Of course, one realizes that he has probably been advised – maybe ‘told’ – to keep a low profile by the military itself. Possibly, that was part of the unstated ‘deal’ that led to his resignation. Moreover, one must confess, that given all the passions he can still ignite amongst his detractors as well as his supporters, it is probably a good think that he has kept a low profile. Pakistan is already too traumatic a place. There is already “too much news” in Pakistan as it is. A little quiet from the Pervez Musharraf front is, therefore, probably good for the general and good for Pakistan too.
But that being as it is, one is quite surprised at the silence nonetheless. Silence is certainly not characteristic of the man. And he obviously has a lot that he could say, especially given all the events since his departure. That he has kept his restrain – or been made to keep his restrain – is, therefore, certainly surprising and possibly admirable.
Except, that it seems that he has finally broken the silence – but only briefly and most cautiously. One hears that he will also soon start saying more – on the international lecture circuit. Whether one agrees with him or not, it will no doubt be worth a listen.
News channels in Pakistan have reported on remarks after Eid prayers at the Army House. According to The News:
Former president Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said he would not leave the country. He made these remarks after offering Eid prayers in Army House today. Musharraf said several foreign institutes and non-government organization (NGOs) were inviting him to present lectures. â€œI will start the visits once some matters related to the invitations are finalized.â€ he added. Condemning the Marriott hotel suicide blast, Musharraf said military operation against militants should continue. Bajaur operation has started to produce results, he noted.
Gen. Musharraf remains at the Army House along with his family and while his days since his resignation have been quiet – or at least unreported upon – Eid day at the Army House was far from quiet. Reportedly he received a number of Eid guests and well-wishers, including retired and serving military military officers, friends, businessmen, and politicians.
Reports suggest that he strongly denied any plans of moving abroad, reaffirmed his intention to remain in Pakistan, did say that he might go abroad on a lecture tour after settling his affairs in Pakistan, said that the Bajur operation has been a success and needs to be a success in the future, condemned the Marriott Hotel bombing, and said that he was having an “excellent time” since he resigned because it had given him time to spend with his family, friends, and to pursue other activities like reading.
Nothing in what he said to his Eid visitors is surprising. That is the nice chit chat that Eid gatherings are supposed to be about. But one does wonder what he is really thinking? What he has really been doing (I hope that he actually has been reading, which is always a good thing)? How has he been coping with the transition? How has he dealt with being everywhere all the time to being near invisible? And, what is it that he will say when he gives these lectures.
I suspect that we will never find the answers to any of the above, except for the very last one. That, I think, we will find out soon enough. But I have a sense I already know the script of that one. But I will be attentively listening nonetheless.