Ran­dom thoughts

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL - Dr A Q Khan

THE whole na­tion was wit­ness to Mushar­raf's boast­ful state­ments over the past two years, claim­ing: "I am not afraid of any­thing", "I will face the courts" etc. Where is he now? Fled like a thief in the night! Our well-known de­fence an­a­lyst and for­mer army of­fi­cer, Ikram Se­h­gal, dubbed Mushar­raf as a "G T Road General" - based on the fact that Mushar­raf's whole ca­reer was spent mov­ing from one place to an­other along the G T Road. He never took ac­tive part in any war, never fired a shot at the en­emy and never faced en­emy fire. How ironic that such a man be­came re­spon­si­ble for our na­tional safety. A sim­i­lar case was that of Yahya Khan, and the coun­try was bro­ken up.

Now our G T Road General has

'fled' the coun­try - a coun­try seething with blood, ter­ror­ism, sui­cide at­tacks, at­tacks on our jawans and in­no­cent civil­ians, a coun­try serv­ing as mer­ce­nar­ies to the Amer­i­cans. We are now a di­vided na­tion killing each other. Our sol­diers are not fac­ing bul­lets from out­siders but from the enemies within; and all this be­cause our G T Road General buck­led down at one phone call, a threat. He lied, telling us that if he had not ac­cepted US de­mands they would have pushed us back into the stone age, and that In­dia would have agreed to pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties.

The In­di­ans, hav­ing no com­mon bor­der with Afghanistan, could not have done any­thing. The other coun­try, in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to as­sist, was Iran. They had Ban­dar Ab­bas, a large port, and a mo­tor­way right up to the Afghan bor­der. But they lacked one thing - a cow­ardly ruler. The US did not dare to threaten Iran or use that coun­try to at­tack and de­stroy Afghanistan. But the US knew Mushar­raf would com­ply. He not only agreed to all their de­mands, but gave them even more than they asked for.

Even his clos­est col­leagues in the army did not know what was go­ing on and he did not con­sult the air and naval chiefs ei­ther. Amer­i­can doc­u­ments re­veal this and the fact that they hated him for sell­ing our sovereignty and na­tional in­ter­ests. The per­son who was con­sid­ered a usurper, a dic­ta­tor, a pariah, sud­denly be­came Amer­ica's 'dar­ling' for sell­ing our na­tional in­ter­ests.

We all saw his real face when he made ex­cuses, claim­ing to be se­verely sick, ev­ery time a court or­dered him to ap­pear be­fore it. The claim that treat­ment for back pain was not avail­able in the coun­try does not ring true. I was op­er­ated upon for near paral­y­sis by Prof Dr Khaliq uz Za­man and his wife, Prof Dr Sam­ina Khaliq, both top­notch neu­ro­sur­geons, and am once again walk­ing nor­mally and liv­ing a full life. My dear friend, Ad­mi­ral Saeed Muham­mad Khan, was op­er­ated upon at Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi for a back prob­lem and re­cov­ered well. Nei­ther Ad­mi­ral Saeed Khan nor I asked the gov­ern­ment to send us abroad for treat­ment. We know that Mushar­raf's claim is a lie.

Our G T Road General has promised to re­turn af­ter treat­ment. I have se­ri­ous doubts. Did Hus­sain Haqqani re­turn af­ter mak­ing a sim­i­lar prom­ise? Only mar­tial law can bring Mushar­raf back and that won't hap­pen again. Be­fore leav­ing the coun­try he claimed to be prac­ti­cally at death's door, but we all saw him climb­ing the steps of the plane, walk­ing and smok­ing as if he didn't have a care in the world. The next day, de­spite his se­ri­ous ' con­di­tion', he was pre­sid­ing over a meet­ing of his po­lit­i­cal party. With due re­spect, I beg to sub­mit that the ju­di­ciary did not play its role well. They have wide pow­ers and could eas­ily have de­clared his bun­ga­low a sub-jail, heard the case and passed judge­ment. If con­victed, it would have been up to the PM and the pres­i­dent to de­cide whether he should be par­doned or not. He has been al­lowed to walk away; and none of those who pre­vi­ously talked big on the is­sue protested. The in­te­rior min­is­ter now says Mushar­raf did not give any guar­an­tee to re­turn if re­quired to do so by court. The whole episode leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths. I knew Mushar­raf when he was corps com­man­der Mangla. I used to re­ceive se­nior Malaysian of­fi­cers who came to Pak­istan in con­nec­tion with as­sis­tance to Bos­nian Mus­lims. One Gen Is­mael once told me that he knew Mushar­raf as they had been to­gether dur­ing train­ing in

Eng­land. He asked if he could meet him and I in­vited Mushar­raf to have din­ner with us. I also in­vited him, as a courtesy, when we launched 'Ghauri' on April 6, 1998 be­cause the Tilla Range was in his area. He was hes­i­tant to ac­cept as he had not been in­vited by Gen Je­hangir Kara­mat and Gen Zul­fiqar Ali Khan, DG Weapons and Equip­ment, at­tached with the CGS/COAS, who was help­ing us with strate­gic sup­port. Those in­vited sat on top of a small build­ing about 200 me­tres from the launch­ing pad.

Mushar­raf was clearly not sober and I made known my dis­plea­sure by telling him that this was an aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sion and that his be­hav­iour was most in­ap­pro­pri­ate. I guess he never forgot that snub and I was to pay for it later. I can nar­rate many in­stances of un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions and per­sonal vin­dic­tive­ness.

Mushar­raf hosted a farewell din­ner for Dr Ish­faq (re­tir­ing at the same time) and me. In his farewell speech he eu­lo­gised my ser­vices in su­perla­tive terms, but those words were soon for­got­ten when he went all-out, once again to please his Amer­i­can 'masters', to char­ac­ter as­sas­si­nate me by all means avail­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.