Civilians Ruin It,’ Says Pervez Musharraf, ‘Dictators Set Country Right

The country brought by the Military back on track whereas civilian governments have always derailed it, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has said.

In an interview with BBC Urdu on Wednesday, Mr Musharraf lauded Pakistan's former military dictators Field Marshal Ayub Khan and General Zia-ul-Haq.

"Dictators set the country right, whereas civilian governments brought it to ruins," he said, adding, "military rule always brought progress to Pakistan".

"Progress have been seen by all the Asian countries because of dictators," he said, adding that it makes no difference to the population of Pakistan whether the country is being governed by an elected government or by an autocrat, as long as there is progress and prosperity.

Mr Musharraf also criticised former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's India policy, saying it was a "total sell-out policy". 
Commenting on the rule of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, Mr Musharraf said that the former dictator's decision to help America and the Mujahideen against the Soviet Union at the time of the Afghanistan invasion was a correct move.

"The coup was staged because it was the demand of the country's people," Mr Musharraf said, adding that Pakistan's citizens should have the option of to remove a civilian government and there should be "checks and balances in the Constitution" to this effect.

"To the Army to be saved the people come running. People come to me asking to be saved... We cannot ruin the country in order to save the Constitution. We can disregard the Constitution to save the people," Mr Musharraf said.

Mr Musharraf came to head the Pakistan Army in 1998. He staged a coup in October 1999, ousting Mr Sharif, and was President from 2001 to 2008. Musharraf now lives in Dubai.



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