Articles by Rehana Hakim
The unprecedented victory of the MMA in the October 2002 elections has set off alarm bells in cross sections of Pakistani society.
All it took was the concept of free and fair elections for General Musharraf’s avowed agenda of bringing in a clean system of governance and eliminating extremism to fall victim to political expediency.
Asked what he regretted as being the low point in his three-year tenure as head of state in the BBC programme, Question Time Pakistan, General Musharraf disarmed the audience with his answer: it was the referendum, he said.
The frenetic manner in which the Musharraf government has been adding to, and subtracting from, its two constitutional packages has given rise to increasing suspicion about the fairness of the entire electoral exercise.
The disillusionment with the general is total. Following the controversial referendum, the President’s office has now come up with a constitutional package to beat all previous packages.
A barber in Srinagar tells correspondent Mark Tully in a BBC programme on Kashmir, ‘Paradise Lost,’ that the Kashmiris want to have no part of either India or Pakistan.
General Ayub polled 97.7 per cent votes in his referendum. General Zia-ul-Haq polled an equal number. So if General Musharraf paralleled the record set by his erstwhile comrades, it should come as no surprise.
Why is General Musharraf so miffed about the parallels that are being drawn between him and his erstwhile comrades-in-arms, specifically General Zia-ul-Haq?
The Babri mosque was reduced to rubble on December 6, 1992 by the kar sevaks of Ayodhya. Ten years on, the Ayodhya incident in which 2,000 Indians, mostly Muslims, lost their lives, continues to cast its grisly shadow on India’s political landscape.