Military ‘angered’ by Musharraf treatment
ISLAMABAD - Reuters
Gen Kayani was reportedly angered by a Pakistani court decision which imposed a life-time ban on Musharraf. REUTERS photoGen Kayani was reportedly angered by a Pakistani court decision which imposed a life-time ban on Musharraf.
Pakistan’s powerful army chief has suggested the military is unhappy with how authorities have treated former army chief and President Pervez Musharraf since his return from exile.
A Pakistani court imposed a lifetime ban on Musharraf on April 30 from contesting elections, undermining his efforts to regain influence by winning a seat in Parliament. The former army chief returned in March after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest a May 11 general election, but election officers disqualified him because of court cases pending against him. Musharraf’s has been embroiled in legal issues since his return.
In what newspapers described as a veiled reference to Musharraf’s legal troubles, Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani said: “In my opinion, it is not merely retribution, but awareness and participation of the masses that can truly end this game of hide and seek between democracy and dictatorship.” Kayani, arguably the most powerful figure in Pakistan, was delivering a Martyrs’ Day speech at army headquarters.
The military has ruled Pakistan for than half of its 66-year-history, through coups or from behind the scenes. It sets security and foreign policy, even when civilian governments are in power. However, current commanders have meddled less in politics, letting civilian governments take the heat for policy failures.