Pakistan's political scene is full of dichotomies. Politicians who represent the electorate and are not in the government often end up praying for Messiahs with boots to come and pull the country out of one abyss or another. Intelligentsia who chant for Western ideals of freedom and democracy often end up promoting special non-democratic routes to "technocrat" governance of for a badly governed country. And usurpers end up looking for legitimacy through concocted elections and by (without exception) creating their own Pakistan Muslim League - General Ayub, General Zia, and General Musharraf all followed the same path. Only General Ayub had the courage to leave disgracefully, but retire and die gracefully as an old man surrounded with his grand children.
Unlike his predecessors who by the end of their tenure knew that they are unwanted illegitimate children of hunger for power, General Musharraf still suffers from a delusion of being a Messiah. An illegitimate usurper who's popularity is limited to 312268 (on 02.02.2010) followers in facebook and primarily among the affluent and Westernised urban elite in and outside Pakistan - a minuscule constituency that almost never votes in general elections.
Launching his political party General Musharraf grudgingly acknowledged his lack of popularity among the electorate and apologised for his past"I am aware of the fact that there were some decisions which I took which resulted in negative political repercussions, repercussions which had adverse effects on nation building and national political events, and my popularity also, may I say, plummeted in that last year. I take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to the whole nation. Ladies and gentlemen, only God is infallible."
Can a leopard change its spots: speaking to BBC Radio yesterday General Musharraf was still promoting the case for a military intervention in the Pakistan politics. He is still of the view that western democratic values do not have place in Pakistan and there is a special formula with explicit military role in governance of country is still the answer.
I do, however, agree with General Musharraf that "total despondency and demoralisation and hopelessness which prevails in society today" require some radical changes in Pakistan's political scene. I also believe that as Pakistani citizen Musharraf has a right to get involved in, form a political party and seek a return to power through legitimate constitutional process - provided he demonstrate that he believes in one.
I also believe that people of Pakistan have a right to hold him answerable for unconstitutional acts, excesses and crimes committed during his time in power. He has a right to return to politics. He also has a duty to face the people of Pakistan in a court of law.