under it - the dysfunctional executive and the rubberstamp Parliament - turned a blind eye to indiscriminate killings of innocent tribesmen in missile strikes from across the border. Musharraf and his spineless comrades-in-uniform got so used to being bullied by their foreign masters that they didn't have the courage to even lodge a protest with the Bush Administration over the massacre of children in a madrassa attacked by the US forces. Musharraf spent time either doing the American bidding or touring the world and preaching tolerance but he didn't learn to live in peace with his own people. For them he was a tyrant who made them suffer more than the Chileans had suffered under General Pinochet. Those guilty of war crimes deserve no different treatment.