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'Musharraf and Pakistan cannot exist together'

November 19, 2007 22:35 IST

Hamid Mir is probably the most well known Pakistani journalist.

A regular commentator on rediff.com, Mir has in a career spanning 20 years interviewed many Pakistani and world leaders, including Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Opposition leaders Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.

The executive editor of Geo TV, Islamabad, Mir is also the last journalist to have interviewed Osama bin Laden.

Complete coverage: Pakistan is crisis

In a prescient article he wrote on rediff.com, Mir asked whether Pakistan is getting ready for martial law. Weeks later, the Pakistan president proved him right, imposing emergency on November 2.

On Monday, Mir discussed issues like Musharraf's compulsions in resorting to this extreme measure, conducting elections and restoring democracy in Pakistan, whether its nuclear weapons are in danger of falling into extremists' hands and what the ramifications for India would be.

Here is the transcript.

digvijoy asked, Hi Hamid,my question is are you concerned about the fate of nuclear weapons in this political turmoil?if musharraf sheds his uniform is he not vulnerable as his predecessors for getting proseceuted like(Zulfikar Ali Bhutto)?
Hamid Mir answers,  at 2007-11-19 17:56:34I think that when Musharraf will shed his uniform he will become very weak but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was not a military dictator he was the first ever elected prime minister of Pakistan.Our nuclear weapons are safe in this political turmoil,i think concern about the nuclear weapons is baseless and it will only help Musharraf.


ASAD asked,  how long do you feel emergeny is applied?
Hamid Mir answers, I don't see a long life for the emergency, it will go with Musharraf.


hillary asked, Hamid jee , Will pakistan get democracy in near future ?
Hamid Mir answers, I am very optimistic about the future of democracy in Pakistan because our survival depends on true democracy. We will get it very soon.Musharraf will be the last military dictator.


saurabha trivedi asked, Hello Hamid ji I want to know that in the emergency what the united nation will take step to re-organizing the democracy in pak at the time of election proposed. What are the possibilities in this arena of democracy.
Hamid Mir answers, Majority of the people in Pakistan will not accept elections under the state of emergency.I think Major opposition leaders like Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif ,Imran Khan and Qazi Hussain Ahmad will boycott the elections under emergency,they will only accept elections without Musharraf.


suhaana ali asked, These politicians have taken this country to the dogs. I have given up hope that Pakistan will ever become what Quaid-e-Azam wanted it to...
Hamid Mir answers, Don't give up your hopes,future of Pakistan and future of South Asia is very bright.


sameer asked, Mr. Hamir, do you think that Mr. Mushrraf will be punished or may face some legal action once he quits as president and the new government will come into existence?
Hamid Mir answers, Musharraf committed treason by subverting constitution, he must be punished.


Phani asked, Mr Mir, you have said that Musharraf has two sets of supporters - one in Pak and the other in India. What makes you say that? Can you elaborate?
Hamid Mir answers, Musharraf is losing his support everywhere now.He don't have any support in Pakistan but some people in India are still supporting him,these Indians are not majority but they are supporting Musharraf because he is creating problems for Pakistanis.


Kanishka asked, Hamidji, do you think Nawaz is more popular compare to Benazir and Musharraf? will he be amenable to US?
Hamid Mir answers, Nawaz Sharif is popular in Punjab and Benazir popular in rural Sindh.Pakistan need their unity against a dictator.


Kanishka asked, Hamid Mir, if you get audience with Prez Bush what will be your message to him?
Hamid Mir answers, I will tell him that Mr.Bush your policies are threat for international peace and also for the common Americans because you are creating more hatred against America.


Princess asked, What is America's gameplan in all this? Are they condemning emergency just for the record, to satisfy the world, while secretly supporting Musharraf?
Hamid Mir answers, Yes we have concerns.American government is still supporting Musharraf secretly but we are thankful for the support of American media and civil society,they are for real democracy in Pakistan.


Sandip asked, why musharraf want to go with emeergency?
Hamid Mir answers, Musharraf cannot survive without emergency,he imposed emergency to resist a possible court verdict against him like Indra Gandhi.


thomasabu asked, is the common man safe Hamidji?
Hamid Mir answers, Common man in Pakistan is not safe due to the nad policies of Musharraf.


Janavai asked, Sir, which is biggest weakness and greatest stregth of General Musharraf?
Hamid Mir answers, His biggest weakness is Bush and biggest strength is also Bush.


harry asked, Mr Hamid what is the reaction of a independent pakistani citizan towards Gen. Musharraf
Hamid Mir answers, All the well educated Pakistanis hate Musharraf because he destroyed our contitution by planting the bomb of emergency in Pakistan,he arrested sitting supreme court judges,he shut down independent TV channels,he is behaving like a terrorist.


musharraf asked, Sir dont u think that general was successfull in making whole world believe that emergency was neccessary to stop terrorist from taking over country?
Hamid Mir answers, No Musharraf is failed to sell his emergency inside and outside Pakistan.


Janavai asked, Sir, where is Osama bin laden and what he must be thinking of emergency in Pakistan?
Hamid Mir answers, I don't know about his whereabouts but he must be happy on emergency in Pakistan because this emergency creating problems for US policies in the region.


rajesh786 asked, what is future of pakistans nuclear bombs.
Hamid Mir answers, Pakistani nuclear bombs are coded,nobody can use these bombs without decoding.


Princess asked, What is with Pakistan and democracy? Across the border India, from which Pakistan broke off, has been enjoying tremendous democracy, today it is the toast of the world whereas Pakistan is often called a failed State. Why is it so?
Hamid Mir answers, State is controlled by some elements who don't beleive in democracy but the whole nation love democrcy.State controlling authorities will collapse soon but not Pakistani nation.


nabirouf asked, Mr. Mir is it not true that US is using Pakistan for it own interests and it acomplishes it goals, Pakistan will go through the same fate as is what happened with Sadams Iraq
Hamid Mir answers, US is using one man in Pakistan,rest of the nation is not in US control,one man will meet the fate of Saddam not the whole nation.


SPB asked, What is the main reason behind so much instability (or lack of democracy) in Pakistan ever since independence when compared with its neighbor like India?
Hamid Mir answers, Powerful Generals and weak judiciary never promoted democratic institutions but today Generals are going weak and judiciary is fighting back.Is it not a good sign?


manugill@rediffmail.com asked, Has Musharraf not done enough to bring the country back on the tracks or atleast try bring it back. If he steps down today and goes to live in US or UK, will the people of pakistan, which your channel says are on the streets protesting in favour of the likes of Bhutto who ran away from the country rather than facing the court and Sharrif who brought the economy to a stansdtill, be happy to be goverened by the same old looters Bhutto & Sharif. It is a shame the people of pakistan did not realise what Mush has done for them. If they do not support Mush at this time of crisis created by people who have never and will never be worried about the development of the country and the national character, this country is heading towards stone age. Do you agree? In today's day and age, we will expect the politicians to be corrupt, but is not enough that he has managed to run the country in
Hamid Mir answers, Musharraf and Pakistan cannot exist together.


Einy asked, How do you view the life of common man in pakistan during emergency?
Hamid Mir answers, When the constitution is suspended there are no human rights.Life is bad.


Singha asked, Hello Mr. Hamid Do you think Renaissance (evolution from the dark ages similar to what happened in europe 500 years ago) is possible in the islamic world - muslims openly admitting that islam is wrong - providing equal rights to women, minorities and separating the mosque from the government?
Hamid Mir answers, Islam is light.Islam provided equal rights to women and minorities,don't trust uneducated Mullahs because they are wrong.


mamu asked, Do you think Pakistan (the democratic as well as the authoritarian rulers) has created a Frankenstein's monster in the face of the so-called Jehadis and is reaping now what it has sowed in India & Afghanistan for all these years?
Hamid Mir answers, Pakistan is also a victim of cross border terrorism from last 40 years.Lets not score points against each other.


rajiv asked, Is US supporting Benazir or Musharraf
Hamid Mir answers, US is confused.US want an alliance between Benazir and Musharraf but Benazir will not go with Musharraf.


sunil asked, how safe are you feeling in pakistan
Hamid Mir answers, I am not safe in Pakistan these days but i will not leave Pakistan.I will fight.


ritu asked, would like to congratulate you & your team for the courage you have shown. how come your army in pakistan have so much of power??? the power should be in the hands of the people of pakistan.
Hamid Mir answers, Ritu i agree with you.Thanks for your support.


Samir asked, Namaste Hamir Saab, In your view how long this situation will continue in the PAK???????????
Hamid Mir answers, This situation will not take so long.May be 8 to 10 weeks.


rajveer asked, how can pakistan have elections under emergency?? nawaz sshariff is in exile , imran khan is in jail ( a shame how can a national hero be put to this) & bhutto is soon going to be sent off!!!
Hamid Mir answers, No to any election under emergency.


manish asked, Stability of Pak is very import for the stability of the region
Hamid Mir answers, Manish ji you are right.Stability in Pakistan is must for the stability in Afghanistan and India.


K asked, In your openion, do you sincerely think the opposition parties are capable of uniting to form a "true democratic front"? It seems all events are going as scripted by General Mushrraf. Can he survive the latest crises assuming he does indeed have USA support?
Hamid Mir answers, Today Qazi Hussain Ahmad told me that he will meet Benazir soon.Big development.Opposition is uniting.


sana asked, hamid jee do u think that election will be held in schedule in pakistan
Hamid Mir answers, Sana ji i have some doubts.If there will be a boycott from major opposition players then there will be no election.


hi asked, hamid ji mujhe bhi journalist bana do
Hamid Mir answers, India have many great journalists and i hope you will become a great journalist if you are committed with yourself.


sheekya asked, Do you think that, Pakistan be ever a democratic nation like India
Hamid Mir answers, YES,YES,YES.


Suniana asked, Hamidji, you can't disagree that Mushrraf is acting in intrest of Pakistan. he is able to snub US and take them for ride becasue he wanted to save Pakistan.
Hamid Mir answers, I don't agree with you.


Sriram asked, Can a theocracy be a democracy?
Hamid Mir answers, No a theocracy cannot be a democracy.


shreekant asked, Mr. Mir, what role do you think India can play in sorting out issues Pakistan is facing right now.
Hamid Mir answers, India should not support any undemocratic ruler in Pakistan.We don't need any political help from India,just good wishes and moral support.Democracy in Pakistan will help the peace proccess in the region.


LP asked, Hi Hamid, Don't you think that this crisis has been perpetuated by an over ambitious chief justice, when Musharraf had publicly announced that he would shed his unform by the end of this year. Why is the media, judiciary and the politicians hell bent on pushing him and the country to the brink of a turmoil
Hamid Mir answers, Dear LP,Cheif Justice refused to sit in the bench which was hearing the fate of Musharraf.Problem was not one judge,more than 9 SC judges were disliked by Musharraf because they refused to take dictation from him.


ParyForPakistanis asked, Dear Hamir ji, It is a matter of geo-political realty that a strong Pakistan is god for the region. The two issus - religious fundamentalism and military interference - are preventing Pakistan from reaching the levels of prosperity it is capable of. Why do you think it is in such a bad shape now ? Would like to know your thoughts ...Regards
Hamid Mir answers, Strong democracy is essential for strong Pakistan.We will get this objective soon because military interference is disliked in Pakistan like you dislike Dawood Ibrahim.


wax ghumman asked, MUSH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HEHEHEHEHEHEH HAHEHAHEHAHEHAH TU MARNAI WALA HAI INSHALLAH
Hamid Mir answers, I don't want his death,we need him alive because we want to produce him in our courts.


contact asked, WILL YOU STOP PROTESTING AGAINST MUSHARRAF IF MEDIA AND JUDICIARY CURBS ARE LIFTED?
Hamid Mir answers, Now we need restoration of deposed judges,contitution and media curbs back.I don't think that Pakistanis will accept Musharraf even without uniform.


Mujeeb asked, what will the future of pakistan its seems people always fighting for differnt cause which has no meaning, I am in China,the infracture is no comparision to pakistan I feel all leaders of pakistan should visit china to see the growth and apply there brains for development.
Hamid Mir answers, I don't agree with you.There is no democracy in China.We cannot adopt Chinese model.They are confuse people.They have socialism mixed with market economy.This is just confusion.


sengupta asked, Mir Saab, I admire you for what you stood for. Dont you think that over dependance on religion and its overt display need to be contained for Pakistan to save itself?
Hamid Mir answers, Agreed.


Singha asked, Hamid Saheb This pertains to my earlier question on islam and renaissance. The Pakistan movement was sowed by educated muslims such as Syed Ahmed, Jinnah, Iqbal not mullahs. Do you think at some point Pakistan and India should form a common Union. After all the punjabis, muhajirs and sindhis, if not the pathans have linguistic, cultural and racial kinship with us.
Hamid Mir answers, Yes we can make an economic union.


skh asked, Hello Mr Gul, i read another news somwehere taht UAE govt is thinking of allowing GEO TV to start again. Did u get any intimation for the same and are u looking forward to it?
Hamid Mir answers, We are thinking to leave UAE and we may move to Thailand or Malysia.


KalyanChaubey asked, If we take experience from India and China, development works(not human development, infrastructure wise) can be done better under an enlightened dictatorship than a chaotic democracy. Democracy requires educated people. The vulneralabity of democracy is, intellectual people like Hamid Mir has the same right as that of a begger on the street, who has no idea of what going on around him. and it is, one single ballot. So most of the times, people give inconclusive verdict. If you take the example of Hitler, on the human development index, the regime was bad. But under him, infrastructure, industry, employment had a boost. Musharraf can never be another Hitler because of the omnipresence of media everywhere. So, why dont you expect Musharraf to do the same development works that authoritative Chinese leadership is doing? Like Indian politicians, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir would keep on opposing each other on development agenda. So progress of Pakistan can be slow.
Hamid Mir answers, Don't under estimate the wisdom of common man.Indians must be proud of their democracy.I have visited China.Common is not happy there.


fukpakis asked, When we will hear the good news of Pak breaking down to another four parts?? So your happy now for your forefathers who demanded a free muslim state.....for their greed? WHERE IS THAT BASTARD DAWOOOD IBRHAIM?? GIVE HIM TO US::::HE DESERVE A TREAT FROM INDIANS
Hamid Mir answers, You will not hear this news because break up of Pakistan will create more problems for India.You remember Pakistan was divided in 1971 with the help of India but creation of Bangladesh created more problems for you.Stable Pakistan will help stability in india.


nazimaliabidi@yahoo.co.in asked, what do u see the future of Pak in near future?
Hamid Mir answers, We may see some troubles in the near future but ultimate future is bright that is why we are fighting against the messengers of darkness.


Syed Rafi asked, Hello Sir, I've been watching Pakistan politics over the past few years.I feel really sorry for the miserable state.I strongly feel that US is playing dirty politics thru Gen Musharaf for its se4fish means.If Pak cud get away from the US,I think it can have a gr8 future.Whts ur take
Hamid Mir answers, I agree.US policies in the region not helping anyone and we need freedom from US dominance.


Vishal asked, How a long lasting peace can be reached between India and Pakistan.
Hamid Mir answers, Peace is our future otherwise we will destroy.I hope that a democratic Pakistan will find out some way definitely to have a permanant peace with India.


S asked, Mr. Mir, I did not see any response to my previous 3 postions tooo, pl. respond...many online postings from Pak says that "people who wants the power are not letting him to do the good job, which he is capable of, similar to what he did in Kargil" what do you want to say to them.
Hamid Mir answers, Musharraf is in power from last 8 years.He have not fulfilled any promises.These days people of Pakistan say that "Musharraf Kargil sey bhi bhaga tha aur Pakistan sey bhi bhagey ga".


Arjun asked, Welcome here Mr.Mir. Nice to see you here , we all are happy in talking with you. Will you think that emergency Rule will help in ending Terrorists network inside pakistan ? Presently pakistan is having big inner threat than any one.
Hamid Mir answers, Emergency was imposed to fight with Judiciary and media not to fight with terrorism.


hello asked, Hi Hamid Isnt it the first time in history of Pakistan that media and judiciary have become powerful enough to question an army dictator?
Hamid Mir answers, Dictator is after our lives,he is shutting down us so we are forced to defend us like this.


Deepak asked, i believe you are more popular than sharif and bhutto, why don't you join politics for the sake of pakistan? Everybody would be happy to have you as Pak PM, be it pak people, intl community and most importantly India. Please do think about it
Hamid Mir answers, Deepak ji,i am a journalist and i should not change my role.Famous Indian journalist Khushwant Singh and Kuldeep Nayyer joined politics but they came to journalism.I learned lesson from them.


husain asked, salaam e walaekum hamid bhai ! please explain the role which right now journalist are playing for the better ment for pakistan ??
Hamid Mir answers, Pakistani media is not siding with any political party,we just want rule of law and democracy in Pakistan.


cssanjay asked,  Hello Hamid Mir Given that MQM and Altaf Husssain is a major player in Pakistan( atleast Sind)politics What do u think has been theire Attitude to the Emergency in Particular and Pervez Mussharaf in General?
Hamid Mir answers, Altaf bhai is against the interference of Army in politics,now is the time that he should join all those who want the rula of law in Pakistan.Thanks all.It was a pleasure having your questions


Administrator says, Thank you Mr Mir, it was a pleasure and an honour to have you with us