Uncle Sam, lay off Musharraf impeachment: Pakistani editorial

August 12th, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 12 (IANS) The impending impeachment of President Prevez Musharraf “is entirely a matter for Pakistan and not a matter for the United States to be interfering in”, a stinging editorial in a leading Pakistani newspaper said Tuesday. “Do the Americans think we can be fooled by a couple of old party tricks? The now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t game played by parlour conjurors at children’s parties?

“We may be a little slow sometimes, driving last year’s model rather than this but then we are, after all, a poor nation. We may not be in the fast lane but daft we are not - nor easily fooled after being dragged around on Uncle Sam’s coattails for the last half-century,” the News said in its editorial headlined “Nothing to do with us”.

Another editorial, in the Dawn, said that if Musharraf was tried after being removed from office, “the judicial process should not only be transparent, it should be free from any trace of political vendetta”.

“Allow the constitution to take its course. Let the democratic process work through,” The News said.

“Do you (the US) think you could see your way clear to ensure a secure and honourable stay for him (Musharraf) right here in Pakistan, the country that has just ejected him from the presidency?” it asked and then attempted an answer.

“And just how - given that we are a little slower than you - is it not using your influence to not influence the impeachment process, but the influence you are willing to use post-impeachment has no influence whatsoever over the process itself?

“And given that we are not yet at the point where we even know if the numbers can be mustered for the required majority that would trigger an impeachment, might it not be jumping the gun a little to be planning our president’s future immediately post-impeachment?

“Sounds like an attempt to influence things here, Uncle. Not disengaged at all. Far from neutral,” The News said.

Noting that Musharraf had made it clear that if he loses the game he intends to stay in Pakistan, the editorial said this could “present a bit of a problem in terms of a secure and honourable future, would you not think, given that there are several million people unlikely to wish him well in his retirement?

“Would you be providing the security for him Uncle? A contingent of marines perhaps to protect him while he tends his garden, phones the kids, looks after family business - while you ensure that nobody gets close enough to turn him into a food item?

“Will you do that for us? How kind, generous even. How downright disingenuous of you. And transparently deceitful. The kind of untruth you would feed to a credulous child.

“You will do whatever you can to influence the process by whatever means at your disposal, the global conjuror forever pulling rabbits in and out of hats, the creator of illusion and a master of deception,” The News said.

The editorial ended on a note of pessimism.

“Sadly, our state of co-dependency ensures that we will be together in unhappy embrace for years to come, and you will continue to attempt to influence us and we will continue to resent you - but fear not, you will always be invited to our parties. Be nice if you could change the rabbit now and then, though.”

Dawn, in its editorial headlined “Justice and vendetta”, said: “To repeat a cliché - justice should not only be done, it should be seen to be done”.

In this context, it noted that some leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were making statements “that constitute downright propaganda rather than a serious attempt at accountability”.

In support of this, Dawn pointed out that in an interview with a British newspaper, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari had accused Musharraf of siphoning millions of dollars of American aid, while other leaders had come out with “grave charges in a manner that appears they have already held Musharraf guilty”.

“It is ironical that the author of the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) is now being targeted by the beneficiaries of the infamous law. Not only did the NRO enable politicians of all hues to cleanse their often dirty hands within the country, it also facilitated the ‘whitening’ of millions of dollars stashed away in foreign banks,” Dawn said.

“Would anyone blame the people for being cynical about the credentials of those who lead them whether in civvies or in khaki?” it wondered.

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