Finding a home for Mushie

…if he does get a ‘dignified’ exit

Pervez Musharraf is toast.

When will he go, in what manner will he go, and where will he go? The first two questions are too complicated. Assuming he does get a ‘dignified exit’ that he now seeks, where will General Musharraf spend the first few years of his retirement?

He has too many enemies in a political culture where vendettas are the norm. So he’ll have to get out of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

He could head over to the New England region of the United States to live in comfortable retirement. But doing so would reinforce allegations that he is an American stooge. So he might spend time in the US on ‘extended’ visits, but is unlikely to want the US to be his country of residence.

The Saudi king reportedly asked Nawaz Sharif to take it easy on General Musharraf. Now it would be delicious irony if General Musharraf became the official Pakistani-leader-in-exile, replacing Mr Sharif, but the general has certain lifestyle choices that would make Saudi Arabia a rather uncomfortable retirement home.

So it is that Turkey becomes a leading contender to host the man who holds it in admiration. It is an American ally, an Islamic country, lifestyle choices no bar, and a place where General Musharraf spent some years as a kid. The plane on the tarmac of Islamabad’s airport might well have filed flight plans for Istanbul.

There are other destinations like Dubai and London, also places that host Pakistani-leaders-in-exile, but then, these locations suggest that the said exile has active politics in mind, not retirement.

And finally, there is the village of Chak 13 BC near Bahawalpur in Punjab province. General Musharraf owns land there. In fact, he is the numberdar there, the person who collects water taxes and land revenues on behalf of the state. They don’t want him as army chief and president. Nobody has said anything about not wanting him as the village tax collector.

12 thoughts on “Finding a home for Mushie”

  1. >>the general has certain lifestyle choices that would make Saudi Arabia a rather uncomfortable retirement home.

    Hmm, very interesting. Would you care to elaborate? Its not something innocuous like booze, is it?

  2. Kunal,

    Only to your prurient, wayward, immoral values can booze be innocuous.

  3. Perhaps, he could consider approaching N. Ram or Arundati Roy or the wagah-border peace vigil types to be potential hosts? Lifestyle choices in India could even be more diverse than in Turkey?

  4. Given Mush’s penchant for the limelight (and given Turkey’s a media backwater) I’d bet on an even combination of Old England + New England. Mush must feel his story still needs to be told.

    As an aside: the vendettas in Pakland closely resemble the gangwars of Mumbai in the ’80s and ’90s. You think these guys get too much Bollywood for their own good – and hence cannot distinguish reality from celluloid?

  5. Do people really think that Gen. Musharraf will go down (or out) so easily? He is quietly watching the cat and mouse game going on between the constituents of the Pakistan Government, where the ‘leaders’ are trying to trump each other. When the economy and the now-subtle in fighting go beyond control, the Army will be back with riding boots. If the situation was really untenable for Gen. Musharraf, he would have gone long ago.

  6. the general has certain lifestyle choices that would make Saudi Arabia a rather uncomfortable retirement home.

    Ah… the General is a Canadian Visa agent, is he? 😛

  7. Nitin,
    He should ideally be placed on an endowed chair at a university or a defense academy. He should teach – insurgency using army (till now we are only taught counter-insurgency), how to mount a coup and how to conduct simultaneous anti-terror and terror operations in different borders’! I am sure you have some more to add!

  8. Granted that sleazy habits like a taste for (imported) wine would not find favour with Saudi Arabia’s religious police, though a gentlemanly preference for (imported) blondes may not meet with disapproval. However, don’t rulers and such enjoy privileges in Saudi on account of the stressful nature of the duties they discharge?

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