Former president Pervez Musharraf said a change, not the status quo, was the destiny of Pakistan. He called upon the people to be ready for bringing a change, saying a vibrant nation brings change while dormant people always bear the brutalities of status quo.
Speaking to a gathering of Chitralis at the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, Musharraf said the political force which he declared was the need of the hour would rise from the mountains. “The platform for bringing a change to the political landscape of the country will start from the mountains as mountain people are brave and faithful,” he said in an obvious reference to the people of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. [box type=”info”]Soon after the speech of Gen Musharraf, folk artists from Chitral mesmerized the crowd with “Musharrafo Khidmath, Jannat Gheritai ma Chetrar.” song. The moment the flute artists started the tune, the former military general was left with no option but to jump onto the stage along with his supporters to dance.
The chant of jeye Musharraf by the crowd throughout his 40-minute speech forced the former military ruler to say: “Today, you people have boosted my confidence and let me reiterate it’s only you [people] who once again gave me the courage. If people like you are with me I don’t care about the rest of the things.” About the poor performance of the government and its step-motherly treatment with the people of Chitral, especially the delay in the construction of the Lowar tunnel, Musharraf said $50 billion were eaten up by the government so far but the ratio of development in the country remained zero. “Hundreds of Lowari tunnels could have been constructed with such a huge amount of $50 billion but things will remain the same and the robbers will keep on looting the resources unless a third force is created. We must get rid of these rulers,” he added. He recalled that when he was holding power Pakistanis left their mark in every country with their chest out, adding but the successive governments have distorted the image of the country, forcing our people to hide their faces.
About his disqualification from contesting elections from Chitral, he said he wanted to contest elections from Chitral and Karachi but was barred to atke part in 2013 elections. “If you cannot get justice in an Islamic country likePakistan, that country is not worth calling an Islamic state,” he lamented. He vowed to take revenge from those who barred him from contesting elections by imposing a lifetime ban on him, saying it’s the masses who will decide whether Musharraf is Sadiq and Amin or those sitting at helm of affairs. “If a man like me is unable to get justice, what to talk of a ordinary citizen. We must stand up to rectify this flawed system,” he lamented. At present, the socio economic condition of Pakistan, he added, is going from bad to worse as nothing is being done for welfare of the people while money is being spent in billions. About the growing militancy and extremism, he stressed the need to root out the menace collectively, adding if the government had the vigour and the will, nothing is impossible and the country could overcome this bloodshed in the name of Islam. He called upon the people to decide whether they still want to try people who failed to deliver despite being third time in power.
He said that the constitution is not the holy Quran and it is man-made documents which must be re-written for bringing much needed reforms. “I’m saying all this for people, for betterment of Pakistan and I don’t care whether some one likes it or not as for me, the thing which matters is Pakistan…Pakistan first,” the general maintained. The crowed welcomed him with heart and soul, forcing him to say: “I delivered a long speech which is because of your sentiments and love for me…I’m sure you people have awakened and the rulers, who have no respect for rule of law, will be wiped out with the power of people”. He also pledged to visit Chitral and said that he was the only leaders who had undertaken several visits to Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan. At the end, the general particular thanked the women who attended the function in a good number, saying: “I apologize my sisters for forgetting to acknowledge their presence here who are here in a good number for which I’m grateful.” Musharraf was received at the Marriott by the elders of Chitral.
The general was given a standing ovation when he reached among his supporters. The atmosphere of the hall turned into a gala by slogans of Pervez Musharraf Zindabad. The general is in an excellent mood and feeling at home among his supporters and fans from Chitral. The unique thing which the people have been missing since long is Pervez Musharraf’s unique salute style. The general won the hearts and minds of his supporters who shouted Musharraf Zindabada slogans the moment the general reciprocated with his ‘trademark salute’. They people present inside the hall said that the general is waving to the crowed from time to time in a happy mood, completely forgetting his small ailments and petty wrangling with the government due to politically fabricated cases against him. The countdown is over. The convoy of former president Gen Pervez Musharraf has left for Marriott Hotel to meet his supporters after a long interval.