Former President Musharraf’s interview in India can be seen here.
The interview can also be seen here.
Download in FLV Format: 48.6MB
I strongly suspect that the above is not the full interview; bits and pieces appear to have been left out. Nonetheless, we see Musharraf once again promoting and defending Pakistan’s stance on a number of issues, primarily the Kashmir issue and the problem of extremism/terrorism, in an unapologetic manner.
One issue needs to be clarified. It has been reported that Musharraf allegedly expressed his desire to regain the Presidency of Pakistan in the near future. It comes as no surprise that some people are using this alleged statement to attack Musharraf. After having seen the above interview, I conclude that the former President is being quoted out of context. Towards the end of the interview (clip #6 here or time slice 17:21 – 17:48 here), Musharraf was asked whether or not if after his resignation he again desired to become the President of Pakistan? Musharraf very slightly swayed his head in the negative and said ‘no’ as the interviewer continued speaking. Immediately thereafter a hypothetical scenario was presented to Musharraf: ‘WHAT IF‘ such an offer was made to him (’agar up ku offer kiya jai‘ and: ‘agar aup ku koi offer karta hai tu‘?)? To this hypothetical question Musharraf replied that he would see what type of an offer it was and IF he could play a role therein (’no … offer agar koi karta hai tu mey dekhunga agar mey usmey koi role adda karsekta hu‘ and: agar mey role play karsekta hu tu‘). He proceeded to state that he would obviously accept an offer ONLY IF he could play a useful role and that he would not like to be a useless President who did not contribute.
Thus, I do not see what the hoopla is about. He merely said that he would accept an offer only if it allowed him to contribute and play a positive role. Musharraf was speaking in purely hypothetical terms. He did not state as a matter of fact that he wanted or desired to regain the Presidency. Of course, I do hope, wish and pray that Musharraf comes back to power in Pakistan. Pakistan needs him badly. But, for the time being, the former President is being wise in refraining to comment upon Pakistan’s messy politics.
I am after the video clip of the Q & A session in India where the former President had to face a barrage of hostile questions from a variety of Indian personalities. I hope someone can post the link if it has been uploaded somewhere.
PPPP Acknowledges the Improvement of Economy under MusharrafOn this blog we have collected a number of essays listing the economic achievements of the Musharraf government, arguing that none of the so-called ‘democratic’ regimes of Benazir and Nawaz, even when put together, come remotely close to what Musharraf accomplished for Pakistan’s economy within a decade’s time. These essays can be seen here:
Musharraf Economic Performance
[See also the Economic Pakistan blog]
There was a good reason to compile these essays. Opponents of Musharraf have been constantly claiming that Musharraf not only did nothing for Pakistan’s economy, but, in fact, harmed it immensely during his time. These Musharraf opponents belong primarily to the PPPP and PML-N parties and even now they can be seen making such allegations, both in newspapers as well as on various television programmes. Therefore, our aim was to demonstrate the utter falsity of this allegation and to expose these people as bald faced liars.
Finally, at least privately, the current PPPP regime has admitted this! In their ‘Letter of Intent’ to the IMF in a bid to secure a bail-out package of $7.6 billion, the PPPP government relied upon the economic successes and achievements of the Musharraf government as a major point to convince the IMF!
The following excerpts have been extracted from:
Govt appreciates economic policies of Musharraf regime
By Mubarak Zeb Khan
Friday, 16 Jan, 2009
Khan begins by saying (all emphasis added):
While publicly it criticizes former President Musharraf for the present economic mess, the government in its official documents has appreciated the economic policies of the previous regime that became a strong base for seeking loans from multilateral donors and friends of Pakistan.
So publicly, the government is lying.
The letter of intent (LoI), on the basis of which, Pakistan sought the much-needed $7.6 billion bailout package from the International Monitory Fund (IMF), has bit by bit appreciated the Musharraf policies since 2000.
During the past one decade (1999-2007), the LoI says Pakistan’s economy witnessed a major economic transformation from substantial increase in the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) to greater international trade.
The reason for the above:
An official source requesting not to be named said the economic wizards in the finance ministry are not politicians to make only speeches but they have to look into ground realities. ‘We reported to IMF whatever is factual and based on evidence,’ the official added.
In other words, they cannot afford to tell outright lies to the IMF, while the PPPP politicians can tell lies to the Pakistan public. The economists cannot continue with this tradition of deceit but must stick to the facts in their discussions with the IMF.
As Dr. Salman Shah rightfully pointed out:
Former Finance Minister Dr Salman Shah told this scribe the government has made the 170 million people fool while telling them pack of lies in the past nine months about the economic policies of the Mushrraf regime.
The truth is:
The LoI said the country’s real GDP increased from $60 billion in 2000-01 to $170 billion in 2007-08 with per capital income rising from under $500 to over $1000. During the same period, the volume of international trade increased to nearly $60 billion from $20 billion.
For most of this period, real GDP grew at more than 7 per cent a year with relative price stability. The improved macroeconomic performance enabled Pakistan to re-enter the international capital markets in the mid-2000s. Buoyant output growth, low inflation, and the government’s social policies contributed to a reduction in poverty and an improvement in many social indicators.
Had Pakistan’s economy not grown under Musharraf:
…Pakistan would have to apply for other long term IMF financing facilities like poverty reduction, structural adjustments etc, Shah said adding government should tell truth to the nation if they have confidence.
‘The recruitment made so far for running the finances of this country is very depressing. This shows this government has neither commitment nor capabilities to take the country out of the current crisis,’ Dr Salman said.
The actual cause of the current downfall:
He said the government admitted in the LoI, the current crisis was because of price shocks, global financial turmoil and policy inaction during the political transition to the new government. He blamed the current government for blocking inward movement of $5 billion by suspending privatization of major transactions.
What the above means is that the PPPP (and the PML-N) has been busy telling lies about the performance of the Musharraf government. Either under Musharraf the economy did well or it did poorly. Both scenarios could not have occurred simultaneously. Either the PPPP officials told blatant lies to the Pakistani public or they told blatant lies to the IMF in their “Letter of Intent.” What we know for sure, however, is that they have been telling lies to at least one of the sides. We will let the PPPP decide in which instance they were lying.
Understandably the ever so grotesque Ishaq Dar (see also this) is still in denial, remaining unrepentant, and insisting he was right when he infamously blurted out that the Pakistan treasury was “empty.”
Let us also bear in mind the immense harm the present ‘democratic’ government has caused to the Pakistani economy in a short span of time, an economy they privately admit was immensely strengthened by the Musharraf government:
PAKISTAN BACK TO BEGGING under ‘DEMOCRACY’!
Finally, more good news. The “Letter of Intent” can be seen on the IMF website here:
Pakistan: Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding
November 20, 2008
I end this paper by quoting the relevant sections from the government’s own “Letter of Intent”:
I. RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
1. In the last decade, Pakistan’s economy witnessed a major economic transformation. The country’s real GDP increased from $60 billion in 2000/01 to $170 billion in 2007/08 (fiscal year starts July 1st), with per capita income rising from under $500 to over $1,000. During the same period, the volume of international trade increased from about $20 billion to nearly $60 billion. For most of this period, real GDP grew at more than 7 percent a year with relative price stability. The improved macroeconomic performance enabled Pakistan to re-enter the international capital markets in the mid-2000s. Large capital inflows financed the current account deficit and contributed to an increase in gross official reserves to $14.3 billion (3.8 months of imports) at end-June 2007. Buoyant output growth, low inflation, and the government’s social policies contributed to a reduction in poverty and an improvement in many social indicators.
2. This strong macroeconomic performance resulted from the implementation of a series of important structural reforms. In the early 2000s, with financial support from international financial institutions (IFIs), including the IMF, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank, the government expanded the role of markets in the economy, privatized a number of large state-owned enterprises, established market-based regulatory bodies, and took steps to reduce the cost of doing business in Pakistan.