This week’s Time magazine published a list of the 100 ‘The People Who Shape Our World’. With the current U.S. focus on the ‘War on Terror’ it wasn’t surprising to see our Head Chowkidar’s name there.
Here is an excerpt of what was written on Musharraf:
In an era superrich in nightmare scenarios, nothing disturbs the sleep of world leaders more than the prospect of chaos in Pakistan—and jihadists' gaining control over its nuclear weapons. Standing between order and that cataclysm, those leaders believe, is General Pervez Musharraf, the country's leader since 1999…His ties with the U.S. enrage religious radicals, who are his most dangerous opponents.
Musharraf styles himself a blunt-talking soldier. Yet his rule has a circus quality—half high-wire act, half tiger riding. He has yet to confront the broader jihadist movement, and he has two local rebellions to deal with. Musharraf remains the West's best bet in Pakistan. The question is whether he is good enough (your Blogger’s emphasis).
What will probably enrage Mush is the name of the other Pakistani on the list. It was none other than our illiterate village woman– Mukhtaran Mai, who, truth be told, has displayed twice as much spine as Musharraf ever could.
While the Time magazine qualified it’s inclusion of Musharraf name on the list by questioning his abilities, Mukhtaran got nothing but fulsome praise. Here is an excerpt:
Only a few leaders are alchemists who take the worst of human behavior and turn it into the best. Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani woman raised in poverty and illiteracy, has responded to the violence and gender apartheid directed at her and other women with an insistence on justice and education…
There are perhaps thousands of such "honor crimes" in Pakistan each year. Survivors are more likely to kill themselves or be killed by their families than turn to a legal system that requires four male adult Muslim eyewitnesses to testify to rape—otherwise the victim can be convicted of fornication and adultery. But Bibi went to court. Her bravery attracted support from international media and women's groups, and her attackers were convicted. With the compensation money plus contributions from people who read about her struggle, she created a girls' school. Now 33, she has become a skilled organizer and trusted leader, and a magnet for other women escaping violence.
But Bibi is far from safe. Only global pressure forced Pakistan [in other words Musharraf] to give her a passport so she could meet women abroad, and she still receives death threats from those who view her as a danger to the nation's image and social order. Like Nelson Mandela, another alchemist who redeemed human nature by example, she depends on ordinary supporters to keep herself and her work alive.
Who can ever forget Mush’s asinine declaration directed at Mukhtatan Mai:
[Rape] has become a moneymaking concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped - Washington Post 12 Sept. 2005
Even today if one asks a government official in Punjab or Islamabad - as I have on frequent occasions - about Mukhtaran Mai, one typically gets a similar unbelievable reply. In a nutshell the answer you get is: ‘The woman was never raped. It is all a drama for publicity and she has made a lot of money in the process’.
After all the 'King' has spoken and his lackeys have to disgracefully follow suit.
With Time magazine reserving unqualified praise for Mukhtaran Mai over a qualified billing for our dictator, it is a case of just desserts for the fruitcake and his followers.