So much for the much vaunted freedom of Pakistan’s press.
_________________________________________________His image (or as he claims ‘Pakistan’s image’) in the West is apparently of crucial importance to Musharraf. The Washington Post accused him, with some justification, of being ‘a ruler who cares more about how he is perceived in the West than in implementing the policies he claims to espouse, or even in speaking the truth’.
This obsessive sensitivity to Western perceptions has resulted in a number of image damaging absurditites, such as when Musharraf personally banned the gang rape victim Mukhtaran Mai from travelling to the US because of fear of the ‘bad press’ that would result.
Ironically one can confidently assert that no one has done more to damage Musharraf’s reputation than Musharraf himself. His self-destructive verbosity during the recent US visit is proof in itself.
To protect his and Pakistan’s image, if one were to follow previous examples, the logical corollary would be that Musharraf officially ban himself from further travels abroad (by placing his own name on the Exit Control List held at airports preventing ‘harmful’ Pakistanis from travelling overseas).