Pervez Musharraf has announced a major come back to Pakistan- Part 1

Mr General Retired Pervez Musharraf has announced a major come back to the Pakistani Politics for the next national elections. He has announced that he wants to provide the 3rd option to the Pakistani people with strong leadership.


With the incompetency of the present Pakistani administration, and the resulting deterioration of the Pakistani society, Musharraf’s announcement has fulfilled his fan’s hopes. However, there is a concern among many others. The tenure of Musharraf as the dictator of Pakistan was not the era of idealism in the history of Pakistan as Musharraf might have envisioned. His idealism of Enlightened Modernism came back to hound him and led to his resignation in order to avoid the legal consequences of trashing the Pakistani constitution.

That history aside, I have my own concerns. I liked Pervez Musharraf when he took over Pakistan in a bloodless coup in 1999 and I still do for his personality. He has the leadership skills but his ideals and principles are very worrisome.

If Musharraf would run for the Presidency of Pakistan, people will vote him (actually his party) for his personality not for his (or his party’s) ideals. This is the mental plague the Pakistani people are facing today. The problems of Pakistan will never resolve if this mentality of hero-worship continues. People of Pakistan should look at the ideals & principles of the man and party before they vote.

His Values & Principles:

A] His ideals include Enlightened Moderation:-

In the words of Pervez Musharraf:
“The world has been going through a tumultuous period since the dawn of the 1990s, with no sign of relief in sight. The suffering of the innocents, particularly my brethren in faith — the Muslims — at the hands of militants, extremists and terrorists has made it all the more urgent to bring order to this troubled scene. In this spirit, I would like to set forth a strategy I call Enlightened Moderation.” The Washington Post June 1st 2004, A23.
He explained back in 2004 that this strategy is two-fold. First are the Muslims and that they have to shun violence, and extremism and that they need to be moderate in Islam. The second part of the strategy is the West, especially the United States that it needs to deal the issues of global politics with justice.
There was a fundamental error in the application of this strategy and there still is. United States cannot deal all the issues of global politics with justice because justice would mean going against the interest of the country in many cases or against the interest of the many strong lobbies like AIPAC, which will not happen by the theories of Pervez Musharraf. More interesting, Musharraf’s theory was published in the Washington Post in 2004, and in 2003 our US troops were ordered to occupy Iraq based on made up “facts,” basically lies.
Muslims also can’t follow his interpretation of moderation in Islam, because first Muslims in general have no knowledge about the teachings of Islam. He admitted that “…Muslims are probably the poorest, most uneducated, most powerless and most disunited people in the world…” and without the proper understanding of Islam, Muslim youth will always be open for the various groups to be used for their agendas. During his tenure he did little to reform the educational system of Pakistan, which is another very evident evidence of the lack of sincerity of all the Pakistani administrations, including his and the present one.
If Musharraf really wanted to see Pakistanis to progress in moderation, the curriculum of the education system of Pakistan would have included more courses on Islamic sciences that had provided a proper and authentic interpretation of Islam to the Pakistani Muslim youth[1]. This would have limited the reliance of the Pakistani Muslims to seek even basic understanding of Islam from Maulvis or derogatory referred as Mullahs. In fact, he took a contrary course of action. He went onto the reformation of the Madaris (plural of Madrasa- a Islamic seminary), an attempt that has failed in all the previous administrations. The result is that the Pakistanis are now further polarized on racial lines, political lines, and even about the ideology of Two-Nation theory, the sole reason and argument based on which Pakistan came into being in August, 1947.
Islam is a way of life, and it is moderate if practiced and established appropriately. Musharraf did not do that, in fact based on his actions it felt to many that he just wanted to see Islam less in public. Labels like liberals vs. conservative took ground and conservative came to mean as religious fanatics, and liberals came to mean as people against Islam. The glimpse of it can be seen at many Pakistani blogs. I think even Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s innovative and contradictory slogan of “Islamic Socialism” did not hurt Pakistan to this extent than the slogan of Enlightened Moderation by Pervez Musharraf. What I am worried now is that if he takes over Pakistan again, the conflict of ideals will just take a step further!

B] His Role Model is Mr. Kamal Ataturk:

Pervez Musharraf when controlled the reign of Pakistan, he told the world that his role model was Kemal Ataturk. Role models are important to understand the person, because it tells us about that person’s ideals and values. Role Models are the example to be emulated by that person. If he had stated that his role models were Umar ibn al-Khattab, 2nd Khalifa of Muslims known for his administration skills and justice; or Tipu Sultan, for his religious tolerance and freedom struggle against British colonialism of India in 18th century; or Harun al-Rasheed, an Abbasid Khalifa whose rule (786 to 809) marked for scientific, cultural and religious prosperity; it would have probably changed the course of Pakistani history. His practical approach would also have been different.
Despite of many great heroes and reformers in the history of Muslims, Pervez Musharraf said that his role model was Kemal Ataturk. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the founder of the modern-day Turkey. He abolished the remnants of the system of Khilafat (caliphate) and reformed Turkey on secular lines.

Ali Brothers

This is not the only problem though. The greater issue is the response of the Muslims of Hindustan to the changes to the Ottoman Turkey created by the Treaty of Sèvres, which divided the Ottoman empire and distributed its territories to the Allies of WWII. The Hindustani Muslims launched the Khilafat Movement under the leadership of Ali Brothers- Maulana Mohammad Ali Jouhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali– to preserve Ottoman Caliphate, to resist division and distribution of the Ottoman territories to France, Britain and other allied forces. With the collapse of Khilafat Movement due to political differences among Hindustani Muslims, and Ataturks secularization of Turkey, the Ali Brothers joined the All India Muslim League and became the leading figures of the Pakistan Movement. A sign that the support for the Pakistan movement came from people who believed in a Muslim state with Muslim character and to which Pervez Musharraf gave a severe blow.

The reformation of Turkey by Kemal Ataturk besides secularization included, abolition of Arabic, conversion of Turkish language from Arabic alphabets into Latin alphabets, ban on men to have beard and on women to veil themselves. The Adhan (the Muslim call for prayer) was changed from Arabic into Turkish, going against the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
Pervez Musharraf’s reformation might not be the same as Ataturk’s reformation but the Pakistani society has culturally drifted away from cultural Islam at a very fast pace during his 8 dictatorial years than any other moment in the Pakistani history. The present heightened debate over the Islamic character of Pakistan among the intellectuals and the masses, the unprecedented fashion show in Karachi and many other such debates and events are the product of the reformation through his Enlightened Moderation theory. This rapid change in the society has just added more tensions in the already polarized nation of Pakistan.
[1] Please read my two old posts on the Education system of Pakistan:


Filed under Pakistan, Umer Sultan

3 responses to “Pervez Musharraf has announced a major come back to Pakistan- Part 1

  1. Muhammed Amad

    Thank you for your post.

    Why Mustafa Kemal is a great leader? I am asking it in th present tense because his vision, principles and foresights still have value, valid and current.

    For example the following his reasoning on abolishing the Caliphet.

    The question also remains unanswered as to why he did not accept the seat of Claiphet when he was offered and asked to take the position and the tile of Caliph.

    Why did he not want to have this absolute power?

    Mustafa Kemal….

    “………I must call attention to the fact that Hodja Shukri Effendi, as well as the politicians who pushed forward his person and signature, had intended to substitute the sovereign bearing the title of Sultan or Padishah by a monarch with the title of Caliph.

    The only difference was that, instead of speaking of a monarch of this or that country or nation, they now spoke of a monarch whose authority extended over a population of three hundred million souls belonging to manifold nations and dwelling in different continents of the world. Into the hands of this great monarch, whose authority was to extend over the whole of Islam, they placed as the only power that of the Turkish people, that is to say, only from 10 to 15 millions of these three hundred million subjects.

    The monarch designated under the title of Caliph was to guide the affairs of these Mohamedan peoples and to secure the execution of the religious prescriptions which would best correspond to their worldly interests. He was to defend the rights of all Mohamedans and concentrate all the affairs of the Mohamedan world in his hands with effective authority.

    The sovereign entitled Caliph was to maintain justice among the three hundred million Mohamedans on the terrestrial globe, to safe guard the rights of these peoples, to prevent any event that could encroach upon order and security, and confront every attack which the Mohamedans would be called upon to encounter from the side of other nations. It was to be part of his attributes to preserve by all means the welfare and spiritual development of Islam.

    The absurd ideas which ignorant people like Shukri Hodja and his companions were disseminating about the actual condition prevailing in the world under the power of “religious prescriptions” with the intention of abusing our nation, are not worthy of being repeated here. In the course of centuries there have been people and there are still people to-day in the interior as well as in foreign countries who profited by the ignorance and fanaticism of the nations and try to make use of religion as a tool to help them in their political plans and personal interests. The fact that there are such individuals unfortunately compels us again to go into this question.

    So long as the sentiments and knowledge of mankind with regard to religious questions are not yet freed from myths and purified in the light of true science, we shall find historians everywhere who play a religious comedy. We must actually belong to those “beings who live wholly in God,” like Shukri Hodja, not to be enlightened about the absurdities of the illogical ideas and impracticable prescriptions which they sow broadcast in all directions.

    If the Caliph and Caliphate, as they maintained, were to be in vested with a dignity embracing the whole of Islam, ought they not to have realised in all justice that a crushing burden would be imposed on Turkey, on her existence; her entire resources and all her forces would be placed at the disposal of the Caliph?

    According to their declarations, the Caliph-Monarch would have the right of jurisdiction over all Mohamedans and all Mohamedan countries, that is to say, over China, India, Afganisthan, Persia, Irak, Syria, Palestine, Hedjas, Yemen, Assyr, Egypt, Tripolis, Tunis, Al geria, Morocco, the Sudan.

    It is well known that this Utopia has never been realised. The pamphlet itself signed by Hodja Shukri emphasises that the Mohamedan communities have always separated from one another under the influence of aims that were diametrically opposite to one another; that the Omayades of Andalusia, the Alides of Morocco, the Fatimides of Egypt and the Abbassides of Bagdad have each created a Caliphate, that is to say, a monarchy of their own.

    In Andalusia there were even communities embracing a thousand souls, each of which was “a Commander of the Faithful and a Torch of Faith.” Would it have been logical or reasonable to pretend to be ignorant of this historic truth and to designate under the title of Caliph a ruler destined to govern all the Mohamedan States and nations, some of which were independent, while most of them were under a foreign protectorate?

    Particularly the fact that a mere hand full of men consisting of the population of Turkey, burdened with the anxiety of supporting such a sovereign, would it not have been the surest means for strangling this people?

    Those who say: The attributes of the Caliph are not of a spiritual kind,” and the basis of the Caliphate is material strength, the temporal power of the Government,” proved thereby that for them the Caliphate was the State.

    And thereby it could easily be perceived that they pursued the aim of putting at the head of the Turkish Government some personality bearing the title of Caliph.

    The attempts of Hodja Shukri Effendi and his political colleagues to conceal their political designs and to represent them under the form of a religious question which concerned the entire Mohamedan world had the only result that this puppet representing the Caliphate was still more speedily swept off the stage.

    I made statements everywhere that were necessary to dispel the uncertainty and anxiety of the people concerning this question of the Caliphate.

    I formerly declared: “We cannot allow any person, what ever his title may be, to interfere in questions relating to the destiny, activity and independence of the new State which our nation has now erected. The nation itself watches over the preservation and in dependence of the State which they have created, and will continue to do so for all time.”

    I gave the people to understand that neither Turkey nor the handful of men she possesses could be placed at the disposal of the Caliph so that he might fulfill the mission attributed to him, namely, to found a State comprising the whole of Islam. The Turkish nation is incapable of undertaking such an irrational mission.

    For centuries our nation was guided under the influence of these erroneous ideas. But what has been the result of it? Everywhere they have lost millions of men.

    “Do you know,” I asked, “how many sons of Anatolia have perished in the scorching deserts of the Yemen? Do you know the losses we have suffered in holding Syria and the Irak and Egypt and in maintaining our position in Africa? And do you see what has come out of it? Do you know?”

    Those who favor the idea of placing the means at the disposal of the Caliph to brave the whole world and the power to administer the affairs of the whole of Islam must not appeal to the population of Anatolia alone but to the great Mohamedan agglomerations which are eight or ten times as rich in men.

    New Turkey, the people of New Turkey, have no reason to think of anything else but their own existence and their own welfare. She has nothing more to give away to others.

    To enlighten the people on still another point, I employed these expressions:

    Let us accept for a moment that Turkey would take this mission upon herself and would devote herself to the aim of uniting and leading the whole Islamic world and that she would succeed in achieving this aim.

    Very good, but suppose these nations whom we want to subject and administer would say to us: You have rendered great services and assistance to us for which we are thankful to you, but we want to remain independent. We do not suffer any body else to interfere in our independence and sovereignty. We are capable of leading and administering ourselves.

    In such a case will the efforts and sacrifices made by the people of Turkey result in anything more than earning thanks and a benediction?

    It is evident they intended that the people of Turkey should be sacrificed to a mere caprice, to a fancy, to a phantom. To this effect the idea of attributing functions and authority to a Caliph and a
    Caliphate can be comprehended.

    I asked the people: Will Persia or Afganistan, which are Mohamedan States, recognize the authority of the Caliph in a single matter?

    Can they do so?

    No, and this is quite justifiable, because it would be in contradiction to the independence of the State, to the sovereignty of the people.

    I also warned the people by saying that “the error of looking upon ourselves as masters of the world must cease.”

    Let us put an end to the catastrophes into which the people had been dragged by following those who deceive themselves and misjudge our real rank and position in the world. We cannot conscientiously permit this tragedy to continue.

    The English author Wells has written an historical work which was published two years ago. The last pages of this work contain some contemplations under the heading of “History of Mankind in the Future”.

    These contemplations relate to the question of the establishment by the Governments of a World League.

    In this chapter Wells develops his ideas as to the form the Government of a World League would take, and speaks about the essential fundamental lines of such a State. He depicts what might become of our earth under the Government of justice and a uniform law.

    Wells says: “Unless all the sovereignties amalgamate into one single sovereignty, unless a higher power than nationalities appears, the world will perish,” and he continues as follows:

    The real State could not be anything but the Government of the United States of the World, which are necessarily brought together by the conditions of modern life,” and “it is certain that sooner or later, men will be compelled to unite if they do not want to succumb under the weight of their own inventions.”

    He also says that, “We do not know yet exactly what must be done and what must be prevented finally to attain the realization of the great thought of human solidarity,” and that a world federation of States will only succeed with difficulty in letting those powers join whose external policy has traditionally an aggressive character.

    Let me also quote the following observations made by Wells: “The joint sufferings and needs of Europe and Asia will, perhaps, to a certain degree, contribute to bring the peoples of these two continents nearer to one another,” and “it is possible that a number of individual federations will precede the World Federation.”

    I will by no means deny the beauty of the idea of the “United States of the World” the establishment of which would produce the result that the experience, knowledge and conceptions of mankind at large would be developed and uplifted, that mankind would abandon Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and that a pure, spotless, simplified religion, understood by all and of a universal character, will be established, and that men will understand that they have lived hither to in a place of misery amidst disputes and ignominy, their desires and gross appetites, and that they will decide to eradicate all infectious germs which have hitherto empoisoned both body and soul.

    In our midst also a conception partly equaling this plan has been formed for the purpose of satisfying the adherents of the Caliphate and a Panislam, on the condition, however, that it would not become
    a source of difficulties for Turkey.

    The theory put forward was this: “Mohamedan communities dwelling in Europe, Asia, Africa and in other regions, sooner or later in future will attain the liberty and faculty of acting according to their will and carry out their wishes.

    And then, if they think it expedient and advantageous, they will find certain points of union and concord in accordance with the exigencies of the century.

    Every State, every community undoubtedly has needs that could be satisfied and protected by other States and communities; the
    States have reciprocal interests.

    If the delegates of these hypothetical independent Mohamedan States would unite in a congress and declare that this or that relation ship has been established between certain States, that a committee had been formed for the purpose of maintaining such mutual relations and securing joint action under the conditions established by these relations that the Mohamedan States united in this manner would be represented by the president of this committee, then they will, if so desired, give to these United States of Islam the title of Caliphate and to the person elected to be president of this united assembly the title of Caliph.

    But neither common sense nor reason will ever admit that any individual Mohamedan State will confer on any man the authority of guiding and administering the affairs of the whole of the Mohamedan world. ……”

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