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Musharraf interview – Kamran Shahid

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Musharraf interview on Frontline with Kamran Shahid on Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009

Kamran Shahid, representing the younger, and possible more urbane (i.e. post-newspaper era) journalists, who has previously conducted reasonably combatitive interviews with other politicians, here tackles Musharraf.

This interview encapsulates nicely the disparate arguments given earlier in the series “Why Musharraf Was Removed” on this youtube channel (and on this blog).

The answer is that Musharraf was considered cooperative but not totally servile.

Servile observance is much more forthcoming from the feudal elements of Pakistan. They are used to that model of behaviour where their slaves are servile, while they themselves are servile to a bigger entity.

From expansion of drone bases to expansion of U.S. “diplomatic mission” to many acres of land right next to centers of power in Islamabad. And the proliferation of Blackwater (or whatever new name it has acquired) presence.

Also some well placed criticism of the “journalists” like Ahmed Rashid, who sit in the U.S. and act like all too keen advisors. They are akin to the native american scouts who helped Europeans to expand into North America to the detriment of their own people.

However even Ahmed Rashid is probably better than some of the wolf-in-sheeps-clothing “journalists” like Hamid Mir and some others, who are not presenters of truth, but presenters of controversy. Thus they did not highlight the real and budding problems for Pakistan ahead of time, and then wind up blaming Musharraf for them – for example the power crisis.

Although the power crisis is exacerbated by the PPP government’s refusal to pay the IPPs (independent power producers), and negotiation of newer power contracts at higher rates (perhaps is a way to strongarm the IPPs to pay “commission” to Zardari), there still was a (albeit smaller) crisis in the making because of all the consumer electronics (ballooning of airconditioners) which ramped up consumption.

Where were the big business interests (once again they demonstrate how big business in Pakistan has not graduated from the “Seth” mentality seeking political favour under one leadership or the other regardless of the overall policy impact for Pakistan), and where were the media in highlight the imminent power crisis.

Also the blind spot in the media to the reality of the “Lawyer’s movement”. Their lack of focus on why the Supreme Judicial Council failed to examine the accusations against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The financial backing by Benazir to get better terms in NRO negotiations and after the departure of the PPP “former-Jiyala” lawyers, the resuscitation by Nawaz Sharif to a movement that mustered few lawyers, though it compensated with support from Nawaz Sharif voting base.

Add to this the presence of foreign funding to Geo and AAJ TV in the form of payments for airing VOA programs.

And you have the makings of a perfect storm of media coverage that covers one side of the story, but chooses to keep quiet about the moderating caveats in the story. This “movement” has been likened to the “mass uprising” in Iran against the Mossadegh government by Zaid Hamid (the Brasstacks defence analyst). The anti-Mossadegh movement was a CIA operation to remove a leader who was being seen as constraining for U.S. interest at that time.

Although realistically, in the case of Musharraf, even if there was a need for “regime change” by the U.S. it was probably a combination of getting better terms for drone flights, expansion of U.S. embassy as well as reintroducing the policial figures back into Pakistan.

This was a need probably realized by Musharraf himself – the removal of the political forces (which includes feudal and entrenched forces) had created a vacuum, which rather than being filled by educated youth and new idealistic leaders wound up being filled by the religious forces which were primed (with weapons) following the Afghan wars, Saudi funding (proxy war against Iran) and drug money to crimianl elements in FATA.

The corruption probes had mainly affected PPP and PML-N (and PML-Q some of who had been forgiven for exigency sake). Many cases were instigated by PPP or PML-N themselves against the other – and not Musharraf. The cases had languished in courts and the incompetent (and underpaid) legal system had not handled them well. In the absence of these political forces, the “religious” parties saw great opportunity (as if there can be such a thing in Islam – since what is a “religious” in a state full of muslims ?).

The fallout of 911 and the activated anti-U.S. sentiment did not help either – as the religious parties could make that their banner (even though when the time comes they would kowtow to the U.S. even more). Thus the religious parties used this time to foment domestic dissention at a time of great foreign threat to Pakistan.

On the other hand, it may have been used by Musharraf as well – NOT as media is prone to say to “bolster his own position” – but to argue for why Pakistan ‘could not do more”. Yet few in the media understood or bothered to care for these undercurrents.

1/5 Musharraf interview – Frontline with Kamran Shahid – Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009
2/5 Musharraf interview – Frontline with Kamran Shahid – Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009
3/5 Musharraf interview – Frontline with Kamran Shahid – Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009
4/5 Musharraf interview – Frontline with Kamran Shahid – Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009
5/5 Musharraf interview – Frontline with Kamran Shahid – Express News TV – Sept 13, 2009

Mohammed Mosaddeq


One Response

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  1. The interviw was fabulous. We really like the way you asked him questions. Keep on the great game.


    November 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

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