By FARAH MAZHAR
Former President Musharraf failed in the most basic task the Pakistani people expected of him: To reform the destructive Pakistani politics. He shunned good advice, allied with the corrupt and then passed NRO, bringing to power all those who were tried, tested and discredited in the 1990s. For educated Pakistanis to spend money from their own pockets to come down to London and rally in Mr. Musharraf’s support, it means something. Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Asif Zardari would have to pay money to organize such events and even then they wouldn’t attract most educated middle class Pakistanis. So why these people are spending their own money to organize this event despite Mr. Musharraf’s failures? This shows how disappointed most Pakistanis have become with the politics and the political system in their homeland. Nowhere else in the world are politics so violent, destructive and monopolized by a few like they are in Pakistan. [Editorial by PakNationalists in Islamabad.] [
Reporting, article and pictures below by Farah Mazhar in London representing The Musharraf Supporters Alliance UK.]
Monday, 17 August 2009.
LONDON, England—Thank you very much for yesterday. I think it was a brilliant effort and display of passion for President Musharraf.
It was organized by a small group of volunteers, The Musharraf Supporters Alliance UK.
I was really amazed by the enthusiasm of many who had travelled from various Universities and other cities just by receiving the message from the Internet.
There were people from all walks of life, particularly the elderly who said they had huge concerns regarding Pakistan and who criticized the leadership of Zardari and Nawaz and CJ Chaudhry. They also criticized the meddling of Britain’s Lord Nazir in Pakistani politics.
They further said it is their concern for Pakistan that has brought them out and to the street. They consider Musharraf has a thought process and grip on all the national and international challenges Pakistan faces at present.
Most of the people were politically aware, disillusioned at the current situation of Pakistan and tired of seeing a new chapter of the ‘tug of war’ politics of Nawaz, CJ Chaudhry, Zardari and their joint revenge policies against Musharraf, who had a reconciliatory approach towards all of them.
It was heartening to see many young ladies and their support for Musharraf. It is for the first time that educated young students from Pakistan came to support a political leader. Norm of Pakistani society is that women just support or attend the rally wherever their father or brother accompanies them.
Yesterday I think every individual who came there had made a sacrifice of their time, faced the delays of London Underground, spent money from their pockets and came to support Musharraf without getting any benefit out of it. Whereas the rallies organized by Nawaz and PPP are funded from the pockets of their party ‘owner-leaders’.
Yesterdays protest was fuelled with passion of Musharraf Supporters. Remind you the call for this rally did not come from Pervez Musharraf.
Everyone present considered Musharraf a moderate leader who facilitated democracy and the core message was:
"Musharraf might be in uniform when he took the office but in past eight years he has transformed and emerged as a mature politician. Despite the manner in which both Nawaz and Zardari won votes, there is every likelihood that people still would like to see Musharraf back into power."
Media people asked some interesting questions one of them being
1. Do you Support what Musharraf did at Lal Masjid?
Response was: If whatever happened at Red Mosque was wrong than whatever action present government is taking in Swat is wrong
If Swat is right now then Red Mosque was right as well.
2. The most asked question was: Do you support a dictator?
The response was different but two versions I will quote:
a. Musharraf was never a dictator. Musharraf gave us freedom of expression and civil liberties.
b. We would never support military rule but during Musharraf’s reign, it was not military rule.
Musharraf was more of a civil general and much better than the dictatorial and autocratic Nawaz and Zardari who like act and behave as dictators and crave absolute powers.
Also there was a visible shift in people’s thoughts and their perception. A realization is growing that a democracy under PPP and Nawaz is worse than Musharraf’s rule. Therefore, they support Musharraf.
There were people from working class as well who attended the rally.