A dictator can’t be a father-figure

I read H.K. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Better Musharraf leaves on his own than told to do so” (Feb 20) and share his word of wisdom, “No one supports a loser in the harsh world of politics”. Mr Musharraf “has had his day” and now he must put in his papers gracefully. Mr Musharraf’s political power stands decimated and he cannot foist himself as “father-figure” on the people of Pakistan. I find a great deal of conviction in the writer’s forceful argument: “a father figure emerges out of love of people, not their pent-up hatred.”

Despite people’s victory against the military dictator, I also feel like the writer that the Pakistan Army “will be watching from the sidelines for another fling with the political power”. Even then, the election results have demoralised the pro-US dictator in Pakistan, and now his is busy talking about “reconciliation”. He may wish to live under the assumed name of “father figure” but even that will remain a remote idea in near future as he has so far treated the public opinion with derision and contempt.

The writer has offered a saner advice to the people by suggesting that the politicians who have won the elections should not indulge in corruption but work for the collective welfare of the common people of Pakistan.




Mr Musharraf had become so entrenched in his seat that he had begun to treat Pakistan as his fiefdom. All norms and regulations were thrown to the wind to cling on to power like a limpet. His onslaught on Pakistan’s judicial independence will long be remembered as a dark chapter. The treatment to the Supreme Court Chief Justice was meant to demean and demoralise him because he was not willing to be a partner to the military regime in the blatant and persistent violation of civil and political rights.

Mr Musharraf deported two elected Prime Ministers, giving credence to the belief that Pakistan history is replete with incidents of rulers being overthrown. The parties voted to power have been reiterating that Musharraf has done enough wrong to the democracy and is not acceptable to them. He would do well to quit as President forthwith.



The people of Pakistan have indeed displayed grit and determination in voting for democracy. As a retired soldier, I feel that General Kiyani has so far performed with dignity. He will perhaps not meddle in the political affairs. Apparently, this motivated the people to vote for candidates of their choice.

Mr Dua has rightly advised the Pakistani politicians to avoid fighting among themselves just for the sake of power as this would give a free handle to the President to take control of the situation. Asif Ali Zardari’s serious image problem may work against his fight to oust the President. Let the people who have emerged from the shadows of long years of authoritarian regime force the leaders to deliver the results.



Mr Dua has rightly advised President Musharraf to quit gracefully along with the obliging Supreme Court Judges after his party’s rout in the elections. The President, a product of outdated feudalism, can still dismiss an elected Prime Minister, under the illegal Emergency powers.

Mr Musharraf’s impeachment is not possible because the new ruling coalition has no two-thirds majority in the House. However, the need of the hour is the reinstatement of the deposed Chief Justice as also other upright judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.



President Musharraf’s policies have all along been self-centred and not in national interest. He has destroyed with impunity the executive, the judiciary and gagged people’s liberties. He buried democracy beyond redemption. The Army’s image has been tarnished and the people want it back in barracks. The economy is in a shambles. The peoples have given a clear mandate against him.

Mr Musharraf has always been playing second fiddle to the US in fighting the so-called war on terror which has incited Al Qaeda and other radicals against him. He had exiled the late Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif on motivated grounds. Mr Asaf Ali Zardari, PPP Chairman, was also detained in jail for eight years.

The Opposition parties are now bent upon harassing the President for imposing Emergency, abrogating the Constitution and dismissing the Supreme Court judges. Pakistan’s future will be in jeopardy if the President clings on to power. He must quit.



President Musharraf must heed Mr Dua’s sane advice, quit office and make way for the elected representatives to go ahead with the task of forming a popular government. The Opposition victory in the February 18 elections to the National Assembly very clearly indicates that people have rejected the King’s Party (PML-Q). Mr Dua has aptly punctured Mr Musharraf’s assertion that he will act as a “father-figure” thus: “He did not know perhaps that a father-figure emerges out of love of the people, not their pent-up hatred.”

Since democracy has been badly derailed during the long spell of dictatorship, the major task before the new regime would be to put democratic institutions back on the rails. The honour of the country’s judiciary will have to be revived by reinstating the sacked judges including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhary.

IQBAL SINGH,Bijhari (Hamirpur)


Old pension formula

I read Tilak Raj Sharma’s letter, “Apply old formula” (Feb 6). I don’t think that the Parkash Singh Badal government had referred this issue to the Punjab Pay Commission. For, neither the application of the old pension formula is an anomaly nor a new demand, but it is just their right for the sake of parity (the disparity created by the Punjab government for no fault of the pensioners).

Such pensioners desire that the Punjab government came forward to apply the old pension formula with retrospective effect, i.e. from July 2003 and not October 2006 so that the losses suffered by some pensioners (of July 2003 to October 2006), many of them now senior citizens and in their evening of life, are made good. The government should explore the possibility of removing the disparity expeditiously.

S.D.SHARMA, Shahpurkandi Township



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |