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Who Is Dictator: Please Define

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It is not yet clear whether Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf can be declared a dictator or not. Presently, Musharraf has been saying that he was ready to accept the rule of law, but the opposition parties, enjoying full support of terrorists, have been trying to force him resign. Musharraf's resignation at this critical time will badly affect the country, which is already at war with terrorists.

The track record of political parties shows that they never allowed democracy in their parties: Just look at Asif Ali Zardari who has become the head of Pakistan People's Party after the tragic murder of Benazir Bhutto. According to the rule of the game the workers must be given the chance to elect party leaders. This is the case of Mian Nawaz Sharif as well. There might be a lot of people, who will not agree with me, but this is my opinion: Musharraf is the best democrat in Pakistan. He is the only person, who can defeat terrorists and extremists in Pakistan. After all he is not a corrupt person like most of the politicians.

The United States can play a big role by asking all political parties to accept the rule of law. According to a report, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said he would continue his struggle for the elimination of dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in the country.

Addressing a luncheon arranged in honour of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), ANP and independent representatives, he said the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto will always remind us to persist on the path of complete and true democracy, adding her sacrifices would always be remembered.

Zardari said, 'I appeal to all the political parties to work in concert with each other for the permanent elimination of dictatorship and any role of establishment,' adding, 'Today's meeting offers us a new chapter of democracy and hope.'

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif said the presence of all the people here is a clear-cut message to President Musharraf to resign.

Addressing to the gathering, Awami National party Chief Asfandyar Wali said people of Pakistan has given their verdict on February 18, adding, no compromise on principles is likely.

On this occasion, all the leaders including Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and others joined their hands to express unity.

Situation is Pakistan is still critical as terrorists have intensified their activities. According Dawn comment, WHETHER or not it was an unofficial ceasefire, sheer coincidence, or perhaps compulsions arising from the Feb 18 general election, what had been a pause in suicide bombings was broken on Monday when militants struck Pakistan in four places. The most devastating of the attacks was in Rawalpindi, where the target was a lieutenant-general belonging to the medical services. Lt-Gen Mushtaq Baig, who was killed by a lone suicide bomber, was the highest serving military officer to fall victim to violence. It appears that the strength and reach of the militants is growing. Obviously, the suicide bomber knew the Surgeon General’s routine and movement, and only insiders sympathetic to the Taliban waging war on Pakistan must have kept him and his ‘facilitators’ well-informed. Another daring attack was in Mansehra, where the militants, who came in two cars, lobbed grenades at an NGO office, burning four people to death. Balochistan also witnessed two explosions in Dera Bugti and Sangsila, leaving three security men dead.

The lull in terrorist attacks since Feb 18 had given hope to the people that perhaps things could improve now that a government elected in the true sense of the term was expected to assume office.

In fact, Baitullah Mehsud extended an olive branch when he said he was willing to work with the new government if it halts “Musharraf’s war on terror”. Who precisely was involved in the attacks in Rawalpindi and Mansehra is not yet clear, but given the pattern in evidence for quite some time fingers will be pointed at the Taliban. They have been trying to focus attacks on military and security personnel, though the NGO office was by no stretch of imagination a security installation. If the unified Taliban command is not behind these attacks it should disclaim responsibility to establish the credibility of its talk offer.

In Balochistan, the situation looks hopeful, because some Baloch nationalist leaders have responded positively to the PPP’s apology for past excesses. One hopes that the Baitullah army, which claims to be fighting for Islam — though intriguingly most of its victims have been Muslim — will stay its hand at least till a new government takes office in Islamabad. The Taliban and their supporters have brought a bad name to Muslims and have brought Pakistan to the brink of devastation. The government — whosoever heads it — must talk to them but within the parameters of the law as we understand it.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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