Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan Vs India
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan Vs India

February 10, 2023

Many in India had expressed many kinds of opinions on Pakistan’s former Dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s death on Feb. 5, 2023 in Dubai. Vir Sanghvi, the well-known author, television journalist and columnist says that he is not crying for Musharraf’s death. But in contrast the Congress MP, the talkative master of English language Shashi Tharoor says he was sorry on hearing the news because General Musharraf was a “Force of Peace,” whatever it means.

And the former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti says Gen. Musharraf was the only Pakistani General who wanted to respond to the aspirations of Kashmiri people and bring peace but it was the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who came in between and ruined Gen. Musharraf’s peace efforts.

But the truth was that it was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who wore the mantle of a peace-maker and undertook his famous ‘Aaman Yatra’ (peace pilgrimage) by bus from Wagah border to Lahore.

I liken this visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore to that of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s third and final visit to Hitler’s Germany in 1938 and his meeting with Hitler in Munich. Yes, Chamberlain returned with an International Agreement and proudly declared it as “Peace for our time.” But what happened? War.

Yes, Atal Bihari Vajpayee returned from Lahore, smiling after meeting Pakistan Prime Minister, a refined, cultured gentleman Nawaz Sharif. But what happened? War. Kargil War.

And who was the mastermind of that war? The very same General Pervez Musharraf, the then Military Chief, who passed away not in his own country but as a despised fugitive in exile.

The most aspirational ‘Lahore Agreement’ was signed on 21st Feb. 1999 and ratified by both Pakistan and Indian Parliaments. But Kargil War began on 3rd May 1999 and lasted till 26th, July 1999. What a betrayal? To what end?

Yet, peace was pursued by India. In 2001, there was Agra Summit which proposed ‘Four point formula.’ But it came to naught. In 2004, India got a new Government under UPA and Pakistan must have felt relieved! So also Gen.  Musharraf.

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Vir Sanghvi, the hero among Indian journalists, might not cry for Musharraf. But there are others among his fraternity and among politicians who cry at the loss. Anyway, his was not a hero’s death. Nor a death of a hero. After all, he was nobody’s hero, exceptions apart. What a pathetic way to go for a soldier who rose to be a General and a Dictator. As Vir Sanghvi had written, Gen. Pervez Musharraf “was an extremely dodgy character who should never be trusted.” Absolutely.

As I was reading Vir Sanghvi’s article, “Opinion: Forgive me if I am not crying for Musharraf,” I felt ashamed of those who were too condescending to Gen. Musharraf at the breakfast meeting he had with editors during the Agra Summit. Vir Sanghvi mentions of his “Old friend” Vinod Mehta’s behaviour at that meeting: “Sir”, he gushed to Musharraf. “I support you so much that in India they call me your man.” What a fall, O, journalist ! He who does not live honourably, no matter whatever his pursuance in life, is more dangerous to human society than a plague.

I loved the way Vir Sanghvi wrote the next line post Vinod Mehta. Let me quote:

“Musharraf nodded gravely, taking his compliment as his due and went on to the next editor, confident that more tail-wagging would follow.”

But Gen. Musharraf was in for a surprise and shock. There were two Indian journalists who reclaimed the lost self-respect of journalists who sang the General’s praise in an embarrassing way. One was Vir Sanghvi himself who told General Musharraf that he was the architect of Kargil War and why should any Indian trust him.

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Another Indian journalist who took on the General by his lapel was Prannoy Roy who demolished the General’s credibility with a razor-sharp question that answered itself:

‘You were talking of the wishes of the people of Kashmir but wasn’t it odd that you yourself had forcibly seized power in a military coup against the wishes of the people of Pakistan?’

Yet, Gen. Musharraf was trusted by people in power like George W. Bush, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr. Manmohan Singh, says Vir Sanghvi. Actually, Gen. Musharraf was fooling everybody — first he fooled his Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, then he fooled Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indian Prime Minister, then he fooled the American President George W. Bush saying Pakistan was not hiding Osama bin Laden  and then he fooled good-old Dr. Manmohan Singh, the de jure Indian Prime Minister. Well, this way he might have fooled many. Here, I am reminded of what Abraham Lincoln, the American President during the Civil War, said:

“You can fool all the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

For sure, he could not fool the good people of Pakistan all the time. He was driven out of the country unceremoniously and he had to die in Dubai aged 79. RIP Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

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2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan Vs India”

  1. Jalandhara says:

    What a wasteful exercise by Mr Ganapathy looking back at this Pakistani dictator.
    The SOM , Mr Ganapathy said at that time was started because Mysore has no media to highlight its news and issues.
    He should keep that ibn mins and stop regurgitating the past, in regards to Pakistan.
    If Mr Ganapathy is looking for topics, he should write about the Mysore-Bangalore Highway, in particular about the thefts of angle brackets of the poles and the frightening highway armed robbery. That is the concern of Mysoreans, not about this Pakistani dictator.

  2. Karnataka IT Techie Coolie! says:

    Hello Mr Ganapathy
    Besides questioning the relevance of this article to Mysoreans, who this paper serves, it is not a national paper, those working in Mysore, like Bangalore, are mostly cheap IT techies , doing the coolie work of monotonous program coding for outsourced work from large Western companies. These companies are happy to pay in almost worthless INR to these IT Techie coolies, who are ignorant of history of India, thanks to their narrow IT education and training,.

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