The PML(N)s j`accuse against former dictator Pervez Musharraf on the anniversary of his 99 takeover was a spot of fun. Not because the subject is light and frivolous but because of the fact that an actual charge-sheet had been prepared and presented in a fashion that made a pretense of legal proceedings. The whole thing, of course, was a PR exercise. The 12th of October is always a tough call for the N League. What to do? How to show indignation? What rabbit, in a manner of speaking, to pull out of a hat this time? The inability of the political classes, the PPP included, to take on a former dictator is a comment on the real dispensation of power in the Republic.
It has been eleven years since that fateful night, one that has, like all our coups in their own ways, changed the course of our political history forever. Our perception of what quite happened then has changed a lot during the course of these years. The plane hijacking case, ironically known in the vernacular press till this very day, even in the anti-Musharraf segments, as the plane conspiracy case, has morphed from being a genuine case to a machination, culminating in the clean chit that Nawaz Sharif got in 2009.
Coinciding with the anniversary was an interview, in a local paper, with the man who would be king, former ISI chief Ziauddin Butt. Wronged as he might have been, his assertion that he was kept out of the loop by the army on the coup is a comment either on his professionalism or on the agency itself. However, he did say that the former dictator already had plans to take over much before the coup itself. It is a serious systemic error if a military coup is made possible only if one man at the top of the chain wishes it. The anniversary should be a day of introspection not for the political classes but for the military itself.