News / Asia

    Musharraf: From Powerful Ruler to Prisoner

    Musharraf: From Powerful Ruler to Prisoneri
    X
    January 09, 2014 11:09 PM
    Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf is facing trial for treason for imposing a state of emergency in 2007 and detaining several judges. Prosecutors say Musharraf’s actions violated Pakistan’s constitution and are punishable by death or life in prison. From powerful military ruler to prisoner, Musharraf’s life has changed dramatically in less than a decade. VOA’s Kokab Farshori has this profile.
    Kokab Farshori
    Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf is facing trial for treason for imposing a state of emergency in 2007 and detaining several judges.  Prosecutors say Musharraf’s actions violated Pakistan’s constitution and are punishable by death or life in prison.  From powerful military ruler to prisoner, Musharraf’s life has changed dramatically in less than a decade. 

    As chief of the Pakistani army, General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999.  He later became the country’s president.  Under his leadership, Pakistan joined international efforts to fight terrorism after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, and Musharraf received accolades in the west for this policy.  Thomas Lynch is with Washington’s National Defense University.
     
    “If Pakistan at that time had played hardball [taken a tough position] - decided not to engage with the U.S. and the Western countries that had decided to take action against al-Qaida and against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan - then Musharraf could have perhaps put Pakistan in an unenviable position of being squeezed by the West from one side and by India from the other side," said Lynch.

    During Musharraf’s years in office, Pakistan saw some economic growth, but critics say that, despite so much financial backing from the U.S. and other Western countries, Musharraf did not deliver what he had promised.  Ayaz Amir is a former lawmaker and a leading political analyst in Pakistan.
     
    "There was no political opposition. The field was absolutely clear. It was a clean slate.  He could have written on it what he wanted, but he could not write," said Amir.

    But there is one area where Musharraf should get a lot of credit, and that is allowing free media to expand like never before in Pakistan, says opposition Senator Mushahid Hussain.
     
    "I think Musharraf’s lasting contribution, in my view, would be that he spawned a media revolution in Pakistan. The free media that we see today is thanks to him, and I think that is something which is going to be enduring," said Hussain.

    Just a day before he was to appear at his treason trial, Musharraf spoke via video link and tried to defend his record.

    "When I appeared on the scene in 1999, Pakistan was a failed or a defaulted state from all socio-economic points of view.  And in eight years we transformed Pakistan from that state to one of the next 11 countries of the world, a vibrant, progressive country," said Musharraf.

    Like many leaders, Musharraf has left behind a mixed legacy, says Lynch.

    "The early part of his tenure was a legacy of playing Pakistan into position through the global war on terror.  But in the latter half, the overreach perhaps, the personal unwillingness to soul-search and critique the difficulty and the untenable nature of the position, pushed Musharraf into difficulties," he said.
       
    Musharraf resigned in 2008 as president amid strong public anger and political opposition and went into self exile.  He returned to Pakistan last year and is now on trial for some of his actions as military ruler.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora