Suggests forming long-term interim govt to ‘put house in order’
KARACHI: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has suggested that an interim government, authorised by the Supreme Court (SC) to carry out constitutional amendments, was the only solution to the challenges being faced by the country. He expressed these views while talking to Dawn News.
“The proposed technocrat interim government should be provided with a considerable time to hold the corrupt politicians accountable,” Musharraf said, adding that the interim setup should not be bound to “hold elections in three or six months”, as according to him it would not serve the purpose of its placement. Commenting on the recent statement by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq in which he had voiced fears regarding the future of the incumbent government, Musharraf said the current government “will not complete its tenure”.
He was in favour of “ousting the PML-N government”. When asked about the PML-N’s narrative that apparently the army was plotting to expel the government, he said: “I don’t know what the Aabpara [a veiled reference to the military’s intelligence arm] is doing, but every Pakistani who is making efforts to oust the government was justified in doing so.” Those politicians who are talking about the greater plan [the perception that the army was planning to oust the government] are corrupt and useless, he said. Musharraf also accused such politicians of nepotism. “Corrupt politicians have always compelled the army to take over,” he said while trying to justify past martial laws in the country.
“I want, from the depths of my heart, the removal of the ruling regime,” he said, adding that it would be in the better interest of the state if the incumbent government doesn’t complete its tenure. An interim government should be placed to put the country on the right track, Musharraf said. “In Pakistan, the state and the Constitution often come at odds with each other. We need to save the country and make democratic amendments to ensure that corrupt elements do not come again at the helm of affairs,” he said. The retired general disagreed that politicians can’t be ousted until and unless masses reject them. “This narrative will lead to a clash between the judiciary and the executive,” he added. He, however, praised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, saying: “Among an available lot of politicians, only Imran Khan has the charisma to attract masses.” Talking about the role of the judiciary, he said no one was talking about a martial law to bring a positive change in the country, however, masses were looking forward to the SC for some relief.
“The SC will have to find a way [to replace the incumbent government with an interim one],” he remarked. Musharraf suggested that the judiciary should take a start with striking down the legislation that allows a convicted person to head a political party. “They should declare it illegal and unconstitutional,” he added. “The prevailing rules and laws do not allow a change to take place,” he said. Citing some quotations of Abraham Lincoln, he said the father of democracy himself had confessed that he had broken laws and constitution. Talking about his vision and future plans, Musharraf said: “We should create more provinces, it is essential to smoothly run the business of the state.” The former president said he wanted to form a multiethnic party and spread “Pakistanism”.
To a question, he said all ethnic entities live in Karachi so it will be good to start a multi-ethnic movement from there. “I have to approach masses. I don’t want to head scattered groups of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), neither they want me to chair them,” Musharraf said while negating the impression that he would head a party, comprising various groups of MQM. “There is a vacuum in Karachi. To me, the MQM is a failure and my approach is not to reinforce failures,” he said. I want to make a new entity and ask the former voters of the MQM to come under its ambit to form a government in their province, Musharraf said, adding that he, however, will not lead them as he considers himself a “national level leader” and that he will “not play on a provincial level”. When asked what if the SC declares him disqualified, he said, in that case, he will sit calmly and say “Pakistan ka Allah hi hafiz” [Pakistan, may Allah Almighty save you].