9/11 – Could we have decided otherwise?

Pervez Musharraf  

The writer is former President of Pakistan

Pakistan’s decision to join the US and the Coalition in Afghanistan in their
attack on the Taliban remains a subject of intense debate. This is the
decision we took after a thorough, deliberate and realistic appraisal of the
obtaining geo-strategic realities, but it has drawn criticism and praise
alike. With the latest upsurge in terrorist activity in Pakistan, the debate
on the post-9/11 response of Pakistan has intensified. I, therefore, thought
it my duty to lay bare facts in front of the people of Pakistan, so that
with all the necessary information they could judge the situation more
accurately. The decision of my government was indeed based on, and in
conformity with, my slogan of ‘Pakistan First’.

Some people suggested that we should oppose the United States and favour the
Taliban. Was this, in any way, beneficial for Pakistan? Certainly not! Even
if the Taliban and Al-Qaeda emerged victorious, it would not be in
Pakistan’s interest to embrace obscurantist Talibanisation. That would have
meant a society where women had no rights, minorities lived in fear and
semi-literate clerics set themselves up as custodians of justice. I could
have never accepted this kind of society for Pakistan. In any case, judging
by military realities one was sure that the Taliban would be defeated. It
would have been even more detrimental for Pakistan to be standing on the
defeated side.

The United States, the sole superpower, was wounded and humiliated by the
9/11 Al-Qaeda terrorist attack. A strong retaliatory response against
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was imminent.

I was angrily told, by the US, that Pakistan had to be ‘either with us or
against us’. The message was also conveyed to me that ‘if Pakistan was
against the United States then it should be prepared to be bombed back to
the Stone Age.’

This was the environment within which we had to take a critical decision for
Pakistan. My sole focus was to make a decision that would benefit Pakistan
in the long run, and also guard it against negative effects.

What options did the US have to attack Afghanistan? Not possible from the
north, through Russia and the Central Asian Republics. Not from the west,
through Iran. The only viable direction was from the east, through Pakistan.
If we did not agree, India was ever ready to afford all support. A US-India
collusion would obviously have to trample Pakistan to reach Afghanistan. Our
airspace and land would have been violated. Should we then have pitched our
forces, especially Pakistan Air Force, against the combined might of the US
and Indian forces? India would have been delighted with such a response from
us. This would surely have been a foolhardy, rash and most unwise decision.
Our strategic interests – our nuclear capability and the Kashmir cause –
would both have been irreparably compromised. We might even have put our
very territorial integrity at stake.

The economic dimension of confronting the United States and the West also
needed serious analysis. Pakistan’s major export and investment is to and
from the United States and the European Union. Our textiles, which form 60
percent of our export and earnings, go to the West. Any sanctions on these
would have crippled our industry and choked our economy. Workers would lose
their jobs. The poor masses of Pakistan would have been the greatest
sufferers.

China, our great friend, also has serious apprehensions about Al-Qaeda and
the Taliban. The upsurge of religious extremism emboldening the East
Turkistan Islamic Movement in China is due to events in Afghanistan and the
tribal agencies of Pakistan. China would certainly not be too happy with
Pakistan on the side of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Even the Islamic Ummah had
no sympathy for the Taliban regime; countries like Turkey and Iran were
certainly against the Taliban. The UAE and Saudi Arabia – the only two
countries other than Pakistan that had recognised the Taliban regime – had
become so disenchanted with the Taliban that they had closed their missions
in Kabul.

Here, I would also like to clear the notion that we accepted all the demands
put forward by USA.

On September 13th 2001, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain,
brought me a set of seven demands. These demands had also been communicated
to our Foreign Office by the US State Department.

1. Stop Al-Qaeda operatives at your borders, intercept arms shipments
through Pakistan, and end all logistical support for bin Laden.

2. Provide the United States with blanket overflight and landing rights to
conduct all necessary military and intelligence operations.

3. Provide territorial access to the United States and allied military
intelligence as needed, and other personnel to conduct all necessary
operations against the perpetrators of terrorism and those that harbour
them, including the use of Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic
locations on borders.

4. Provide the United States immediately with intelligence, immigration
information and databases, and internal security information, to help
prevent and respond to terrorist acts perpetrated against the United States,
its friends, or its allies.

5. Continue to publicly condemn the terrorist acts of September 11 and any
other terrorist acts against the United States or its friends and allies,
and curb all domestic expressions of support [for terrorism] against the
United States, its friends, or its allies.

6. Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Taliban and any other items and
recruits, including volunteers, en route to Afghanistan, who can be used in
a military offensive capacity or to abet a terrorist threat.

7. Should the evidence strongly implicate Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda
network in Afghanistan and should Afghanistan and the Taliban continue to
harbour him and his network, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with
the Taliban government, end support for the Taliban, and assist the United
States in the afore-mentioned ways to destroy Osama bin Laden and his Al
Qaeda network.

Some of these demands were ludicrous, such as “curb all domestic expressions
of support [for terrorism] against the United States, its friends, and its
allies.” How could my government suppress public debate, when I had been
trying to encourage freedom of expression?

I also thought that asking us to break off diplomatic relations with
Afghanistan if it continued to harbour Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda was not
realistic, because not only would the United States need us to have access
to Afghanistan, at least until the Taliban fell, but such decisions are the
internal affair of a country and cannot be dictated by anyone. But we had no
problem with curbing terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We had
been itching to do so before the United States became its victim.

We just could not accept demands two and three. How could we allow the
United States “blanket overflight and landing rights” without jeopardising
our strategic assets? I offered only a narrow flight corridor that was far
from any sensitive areas. Neither could we give the United States “use of
Pakistan’s naval ports, air bases, and strategic locations on borders.” We
refused to give any naval ports or fighter aircraft bases. We allowed the
United States only two bases – Shamsi in Balochistan and Jacobabad in Sindh
– and only for logistics and aircraft recovery. No attack could be launched
from there. We gave no “blanket permission” for anything.

The rest of the demands we could live with. I am happy that the US
government accepted our counterproposal without any fuss. I am shocked at
the aspersion being cast on me: that I readily accepted all preconditions of
the United States during the telephone call from Colin Powell. He did not
give any conditions to me. These were brought by the US ambassador on the
third day.

Having made my decision, I took it to the Cabinet. Then I began meeting with
a cross section of society. Between September 18 and October 3, I met with
intellectuals, top editors, leading columnists, academics, tribal chiefs,
students, and the leaders of labour unions. On October 18, I also met a
delegation from China and discussed the decision with them. Then I went to
army garrisons all over the country and talked to the soldiers. I thus
developed a broad consensus on my decision.

This was an analysis of all the losses/harms we would have suffered. if we
had taken an anti-US stand. At the same time, I obviously analysed the
socio-economic and military gains that would accrue from an alliance with
the West. I have laid down the rationale for my decision in all its details.
Even with hindsight, now, I do not repent it. It was correct in the larger
interest of Pakistan. I am confident that the majority of Pakistanis agree
with it.

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Comments

  • S M Anwar  On June 9, 2011 at 5:55 am

    A fair analysis of the events and clears many doubts.

    As regards American threat to take Pakistan back to the stone age, we have spared them the trouble. We ourselves are doing that with ease.No electricity, no clean water,widespread lawlessness, and might is right,few attributes of stone age are already there, rest would come up if the present state of affairs continues unabated.

    Anwar

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On June 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:”During a 24 September 2006 interview with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes, Musharraf said that then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had called Musharraf’s intelligence director shortly following the 9/11 attacks and threatened military action if Pakistan did not support the U.S.-led “war on terror”. According to Musharraf, Armitage warned: “Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.”[24] Furthermore, during an interview with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on 26 September 2006, Musharraf stated that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell also contacted him with a similar message: “You are with us or against us.” Musharraf refused to elaborate further, citing the then-upcoming release of his book, In the Line of Fire: A Memoir. Armitage has, however, categorically denied that he had used such harsh words to threaten Pakistan, saying instead that on 12 September 2001 he had told Pakistan’s top intelligence official that Pakistan would have to decide whether it was with or against the U.S. in its efforts against al-Qaida and the Taliban. In Armitage’s words, “It would be completely out of character for me to threaten the use of military force when I was not authorized to do so. I don’t command aircraft and could not make good on such a threat.”[25] In a 22 September 2006 joint news conference with Musharraf, U.S. President George W. Bush said, “I don’t know of any conversation that was reported in the newspaper like that.”[26”

    Never Explain Your Freinds Dont need it and your Foes dont believe it.

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On June 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

    “I am confident that the majority of Pakistanis agree
    with it. “Mirror o Mirror who is the Smartest of them all?”

  • Viqar Ahmed Abdi  On June 9, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I am sure many a mullah would say that their Jihad would have over powered the determined attack of an angry USA but every nation needs to take into consideration its weakness and strength before confronting overwhelming odds. The ignorant and uneducated Talibans did not listen to Pakistan’s plea to surrender the Al- Quaida leadership which could have saved both, Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. These Mullahs would have loved to see Pakistan turned to stone age so that their wild wild rule could have come to Pakistan. In any case, they and their supporters are still trying to take us to take us to the cave era.
    Our National assembly needs to pass a strong resolution declaring that any body who tries to change Pakistan from the path and fundamentals established by our founding father by what ever means, should be declared traitor and punished.

  • Munir  On June 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

    It is good that President Musharaf has come out himself as to why he took that historical decision – to support the US in the war against terrorism. In retrospect there could be many opinions by the “strategists” and “analysts” whether the “decision” was good or bad for Pakistan as a sovereign state.
    The fact remains that a “bold decision” was taken by the leader of Pakistan at that historical juncture.

    It is important to remember that at the turn of 14th century Hijra (1979) the wheel of destiny started moving in a direction which brought to the forefront Pakistan’s role in 15th century Hijra and later in the 21st century AD.

    A semblance of a sort to the events in the earlier history of Muslims when they fought the “Battle of Badr” and which is mentioned in Sura “Rum”. Romans (Believers) defeated the Persians (non-Believers) at the international plane, and the Muslims defeated the Quraish at the local plane. Both the Muslims and the Romans celebrated their victory. In our times modern day Romans (Christian West) and Pakistan (Islamic nuclear power and considered to be the leader of the Muslim World) joined hands to defeat Persians (USSR) in a “land nearby” (Afghanistan). Both the Christian West (Believers till that point) and the Muslim World (Believers till that point) celebrated the defeat of USSR (an atheist power).

    The weapons used in both confrontations – the Battle of Badr and the Romans – was the “human being charged with the spirit of Jihad-e-Qataal. Historians like Gibbons term those battles and wars as “religious wars”.

    In the Afghan War of 1979-1989, the “weapon” used by the US was “money”, “latest technology” and “powerful media”. The “weapon” used by the Muslim World was still the same as was used in the earlier times – “human being charged with the spirit of Jihad”. The word “Jihad” and its “outdated interpretation” by reputed scholars of the Muslims became the reason why a local war (as far as the US was concerned) became a war for the Muslim World.

    Since modern day “Romans” did not brand that war as “Crusades” it is very obvious that the mistake of branding the Afghan war as “Jihad” fall squarely on the Muslims, especially all those religious leaders and scholars which had not updated the interpretation of “Jihad” in modern times but had branded any other interpretation of “Jihad” as heretic. In other words they had ignored the “concept of evolution” of the human being which has been mentioned very clearly, again and again in their Holy Book – The Quran.

    As far as the US was concerned the defeat of the USSR was part of their Grand Strategy and they achieved their strategic goal – the defeat of their rival super power USSR and all that went with it. As far as the Muslim World was concerned they were blinded by the wrong interpretation of “Jihad” and delved deeper into that pit for the next decade – 1989 to 1999. That pushed the Muslim Mindset away from the “evolutionary process”. A generation was lost. Until the turn of the century when the logical result of the wrong interpretation of “Jihad” hit the Twin Towers on 9/11.

    All that time the Muslim Leadership, religious as well as political had kept pampering the “Jihadi mentality” and did not dare to take the main culprits to task.

    On 12th October 1999, another historical event took place in that very place where the monster of “Jihad” was created by the Muslims themselves- Pakistan. A “democratic process” was interrupted by military take over, headed by General Musharaf, on whose shoulders history put the load of taking bold and tough decisions.

    Apparently, General Musharaf had toppled a government which was “democratic” in the usual sense of the world. However, the period from 1989-1999-those democratic governments had not taken any measures to redefine the interpretation of “Jihad” neither to Pakistanis nor to the Muslim World. Instead, both the main political parties shied away when confronting the religious leadership.

    Even after General Musharaf took over, there was no effort to confront the religious leadership on that issue. The “wake up” call came on 9/11, when US openly challenged the interpretation of “Jihad”, not only in Pakistan but also in the rest of the Muslim World.

    I shall get back to the Quran again to understand how the earlier Romans behaved towards the Muslims of Madina after the defeat of Persians. And in that light try to understand if the fateful “decision” taken by General Musharaf was in line with the “process of evolution” or against it.

    History is a witness that at the Battle of Khandaq, The Prophet of Islam was shown the “Kangans of Romans and the Persians being presented to Omar”. Later events show that the Muslims defeated the Persians first. The weapons and strategy to defeat the Persians was the same “human being charged with the spirit of Jihad”. Persia was defeated both materially and ideologically and has remained Muslim till today.

    However, when the earlier Muslims had to face the Romans, the opponent also used a similar weaponry as the Muslims- “human being charged with the spirit of Jihad”. In that confrontation a belief system which acknowledged “the concept of evolution of the human being” was bound to be victorious. “Bible” being an older concept could not stand up to the “updated” teaching- “The Quran”.

    Fast forward to the 21st century event of 9/11. General Musharaf took a decision to “dump” the wrong interpretation of “Jihad” and all that goes with it. At the international plane he was supported by the sole super power – the US. Of course, once again the Grand Strategy of the US was at play. However, The Grand Strategy of Pakistan at that juncture of history, dictated that “Jihad-e-Qatal” in all its forms had to be defeated first. Only after that the next phase of Pakistan’s Grand Strategy could be implemented.

    Events after 9/11 have proven that Musharaf’s decision to support “War on Terror” was in effect in Pakistan’s and Muslim World’s interests. The only interpretation of “Jihad” by one and all – the scholars and the religious leaders, strategists and analysts – was “Jihad of the Pen” and any individual or a government saying otherwise had no place in the civilized world.

    The next step of interaction with modern day Romans will have to be at a higher plane – between “Bible” and the “Quran” by modern day “Muslims of Badr” and not the modern day “Quraish” of Makkah. The old weaponry “human being charged with the spirit of Kihad-e-Qatal” is outdated. The new weaponry is “Jihad by the Pen” which harmonizes with and flows along the “evolution of the human being” and not against it.

    It is one thing to just say that by doing “Jihad by the Pen” but quite another thing to practice and implement this at the national level. As such, it would only be fair to see what General Musharaf did during his 1999-2008 tenure to implement “Jihad by the Pen”. It is up to the leadership, military or otherwise, and the people of Pakistan, to implement the “Jihad by the Pen”, in every walk of life, first and foremost. Only that mindset will be able to identify from where did this phrase “Jihad by the Pen” originated and when. Also, why that voice was opposed tooth and nail and silenced by whom. All this and much more will come to light for the thinking mind.

    MAV

  • Ardeshir  On June 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Hi Yasmeen,

    I can understand his motives but the resultant mayhem and loss of sovereignty and zillat is now a naked fact. Pakistan is truly a failed State. I marvel at Iran under siege from the Arabs as well as the US yet it stands firm on it’s conviction right or wrong do you think our spineless leadership could do the same. Musharaff bent over backwards and his weakness has been exploited.

    Ardeshir

  • Kausar Bajwa  On June 9, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I think anyone in his shoes would have done the same just like NS & Bibi did on various occasions to appease a Super Power.
    KB

  • Nadeem  On June 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    At the time, it was a rational and logical decision. Nobody could foresee the length of this cooperation and its resultant explosion of terror within Pakistan. Presently, the interior situation of Pakistan has spiraled completely out of control of the civilian government as well as the military establishment.

    The state is on the receiving end and its response has been very poor as well as weak. The government has not wrested the initiative. It has not taken the real offensive within the cities and towns of Pakistan to root out and destroy the terrorist elements. As a result, the citizenry is facing an uncertain life in terms of security, economy and well being.

    Nadeem Kausar

  • GRK  On June 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I have gone through only half of the statements of Gen. Mush and decided to react as the entire scenario is still very fresh in my mind.

    Neither at that time nor today as the matters became extremely hot and cold between US relations with Pakistan in now a desperate situation for the world’s superpower to start withdrawing and finding some excuse for saving their face from the bitter truth that they have not learned from their own mistakes in Vietnam, Iraq, Iran and again in Afghanistan.

    I have few observations about the able General in the contradictions in his personality and sayings. That needs to be critically examined in the post Gen PM area and of course the eminent process of withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Taliban still remain undefeated.

    Let me enlighten and remind the able Gen. PM of his past few achievements and follies.

    He said that he was forced to takeover in October 1999 but the fact is that in his book Line Of Fire he clearly states that he thought he is much able and superior to his course mate Gen. Ali Kuli. At the same time when he was a Brig. his mind was always working towards reaching the top and for that 1 news from some people who matter came to my ears that a third class banker Kidwai took credit to take him to Abba jee for securing the top slot. I know for a fact that Kidwai even approached Gen. Ali Kuli Khan that he can facilitate his appointment as CoAS and escort him to see Abba jee. In one of the conversations with Gen. Ali, right in 1999, he told me GRK laanat on securing a top position through a small timer “lohaar” from Gawalmandi. The fact is that Gen. PM took over with the help of his 5 top close Corp Commanders, and he worked smoothly in consultation with his 5 top generals for two years.
    Gen. PM took a unilateral decision on the first call and surrendered every possible avenue which could have been negotiated US for getting Pakistan’s long term interests while offering cooperation and help in facilitating their war on Afghanistan. Gen. Kayani’s recent resistance and strong objections to US demands have been arrested and Inshallah we hope to have a gradual return of peace in our devastated country.
    I do not wish to place any comments about his performance between 2001 and 2008 and his big U turns in order to save his uniform and power, the slogan of sub se pehle Pakistan is staring in his face and soul and heart as it was always “sub se pehle Pervez Musharraf”

    Tailpiece: Just to enlighten the readers from my hindsight, if the distinguished and outstanding Gen. Ali Kuli, recipient of Sword of Honor from Sandhurst, the second after Gen. Ayub Khan, would have taken over CoAS, he would have run his tenure according to the disciplined SOP of Pakistan Armed Forces and would have looked into the eyes of the political jokers prominently Benazir, Nawaz Sharif and told them to act and remain within the frame of their duties and obligations. That would have meant that the musical chairs going around now would have terminated between 1999 and 2004.

    These self centered, selfish, corrupt to the core would have been exposed by now and we would have been moving forward in some time around 2004-5 whereas now we have been devastated economically, politically and played with extremism on its top and I am afraid that the peace may return finally after 2020.

    Alas I shall not be there but history will teach my coming generations that Pakistan was made for a definite purpose by Almighty Allah on 11th of August 1947 and that too on the 27th of Ramadhan, the one night which is most precious than 1000 night’s prayers.

    It is so sad to note that a General who had been in power with full control of the country and boot lickers all around could only find an actress Atiqa Odho to be his new party’s vice president.
    Poor lady was caught off guard on the Islamabad airport last week carrying two bottles of liquor.

    GRK

  • naeem aziz hussain  On June 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Surely many doubts have been cleared and definitely the best eight years for business /development in Karachi. We surely had our griviences attended by UCS.

  • M. Malik  On June 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Interesting! and he expects us to digest this colored explaination – as truth ful as “In the line of Fire”
    am

  • Sohail Khan  On June 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Mr. Malik,
    Salam alaykum.
    With due respect to your comment, what Former President Pervez Musharraf has written makes a lot of sense, the analysis is pragmatic and realistic and, it demonstrates strategic thinking.
    To criticize is the easiest thing, it would be a good discussion if critics presented an alternative point of view instead of shooting comments in the air.
    With best regards,
    Sohail H. Khan

    • Mansoor Mubeen  On June 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      this question is irrelevant now, time has gone. a thing to be done now, is to evaluate the results and suggest the future coarse of action. \\

      mansoor

  • Qaisar Nawaz Gandapur  On June 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Dear All,

    I would like to ask a question please:

    If anyone of this group was in place of President Mushrraf, what would you have done?
    Let’s have an answer please.
    Remember I have no love lost for the ex president.
    Best Regards,
    Qaisar N Gandapur

    • I.Zubair  On June 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO ECHO

      • Qaisar Nawaz Gandapur  On June 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

        Right gentlemen, what is OUR FUTURE COURSE OF ACTION ???
        With Zardari who has come through a deal, Gilani, who is there on the whims of Zardari. Kayani, who has been in the corridors of power since he was the DG ISI. Nawaz, who was brought in by the army, was OUT & IN because of a deal.
        So who is going to give you YOUR FUTURE.
        Best Regards,
        Qaisar N Gandapur

      • Bajwa  On June 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

        The question is that we need now to revisit Musharaf’s policies and reverse them whre they did not yield the desired results.

      • I.Zubair  On June 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

        oh what a waste of time that would be, its like reinventing wheel, consider it over and done; lets look towards the future not what is behind us
        what can revive the Nation not the country, the country is alive & well but it means nothing with carrying the load of a dead nation that is deeply indulged and drowned in worldly luxuries, no matter how corrupt that makes one.

        A Zuberi

  • Viqar Abdi  On June 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I agree with Mr. Gandapur and Mr. Khan
    Regards Abdi

    • Syed Nayyar Uddin  On June 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Lamhuan Nay Khata Key Thee Sadyoun Nay Saza Paei

      by Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 9:18am
      @The Nation, The question is not that could we have decided otherwise. The question is could we had made a better bargain for all the unimagineable facilities and cooperation we offered to America. In this connection, just recall what the US ambassador said (Musharraf agreed all our terms without conditions) in the cable to washington really which shames me even now and may be forever. Only a timid & selfish ruler can be so myopic. He made an abject surrender of a nuclear power. Later on, he fell on the feet of the Indians by allowing them construction of barbed wire on not only on working boundry but even at LOC. Such things are only allowed at international borders as per law. Musharraf left Pakistan nowhere.

      Napoleon Bonaparte once said on leadership that if you build an army of 100 lions and their leader is a dog, in any fight, the lions will die like a dog. But if you build an army of 100 dogs and their leader is a lion, all dogs will fight like a lion.

      Lamhuan Nay Khata Key Thee Sadyoun Nay Saza Paei.

  • Ali Kazim  On June 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    What Ex President Pervez Musharraf did was the best option.

    Ali Kazim

  • Naveed Tajammul  On June 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    major.qaiser nawaz gandapur,
    i think sir,
    only a priestess of the Delphic oracle can answer your
    query.
    should one look for one ??,islamabad should have one.
    Naveed Tajammal,

  • Syed Nayyar Uddin  On June 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    The question is not that could Pakistan have decided otherwise when America asked whether we were friend or foe, immediately after 9/11. The question is could we had made a better bargain for all the unimaginable facilities and cooperation we offered to America. In this connection, just recall what the US ambassador said (Musharraf agreed all our terms without conditions) in the cable to Washington, which really shames me even now and may be forever. Only a timid & selfish ruler can be so myopic. He made an abject surrender of a nuclear power.

    Later On he fell on the feet of the Indians by allowing them construction of barbed wire on not only on working boundary but even at LOC. Such things are only allowed at international borders as per law. Musharraf left Pakistan nowhere. ( Musharraf must also tell that did India also threatened to bomb us to stone age? )

    Napoleon Bonaparte once said on leadership that if you build an army of 100 lions and their leader is a dog, in any fight, the lions will die like a dog. But if you build an army of 100 dogs and their leader is a lion, all dogs will fight like a lion.

    Lamhuan Nay Khata Key Thee Sadyoun Nay Saza Paei. (At times punishment goes till centuries for mistakes of a second).

  • Sohail Khan  On June 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Dear Mr. Nayyar,
    Salam alaykum.
    Your question on whether a better deal could have been made reminds me of a funny saying, “if my aunt had a moustache, she would be my uncle”. I cannot answer your question and I will say, maybe – but then, would that be the best deal? There are 180 million people in Pakistan, what if every one of us had an opinion different from each other?
    You will agree that there has to be a process in place to make decisions, I see that process in his words where he says,
    Having made my decision, I took it to the Cabinet. Then I began meeting with
    a cross section of society. Between September 18 and October 3, I met with
    intellectuals, top editors, leading columnists, academics, tribal chiefs,
    students, and the leaders of labour unions. On October 18, I also met a
    delegation from China and discussed the decision with them. Then I went to
    army garrisons all over the country and talked to the soldiers. I thus
    developed a broad consensus on my decision.

    As far as your comment on the US ambassador’s cable to Washington is concerned, I simply do not believe that to be true, i’d much rather believe my President than the US ambassador.
    India is another subject, since he has only presented his position on a specific point, I would like to restrict my comments too.
    With best regards,
    Sohail H. Khan

  • I.Zubair  On June 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Mr. Sohail Khan
    I think you have pin-pointed the main problem we have with the politics & related views in Pakistan, in exercising our freedom of speech we are so geared to shoot down the messenger but we have no qualifying rebuttals against him/her or even alternate pathways that can be recommended.
    Regars
    A Zuberi

  • Bajwa  On June 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    What exactly were Musharaf’s acts of omission and commission.

    That is the question

  • Syed Wajahat  On June 10, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    The threat from the US government was real. “Either you are with us or against us” is
    excercised when an entity is at war. But “We will bomb you to stone age” is an
    urealistic threat. This point could have been debated more and become the source
    of bargaining power.

    It is all a matter of intellectual capacity in the political arena. Military generals are single
    minded. While they can be impreccable in logistic of a war. Administration of
    a country leaves much to be desired.

    The intellectual capacity was missing. As has always been the case in Pakistan
    politics. The country has run like a body builder on steriods with no concern for
    improvement to his brain and thinking prowess.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

  • Syed Wajahat  On June 11, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Qaisar Gandapur Sahib

    It really seems as if Mr. Musharraf could not juggle the variables
    so he took the easy way out.

    The result of those decisions is emerging now.
    Where is the security of the nation that was considered as
    a priority, now? Pakistan is tagged as the evil between
    US and Pushtoons. I think this situation could have been avoided with
    better intelligence and planning and negotiation. Afgahn was didnt just happen.
    There was a substantial lead time.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

  • Amir Rana  On June 11, 2011 at 2:13 am

    I don’t think this topic needed that much discussion. My views are quite straight forward. Lets’ try to answer some questions first:

    1. Is there any realistic chance of US & NATO ilk winning the war in so many parts of the world, especially in Afghanistan?

    2. Would AQ and Taliban be eliminated or even close to be eliminated AND Pakistan becoming a global hero with acclamation from all sides?

    3. Is there more tangible global support available to Pakistan than a decade back (when YES SIR was chanted by our BRAVE and PRAGMATIC leader, with a salute of course)?

    4. Is Pakistan politically, socially, economically or militarily stronger today than 11 years back?

    5. Hasn’t our military materially weakened today after taking part as a front-line ally to the aggressors?

    6. Hasn’t a large majority of countries slammed Pakistan for “notdoing enough” in war on terror while we have broken our back in it?

    7. Have we been able to move this globe a bit with our continuous screaming to stop drone attacks? Is there any weight of resolutions passed by our so called of —, by — and for — government?

    8. Hasn’t the level of “humiliation” of our status as a sovereign nation dramatically increased during last five years or so? How many Raymond Davises, Abbottabads and routine road bullying by “Gora Sahebs” we need to measure it?

    9. Despite very strong patronage from media with high level of favorable bias, has the image of our only somewhat organized institution (army) improved after becoming a proud ally in so called war on terror?

    10. What pragmatic chances one sees of a successful promotion of the slogan “Pakistan First”? Can this conversion from “Islam” being the binding force to “nationalism” bring the desired results? Aren’t we falling apart as a nation at a much faster pace today?

    and last but not the least,

    11. Can we say it with even a small bit of confidence that US & NATO ilk would not be striking off our BELOVED nukes and even opt for further step by step destruction thus sending us to the stone age in steps with minimum loss of their own? (it is of course easy to eat in pieces with the next one thinking it wouldn’t be eaten).

    I think most of the answers of a majority of members would match. After answering the above questions, we all should try to recall our early childhood story of “LAMB” and “WOLF”. The Wolf will never be stopped through logical answers, begging or asking for some time. The lamb would always be eaten at the end of that conversation. Only chance of its survival is to ATTACK the wolf as early as possible, try to hit him on a sensitive part and stun it to get at least sufficient time to run. There is also a chance that the wolf could even be killed in the process. Even if small but this is the only chance of survival the lamb has. There are a number of examples available in the history where lambs came out as victorious. Compulsory condition is to ATTACK the wolf instead of giving him explanations when it blames the lamb first time. Chances of victory get reduced with every passing moment.

  • I.Zubair  On June 11, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Bajwa sahib
    Taking the present situation in to account (as much as we from sidelines can)& being in place of the decision makers then, many would like to answer this question they perceive without any real knowledge of how & why Pakistan was being targeted by the question posed by (the wrestler) Dy. Secy. of State US Richard Armitage and on whose instigation. It is quite difficult to respond other than being hypothetical about it; should Pak have responded negatively based on the question and general understanding of it; in all honesty, it seems rather difficult for a common man to answer it.
    IMHO how Musharaf took it by the horns to tackle it and completed his circuit for advice, I find he did what needed to be done with the prevailing conditions, knowing the infrastructure in place and its strengths to cope with the posed “threat”, during the course of action taken by the threatening adversary there were many changes in the design on ground all along. We cannot forget or forgive the then moles who chose to compromise all along as well, while we can’t ignore or overlook the actions, characters and statements of those ex-ISI who although may have been accurate in their estimation as to what shape, for or path the unfolding events will take place, no matter how wise and “intelligent” those retd. folks may be they should have felt for the nation, for the country & people and its overall welfare and kept some decent control over their strategic speculations and instead offered to assist the head of state with that wisdom, while they all appeared to be scoring points using propaganda through mass media and coming up with their true or speculative theories. All this goes to undermine any thing that could have been said or done.
    The factor of prime importance was to save the military infrastructure of Pak whatever state it may have been and not to compromise its safety & security and that of it’s people in the long term, and based on this I feel very confident that Musharaf took the right action and prevented the people of the country from an unwarranted attack by a known power.
    It is quite possible that in this rush some of the items may have been overlooked in order to secure the access of the external power that threatened to exert its military might and could have been better controlled, however measuring the entire picture up to his era it seems like a pretty thorough plan.
    If it is compared with the following regime which has allowed numerous operatives of the given world power to freely roam around the streets of Pak and take any actions they deem necessary from their POV while the number of such operatives continues to increase as they days go by and it appears that the given power has some other plans and designs up their sleeves and, not only one but multiple that could be detrimental to the existence of a secure Pak or even Pak altogether.

    This is as far as this little brain can think and estimate, i could be wrong, I could be overlooking things along the line, but this is my 2 cents worth.
    It would be hypothetical for me to conclude that if it was someone else in the office at the time could things have been different, but I can say one thing that while a possibility may exist to honor this we as a nation should feel obligated to support the commanding authority in such situation without attempting to look at how we or someone else as individual with power could have designed and executed it and expand our nucleus to national level rather than party level of individual level to prove that the action would have been different with different results.
    It only happens once and the governing set up cannot be changed at the time when one is presented with given circumstances.

    Best regards
    A Zuberi

  • Kamal Khan  On June 11, 2011 at 2:32 am

    The Answer is “YES WE COULD HAVE DECIDED AND ACTED OTHERWISE” – Pervez Musharaf you acted “Solely” in the Interest of USA and have done grave harm and massive damage to Pakistan/Pakistani’s. You have committed Murder (LAL MASJID and Madrassah where over 100 children of age 10 were bombed and killed). You have branded Pakistan/Pakistani’s as Terrorists . You are responsible for over 5,000 Missing Persons. You have never thought about “ISLAM and MUSLIMS” that is why USA & Mossad are harboring and helping you . You wanted to Recognise ISRAEL and wanted an Embassy of ISRAEL in Pakistan. You are responsible for handing over Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (The Nations Sister) to the Americans.
    You have been a drunkard and shirked ISLAM for far to long. You are held accountable for many Crimes against the State and People Of Pakistan.
    You are a traitor and In-Humane and need to be Branded as such. You have ashamed Pakistan in from of the World.

    God Insha ALLAH will give everyone Due Justice.

    KK

  • siddiqui my  On June 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    At the end of the day, decisions taken by Gen Musharraf were right but circumstantial evidence is not wholly in his favour !
    Large scale induction of us personnel is not mentioned by the General ? Air space was in total american control and so were the Pak sea lanes…………………Of course this writer is in no position to refute the general’s statement but later evidence and events point my doubts !!
    One thing he admits “he took the decision” and THEN went to his comrades ?? we all know what it means in military language?
    To fear the US choice would have gone to the Indians as expressed does not sound logical……….without a short land route the Afghan expedition would have been nightmare for the americans…Berlin Airlift was a great strain upon the ALLIES…………..I am sure the general also knew that but he is playing on Pakistani peoples bias to gain support for his otherwise correct and sound decision……….and this is not fair !!!!!!!!!!!
    Decision was correct and he certainly had no choice….but he certainly panicked………should have played for some time and thus put the other side under some pressure…………..All I can say he was not well served by his eyes and ears ie Intellegence and diplomats…
    I admit being not in the eye of the storm one can talk brave…………..he is certainly a good bridge player but has not played poker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! neither have i ever ?
    So I vote “yes’ for him

    siddiqui,my

  • M Malik  On June 12, 2011 at 3:37 am

    Mr Zuber
    U said that u heard the famous phrase of bombing to stone age with your own eras. Pl let us know where did u hear the same?? Bhutto/PPP also claim of the famous prase by Henry Kessinger telling Bhutto that “we will make a horrible example out of u” but denied as totally rubbish and false by Henry Kessinger. I may also add there are always note takers sitting at the rear of their respective Sahibs to note important part of discussions and then reproduce them in the minutes for further action. Both the comments were quite important for the note takers to miss!
    am

  • Qaisar Nawaz Gandapur  On June 12, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Are we so NAÏVE that we do not understand that once such statements are make, “Bomb you to the stone age” & “Make a horrible example”, nobody will own these statements.
    I suggest, that we look into our own self & see ” ARE WE AS INDIVIDUALS DOING ENOUGH for PAKISTAN” a country which has given us everything.
    This divide will certainly give an edge to our enemies, who ever they might be.
    Qaisar N Gandapur

  • Naeem-ud-din Khalid  On June 12, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Syed Wajahat Hussain, Where were you when Musharraf was in chair?

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On June 12, 2011 at 6:43 am

    The Commando Genl. Mushurruf has repeatedly acknowledged in his own writeup and elsewhere at every forum and also in his book that gives me avery dissappointing impression about his personal acuman as of a statesman in fear. . What i as an ordinary citizen of this sad land can understand from his expalainations that He was quite afraid and got really scared and taken aback of American threats. He was afraid to the extent of shock that he could not even try to confirm and re-confirm the genuiness and authenticity of those threats right from the mouths of those horses..And thereafter that evening what so ever decisions he made he made them all in his total amazement and constant fear. As Captain of his Govt. stakeholders He applied fear factor on his team and as Head of the state He applied same fear factor on us all as a nation…Wish therafter recieving those mesages as a gallant commando He could stand for few moments and could keep himself composed enough to exercise his patience and could confirm the reality and purity and real meaning of that message.. Wish he could do some real good thinking exercise and wish he could turn back to the nation for a cause and could use his real strength to show atleast some kind of national hestitation and reluctance if at all he was not in a postion to resist. Quite possible if he would have taken some respectful time before surrender and things today might have been somewaht different than what they are. Even Americans could not hide their surprise and amazement on such a swift and suttle succumb of our Genl. Anyway the bygone is the bygone let see when we as a nation can raise our head from this alter..

  • Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui  On June 12, 2011 at 6:49 am

    The Commando Genl. Mushurruf has repeatedly acknowledged in his own writeup and elsewhere at every forum and also in his book that gives me avery dissappointing impression about his personal acuman as of a statesman in fear. . What i as an ordinary citizen of this sad land can understand from his expalainations that He was quite afraid and got really scared and taken aback of American threats. He was afraid to the extent of shock that he could not even try to confirm and re-confirm the genuiness and authenticity of those threats right from the mouths of those horses..And thereafter that evening what so ever decisions he made he made them all in his total amazement and constant fear. As Captain of his Govt. stakeholders He applied fear factor on his team and as Head of the state He applied same fear factor on us all as a nation…Wish therafter recieving those mesages as a gallant commando He could stand for few moments and could keep himself composed enough to exercise his patience and could confirm the reality and purity and real meaning of that message.. Wish he could do some real good thinking exercise and wish he could turn back to the nation for a cause and could use his real strength to show atleast some kind of national hestitation and reluctance if at all he was not in a postion to resist. Quite possible if he could have taken some respectful time before surrender and things today were some waht different than what they are. Interesting to note that even his American counterparts could not hide their surprise and amazement on such a swift and suttle succumb of our Genl. Anyway the bigone is the bigone let see when and how we as a nation can raise our head from this alter..

  • Munzar  On June 15, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I have my serious doubts that the gentleman who ventured into Kargal without realizing the enemy capabilities and the world reaction has anything to do with terms like ” thorough, deliberate and realistic appraisal of the geo-strategic realities”. After reading this sentence I did not feel like reading ahead.

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