By Mahvish Akhtar, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
LAHORE–The President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf said on 60 Minutes, a nationwide TV show in the United States, that Dick Armitage had threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age if he did not agree to help in the war against terror.
I am sure I donâ€™t need to repeat the comments and the controversy surrounding it word by word. You and the entire world has heard it and, have talked about it, and have your own opinions about what is really going on.
What it seems like is that our President of Pakistan has found yet another way of making money and he is going all out.
He has left the safeguard and running of Pakistan to the American government, and he himself is out on a book tour. We have heard him say many things. He came on 60 minutes and talked about comments made by Richard Armitage, but why now?
If he wanted to tell the world about what happened, he could have done that a long time ago. He doesnâ€™t care about the consequences of speaking those words for Pakistan–he cares about the consequences of those words for his book sales. A CBS news crew admitted it was allowed into Pakistanâ€™s nuclear plant to promote â€œthe book.â€
He also showed up on the Jon Stuart Show. We all are very well familiar with that show. Letâ€™s take a wild guess as to how many serving heads of state have shown up on that show. Thatâ€™s right President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is the first one. Usually heads of state donâ€™t have time to waste on such programs. They have dignity to protect and a reputation to maintain as serious and focused people. But no such concern bothered Mr. Musharraf.
He has talked about sensitive issues such as Kargal and the situation with Dr. Qadeer Khan in his memoir. He has talked about why they lost in Kargal and how Dr. Khan turned over important nuclear information to other countries. He has made the life of a sick scientist a spectacle, and the security of his country almost a subplot in his life story.
What is interesting is that all of a sudden he is claiming that the war on terror was to save Pakistan and himself, and not really because he believed in the cause. He claimed in the book that he agreed to help out because he knew Pakistan could not stand up to America, so better to do what they ask rather than defy them. He is now coming out and expressing all his views, whether good or bad, very openly without any fear of anyone. He also wrote in his book that he was given â€œgiftsâ€ of millions of dollars each time he handed over prisoners to America. Could it be that our Gen. Pervez Musharraf has developed a backbone and is not scared of the Bush Administration any more?
Another interesting fact is that after knowing everything he has revealed about the Bush administration and his comments about bombing of Pakistan into the stone age, President Bush (the one who threatened Pakistan into submission all along), does not seem the least bit upset or disgruntled by his clientâ€™s sudden outburst.
It is a scary thing to know that our leader is busy promoting himself and his book with complete disregard for his countryâ€™s condition. I wonder if he has stopped to think how this would affect his countrymen and the political ties of his country to other governments? Some people are saying that he is brave to come out and say the truth and be honest about the situation even though it might reflect negatively on him as a leader. What I fail to understand is that in the history of the world he is the only leader who found this way of being â€œbrave.â€ For a head of state, the safety of his country and political stability is more important than speaking boldly. Even this was an effort to make himself look like a brave and honest man; with complete disregard to the country.
In fact this was an official trip to the US, for the President of Pakistan. But all we heard about and are still hearing about is the book, and the appearances he made on different shows promoting his book. We know all about the comments he made in regards to what he has written in his books and the shows he visited and what the president of the US thinks about his book, yet we have to struggle very hard to find out what official issue the trip was really about, and what meetings and discussions of substance took place. I guess that particular aspect is not important when you have a major book to promote.