“Times of military coups in Pakistan are over”: Musharraf

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LONDON - Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has stated that “the times of military coups in Pakistan are over,” as the Supreme Court of the country had now decided “not to validate a military takeover.”

“Whenever the country is in turmoil, everybody looks to the army. But I would suggest that the times of military coups in Pakistan are over. The latest political developments have shown that the Supreme Court has set a bar on itself not to validate a military takeover,” Musharraf said during an interview to der Spiegel, on being asked whether he expected another military coup soon.

When asked how he would rate the performance of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, he declined to directly comment on the issue, but said that everybody could see what they were doing.

“Pakistan is experiencing a deep economic decline- in other areas, as well. Law and order are in jeopardy, extremism is on the rise and there is political turmoil. The non-performance of an elected government is the issue,” he added.

When asked to comment on the role of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the man considered to be pulling the strings in Pakistan, Musharraf said, “I made him chief of the army, because I thought that he was the best man for the job.”

Responding to another question on why he chose re-entry into Pakistani politics instead of enjoying retirement in London, he said, “No risk, no gain. We unfortunately have a culture of vendetta and vindictiveness in Pakistan. But there is no case of corruption or fraud or anything against me at the moment.”

“My political opponents, especially Nawaz Sharif, would love to create a case against me- that I am corrupt or have committed fraud or some such. They do their best to achieve that, but they haven’t succeeded. Even if they did, I would reply in court. Risks need to be taken,” Musharraf added.

On what made him believe that Pakistanis were keenly awaiting his political comeback, the 67-year old said, “I am not living a hermit’s life, I meet people here and in Dubai and receive accurate feedback. I launched my Facebook page eight months ago and today I have more than 315,000 fans. And hundreds of Pakistanis called into a TV show in which I collected money for the flood victims. They donated $3.5 million. Do you think they are doing this because they hate me?” (ANI)

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