Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s off-the-cuff remarks seldom go unnoticed and the pearls of wisdom have often been compared with those of his “good friend” and US counterpart George W Bush.
With the Musharraf era seemingly drawing “to a close”, a news magazine has put together “Mushisms” to mock and celebrate the man “who kept us laughing through the war on terror, the judicial crisis and nine years of military rule”.
Consider this: after the sudden spurt in suicide bombings in Pakistan, Musharraf reasoned: “If a person is miserable in this life, he thinks he’s going to be a VIP in heaven.” He also described NGOs as “westernised fringe elements as bad as Islamic extremists” and rights activists as people “who sleep on the day of elections”.
However, all of them can’t be easily forgiven. Like the one about rape victims on September 18, 2005: “A lot of people say that if you want to go abroad and get a visa from Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.”
The introductory note in Newsline reads: “The Musharraf era has been unrivalled in the country’s history. As Pakistan lurched from one crisis to the other, it could always rely on its fearless leader to pour forth some words or wisdom, be it a gratuitous insult or a prediction that had no chance of ever materialising.
“And if there was no one else left to blame, he could always take a potshot at out eastern neighbours.”
On his friend Bush, Musharraf said in May 2001: “Each and every individual Pakistani was in favour of his winning, each and every one. I don’t think there could be a single Pakistani who was against him, I would say. He enjoyed the support of every Pakistani.”
His comment on the Indian military on April 15, 1999 was: “We have developed Ghauri, which is a most effective missile and better than Agni. India has the ambition to reach the world, but we have the capability to reach India.”