South Asia

‘Democracy in Pakistan has not been tailored to the environment’

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. File photo.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. File photo.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

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The Pakistani Army has often played a prominent role in the governance of Pakistan as democracy has not been tailored to its environment, the country’s former President, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, has said. He also said that if he was in power, he would be “counter-threatening” India in the wake of the recent surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“[Pakistani] Army has always had a role since our independence. It has played a very prominent role in the governance of Pakistan, mainly because of misgovernance by all the so-called democratically-elected governments,” Gen. Musharraf said in an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum here on Thursday.

He said the “inherent weakness” of Pakistan is that democracy in the country has not been tailored in accordance with the dictates of the environment. “There are no checks and balances within the system. The Constitution doesn’t provide those checks and balances.”

He also alleged that the United States has used his country at its convenience and ditched it.

Gen. Musharraf said he has plans to return to his country. However, he put forth conditions for his return. “I would like to see the correct environment where a political change, the third political force is a possibility. I would like to see that the cases are to a degree at a level where my movements are not restricted, the cases can continue, I’ll face them,” he said. Claiming that he did not knew that Osama bin Laden was living in Pakistan, Musharraf objected to his hideout being called a palace.

‘War hysteria in India’

On the recent surgical strikes by India, he said: “[T]hey are threatening us that they are going to strike us at the time and place of their choosing.... This is a very serious matter,” he said.

“I think the war hysteria that is being created in India, I repeat, India, not in Pakistan, is an issue. They do that always.

“This is not the only time. Every time they do that,” Gen. Musharraf said.

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