Musharraf homecoming: Mixed reaction of media, politicians

KARACHI: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf sparked mixed emotions throughout his tenure and his “homecoming” has generated a similar response.

Mr Musharraf arrived in Karachi with a promise to “save Pakistan” greeted by cheering supporters who see him as an agent of change.

His supporters and party followers said that Musharraf was the country’s last hope, because he had improved the education system and given many development programmes to the masses, especially the people of Karachi, during his time in power.

But many in the media were less taken. The former military ruler is not widely covered in editorial and opinion pages.

Those who choose to comment in the mainstream or social media seem to feel that he will not make any significant impact on elections, scheduled for 11 May.

TV channels marked Mr Musharraf’s arrival with wall-to-wall coverage but the news was soon eclipsed by the election commission’s announcement that former judge Mir Hazar Khan Khoso will become the country’s caretaker prime minister.

On the otherside, the newspapers were covering the issue of petition against him over Lal Masjid incident and Bugti murder case. Moreover, several protest rallies were held in parts of Balochistan.

A popular daily quoted as saying that, Pakistan Muslim League-N’s statement that Mr Musharraf received a “poor reception” upon his arrival.

“Musharraf faces several court cases related to his time in office and he remains a highly controversial figure in a country struggling to shake off the legacy of extended periods of military rule.

But still Musharraf hopes to regain influence so that his party can win seats in the general election scheduled for May 11, when he will face fierce competition, including from the man he ousted in a military takeover.

The Awami National Party welcomed Musharraf’s arrival.

“ANP has no objection on his [Musharraf’s] arrival,” said Senator Ilyas Bilour.

President of PML-N Balochistan chapter Sardar Sanaullah Zehri said that unless Musharraf is brought to trial, the anger of people of Balochistan will not subside.

Despite facing a string of charges, the courts concerned granted Musharraf protective bails last week, paving the way for a safe arrival.

But with all these analysis his supporters and followers still want him to be in power and bring back the prosperity which he provided in his last regime.

with addition from Agencies