Pakistani’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been in exile for over a decade to evade arrest on corruption charges by General Musharraf’s military regime. Although the charges were laid by the military regime, but historical record shows Benazir government was at least as corrupt and mismanaged resources as any of the past military or civilian regime in the country.
Dreaming once more to come to power, Benazir has again intensified efforts to sell herself to the power-brokers in the United States. Her article in June 8 Wall Street Journal is indicative of these efforts.
On the other hand she is getting ready for a third deal with the military to come to power. The last two times she came to power was also the result of her behind-the-scene deals with Pakistan military.
It is the United States and the West which are externally scripting the latest deal for her, just in case the situation get totally out of control for General Musharraf and he is left with no option but to leave.
Regrettably, they seem bent to ignore that Pakistan today stands poised at crucial crossroads where a vast spectrum of the Pakistani public been out on the streets clamoring for restoration of truly representative government. Instead, the US wants to change the puppet for continuation of its invisible, indirect occupation of Pakistan.
At such a critical juncture when the masses in Pakistan are within a stone’s throw from getting at least a semblance of democracy restored in Pakistan, it is not surprising that Benazir Bhutto is striking a deal with Pakistan Army for the perpetuation of General Musharraf in power with a quid-pro-quo of herself being absolved from corruption charges, being allowed to return to Pakistan and engineering her party the PPP to emerge as the ‘Kings Party’ in the governing apparatus. Selfishness and continued patronage of the United States make Benazir and other opportunist act treacherously like this.
Musharraf has proved himself to be crafty, duplicitous and unreliable. In the last seven years he has not lived upto his public pledges gives to the Pakistani nation.
Externally, he has been playing in the hands of the United States and India. He has been an active supporter of the United States war of terrorism and occupations. He has killed and allowed the US to kill innocent Pakistanis. He has accepted responsibility for the American butchery of innocent civilians in Pakistan. He revels in a delusionary belief that he is indispensable for Pakistan. He has bartered away Pakistan’s sovereignty to the United States.
Now Benazir is marketing herself as a Western-educated liberal committed to democracy and the rule of law.
In submitting to the concepts of liberalism and secularism, Musharraf has left her far behind. However, she still tries to persuade masters of Pakistan’s destiny that she is the better alternative for the public which is fed up of military dictators at the top. She was no less a puppet for Washington than Musharraf. The Taliban as an instrument of the United States designs in Afghanistan were created by Benazir Bhutto.
Musharraf-Bhutto coalition is in the offing, unless general Musharraf is assassinated by the US and another military general is pushed in his seat to continue his policies for as long as he could. The reason for this is that the United States wants Pakistan army to fight its war of terrorism. A civilian leader would not be in a position to utilize the armed forces as perfectly in the service of the United States as a military general who holds political power as well.
This need is evident from the way the United States and the West support Musharraf’s oppressive regime due to their strong vested strategic interest. This is with special reference to the United States and NATO illegitimate war and continued occupation of Afghanistan.
That’s why former British High Commissioner Sir Mark Lyall Grant was shuttling between Dubai and Islamabad parleying the deal between the two puppets. US Asstt. Secrtary of State, Richar Boucher today has been meeting Benazir in Dubai, combining it with visits to Islamabad. Benazir Bhutto herself has been shuttling to UK and US for lobbying in the revival of her political fortunes.
As expected, the first major impact of the third Benazir Bhutto’s deal with the Pakistan Army would be to divide the forces that are emerging for the restoration of truly representative government in Pakistan and the exit of Musharraf as the military ruler.
Although the problem with the system remains and even in the absence of Mush-Bibi deal, people will have no option but to pick faces from the existing political exploiters. However, the way the movement is growing there are hopes that a political revolution may take roots, which is seriously required to turn the table on vested interests which have occupied Pakistan for so long.
Just like MMA helped the General in constitutionalizing dictatorship, now Benazir will come out to support the continuation of military dictatorship at a time when it is in a deep crisis, and will make it a permanent feature of Pakistani politics.
This amounts to multiple betrayal of Pakistan and Pakistanis by their opportunist leaders on many counts: (1) Pakistani’s 21st century movement for independence, which has been building up for the last two months will get disrupted (2) Political leadership would be once more betraying its own activists who for more then a decade have kept up the political fight in a naÃ¯ve but dedicated manner (3) The actual meaning of Pakistan and the reason for its creation will once more get lost in the daily chorus of freedom, democracy, progress and struggle against extremists.
The encouraging news is that these dirty deals of the so-called Pakistani leadership will make the public realize that they have been deceived, robbed, exploited and lied to for the past 60 years. They lived under the illusion of independence. They lived under colonial systems and way of life in the name of living in “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan. Religious, secular and military leadership is only a bunch of opportunists fighting within the same system for the same limited resources, using different deceptive slogans.
This will polarize the political spectrum in Pakistan even more. Dismayed followers of PPP, MMA and other political parties will gradually break away because of the unprincipled deals all of them have been making with the military dictators at one or another time in their struggle for power.
Political sympathy factor in Pakistan may work heavily in favor of the basic reason, the only justification and the raison d’Ãªtre of Pakistan. In the near future there is a great possibility of a mini-revolution or a civil war in Pakistan in which general public will rise against the elites, who have been sustaining de facto colonization for the past 60 years. There is always a limit to everything and the limits of exploitation, deception and corruption by the military and political leadership in Pakistan are fast approaching as the masses are getting deeper and deeper into the slough of despondence and depths of humiliation and suffering.
An impact which the United States and its allies may be aware of, but discounting it tactically, could be the emergence of a stronger anti-colonialism, anti-western interference, force in Pakistan. By that time it will be too late for the imperial centres in the West to contain the tide because Pakistan is not alone.
Such forces are already coming to fore in Iraq and Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and others would follow. The modern day colonialists would long for their puppets like Musharraf, Benazir, Saddam, King Fahad, Hosnie Mubarak and others when they will become history with the impending success of the Muslims struggle for self-determination.