Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 8:06 AM

Pakistan Declares Former President Pervez Musharraf a Fugitive

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I have found on occasion that merely listing the titles of a few commentaries speaks volumes about a topic. As it happens, I have written many commentaries on the fractious, even murderous, politics of Pakistan.

This seems a good occasion to merely list the titles of a few of them:

  • “Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf: A Friend Indeed Who’s a Friend in Need,” February 7, 2006
  • “Day of Reckoning for America’s Most-Favored Dictator, General Musharraf of Pakistan,” August 24, 2007
  • “The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto: A Rendezvous with Destiny,” December 28, 2007
  • “The Politics of Nepotism in Pakistan…,” December 31, 2007
  • “President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan Forced to Resign,” August 18, 2008
  • “Trouble on March in Pakistan…Again,” March 13, 2009
  • “Floods Over Pakistan,” August 10, 2010
  • “Arrest Warrant for Musharraf,” February 15, 2011
  • “Osama bin Laden Is Dead,” May 3, 2011
  • “Pakistan Betrays US for China…Duh,” August 16, 2011
  • “Musharraf…Charged with Bhutto Assassination,” August 21, 2013

That last title explains this latest development:

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder trial, ordering his property confiscated, a court official said on Thursday.

Musharraf was charged with Bhutto’s 2007 assassination in 2013, but has been in self-imposed exile in Dubai ever since a travel ban was lifted three years later.

The official said he had ‘absconded’.

(Al Jazeera, August 31, 2017)

I do not think Musharraf was complicit in Bhutto’s assassination. I explained why in my August 2013 commentary.

But he was wise to flee. In fact, baying backlash against his increasingly authoritarian rule was such that I advised him to do just that in my August 2007 commentary. And this was long before his political enemies began fingering him for Bhutto’s assassination.

It would behoove Musharraf to follow the trail other weakened strongmen have blazed into exile. And, frankly, given the numerous assassination attempts on his life, it would be understandable if Musharraf decided that he’d be better off enjoying time in London or Dubai, spending the millions he skimmed from US military aid, than wasting time in Pakistan chasing Islamic terrorists.

(“D-Day for America’s Most-Favored Dictator…, The iPINIONS Journal, August 24, 2007)

To be fair, it’s understandable that he caught so many people off guard. After all, the Napoleonic Musharraf fleeing was every bit as inconceivable as Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Muammar Gaddafi of Libya doing so.

Not to mention that Musharraf continually vowed to return to face the charges, despite decrying them as “fabricated.” But I suspect he was ultimately guided by the kangaroo trial that led to the hanging of Bhutto’s own father, ex-prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Indeed, Musharraf can be forgiven for noting – from his imperial lair in Dubai – that both Saddam and Muammar are dead. Never mind the more instructive fate that befell not just Bhutto but her daddy too.

Musharraf is alive and no doubt doing very well.

Related Articles:
President Pervez Musharraf … in need
Pressure mounts for Musharraf to resign
D-day for America’s most-favored dictator
Assassination of Bhutto
Politics of Nepotism
Musharraf forced to resign
Trouble in Pakistan
Floods over Pakistan
Arrest warrant for Musharraf
Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Betrays US
Musharraf charged

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