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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2770

In line of lies

By Allabaksh - Syndicate Features

A more apt name for the book ghost written for the Pakistani dictator, Gen Pervez Musharraf, would have been ‘A Pack of Lies’ or ‘In Line of Lies’. In Line of Propaganda could also have be an appropriate title since many are of the view that the timing of the release of the memoirs, ‘In The of Fire’ and the kind of publicity it expectedly generated was chosen to win over critics back home so that the General sails through to another five-year term as the de jure and ‘elected’ head of the country.

Many in India think that the book’s chief ‘merit’ lies in being the first Pakistani collection of jokes penned by a dictator. One of the reasons for this assessment could be that Musharraf maintains that the Indian nuclear programme is a copy of his country’s nuclear programme which is globally (in) famous for its proliferation.

It was from the Dubai branch office of AQ Khan clandestine nuclear racket that Indians working there stole the Pakistani designs for uranium enrichment, says the General.

Perhaps, the General forgot to add that soon after the ‘father of Pakistani bomb’, AQ Khan, was put in the doghouse for running a nuclear black market the Pakistanis were alleging that the Iranians had received the designs for uranium enrichment from Indian scientists, not the Pakistanis!

It is not just Musharraf’s wild imagination at work here. There may have been a well-calculated plan behind it. He was hawking his book in America where the nuclear energy agreement signed by the US with India is going through its last legislative hurdles.

Pakistan has been spending a lot of its energy on ensuring that the deal fails to go through. It has offered all help to the American Ayatollahs of nuclear non-proliferation. Men like David Albright have been doing a great ‘service’ by accusing India of nuclear proliferation—not Pakistan.

That many Indians have reacted angrily to the surfeit of lies in the book is not surprising. However, it will be really surprising if the unleashing of vicious lies by the General does not cast its shadow over talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh that the lisping former Pakistani commando officer so desperately wants to resume. This is the route he has chosen to mislead his patrons in the US and the West into believing that he has changed his spots and is now a man of peace.

The expectation that Manmohan Singh would be eager to fly to Pakistan at the first available opportunity would now have to be lowered because the Musharraf’s bibliographic endeavour has surely enlarged the ‘trust deficit’ between the two countries. Manmohan Singh had calculated that his meeting with the General would reduce that ‘deficit’. But that was before the torrent of lies rushed out from Musharraf’s book.

It will be clear to the prime minister and his advisers that talking to a man of Musharraf’s bent of wayward mind will do no good to the country or whatever they are to discuss. He is bound to blame the Indian leader should anything go wrong or not proceed on the lines he wants but take full credit should if there is a positive result. Of course, the fresh revelations about his mindset make it almost impossible to expect anything positive from a meeting with him, now or in any distant future.

Having authored the Kargil invasion it is only to be expected that Musharraf would see the outcome of that war as ‘victory’ for his forces which are apparently drawn from supermen as virtually just a handful of them took on the entire might of the Indian army. At least that is his claim in the book, based on the old Pakistani myth that a ‘Hindu’ country was no match for the Pakistanis.

The Pakistanis, particularly their army, have been fed the belief from the inception of their country that one Pakistani solider is equal to the strength of 100,000 ‘Hindu’ Indian solider. So one small unit of the Pakistanis can easily vanquish several divisions of Indian army!

The only problem here is that even with this alleged superiority, the Pakistanis could not prevent their country being cut into two, by their own admission by the Indian army. Worse, nearly 100,000 of their soldiers, including hundreds of officers, meekly surrendered to the Indian army in 1971.

It is easy to see why Musharraf says that Kargil was ‘won’ by the ‘freedom fighters’ with only a token help from the regular Pak army. The taped conversation between Musharraf and his number two, secretly recorded when the Pak General was in Beijing pleading for military help to fight India, had established that he had left instructions that the soldiers taking part in the Kargil war were to be described as ‘Mujahideens’. In the taped conversation Musharraf’s minion implicitly tells him that the ‘Mujahideens’ were given the credit for shooting down an Indian aircraft, as instructed by him.

Interestingly, even after the end of the Kargil war, this policy was scrupulously followed and Pakistan refused to accept the bodies of its soldiers and officers killed by the Indian army. As against Musharraf’s claim of almost no casualty among the Pakistanis, many in his own country, both military men and civilians, have spoken of heavy Pakistani casualties. The man Musharraf overthrew as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, says that the Pakistani casualty figure runs into thousands.

Ved Malik, who was the army chief during the Kargil war, has called Musharraf a ‘timid’ General. This comment was in the context of Kargil war. He could as well have alluded to the fact that a few strong words from US deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, (no, he did not speak of ‘stone age’) was enough to see this ‘brave’ General do a complete summersault and genuflect before the Americans, carrying a begging bowl in one hand and an arms shopping list in the other.

Some ‘fire’ in the bragging General!

- Syndicate Features -

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