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'Musharraf's a disaster. He lost his chance'

July 19, 2007 20:55 IST
bkhandai asked, Hello Prof Hoodbhoy, there is an interesting speculation in the media lately that the somewhat disproportionate reaction of of the government was triggered by China's dictat. Do you and many Pakistanis share the same suspicion ?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers,  at 2007-07-16 19:30:02It's not diktat. Any country having its nationals abducted would react. China has a lot of influence in Pakistan, as you know.
Administrator says, Dear all, Prof Hoodbhoy will be with us shortly

Administrator says, Beg your pardon everyone, Prof Hoodbhoy is already here:)

imran asked, Tell me, It is understood that the religious powers in Pakistan have a much stronger / tighter grip over the populace than the govt leaving alone your urban centers. In such a scenario, how is that getting back to democracy will not stop these fanatical powers to get into full power?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Fortunately the religious forces are fragmented because of sectarian rifts and don't have a leadership acceptable to all. The interesting thing is that religious parties have never got any sizeable portion of the vote. I am convinced that democracy is a good thing for Pakistan and will ultimately bring about a more secular society. "Ultimately" here doesn't mean the next election, but perhaps subsequent ones.
ahmed asked, what wil be exact effects of the storming wil MMA SUPPORT MUSHARRAF WILL QAZI SUPPORT HIM
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Qazi has resigned from parliament. The MMA has condemned the Lal Masjid operation. Daggers are now drawn.
Shivaaji asked, Dear Sir, Is there any possiblity of having Lal Masjid like situation in Jama masjid,New Delhi?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, None at all, so far as I can see.
vishal asked, hi sir,wats ur take on lal masjid issue?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, We have to stop the mullahs from their hate-propaganda and attempts to impose Shariah, and to strictly curb the madrassas.
srini_b asked, How strong is Musharraf - both politically and within the army after Operation Silence?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, He shot himself in the foot by dismissing the Chief Justice and then by setting the MQM killer goons on demonstrators in Karachi on May 12. So he's alienated both the secular and religious people in Pakistan. He should not run for elections. One hopes that he will not, but who knows?
Micheal asked, who is appreciating mush and for what
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Musharraf has done some good too: I think relations with India are better than ever before. There is less killing in Kashmir this year. The women's rights bill was a step forward, although nowhere near enough.
prakasam asked, Is there any better way of life in Pakistan at all?.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Life in Pakistan is not bad. In fact my friends from India who visit are quite amazed at how well people live. A detailed comparison is not possible here, but let me say that the bleak picture generated by events gives the partial truth only.
karthik asked, Can someone be honest in replying Was the Lal Masjid Issue created by Musahrraf himself so that attention could be redirected away from his anarchy
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, A lot of people around me believe that. I don't. The mullahs do have support, and its dangerous for Pkistani society. However, Musharraf is guilty of bad judgment and his army is infiltrated by darhi-wallahs in disguise.
arjunkadam asked, Masjid should not be used for for any kind of voilence. It is place for prayer. But Can you tell me how Pakistan govt is working on this?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, I think Lal Masjid is a wakeup call.
vikram asked, is mushraf politically correct to control terriosm in his own country while sponsoring in another country..
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, To be fair, I don't think we should blame all terrorism on the Islamists. Much as I despise them, the Indian security forces in Kashmir are responsible for terrorising the population there. Yes, I do think that Pakistan was guilty of sponsoring jihad in Kashmir after 1987, but India created the climate for it to grow and develop local roots. The world is complex!
sabiel asked, Is mushraf routing out terriosm truely, what will happen in upcoming elections whether mushraf will stay as president.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, For Pakistan's sake, I hope he decides not to run. Because if he does, he will have to rig the elections. And if he rigs, then everybody is going to be out in the streets. It will be a disaster.
bol asked, musharaff propagates the view that without him pakistan will be torn into sectarian strife and islamic fanaticsm. is musharaff indispensable to pak and america
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, All dictators end up believing that they are saviours and indispensable. PM is no different.
ox asked, we hear islamic terrorism was initiated by the cia during soviet-afghan war. do u think america is responsible for present situation.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, In good measure. The US was the main financier and organizer of the Great Global Jihad that brought the fiercest Islamic fighters from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco,.. to fight the infidel communists. When the Soviet Union collpsed, the US simply walked away leaving Afghanistan in shambles and a jihad machinery primed to go... The US has paid a price - the 911 attack - but nowhere near what Afghanistan and Pakistan have paid.
prakash asked,  sir,is pakistan slowly moving back stone age? because of mullahs? and americans?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Parts are moving forward - Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad are more modern in some ways than Indian cities. But the tribal areas and much of NWFP is fast regressing because of the jihadis.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Yes, it should be a good lesson to the Pakistan Army high command. Now they are being targetted. I had been warning of this for years.
Manoj asked, Sir, I read that during Zia's regime, lot of conservative ideas were filled in school syllabus. Some critics say that these extreme elements in school education is also creating extremism in Pakistan. As a top academician in Paksitan, have you take steps to detoxify the school syllabus ?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, My friends and I have been writing, speaking, and taking every opportunity to do so. The first article written on this matter was in 1984 by A.H.Nayyar and myself, published in "Islam, State, and Politics", edited by Air Marshal Asghar Khan.
gaurav asked, Sir Dont u think this lal masjid episode would have a big impact on coming election , please explain the view of a normal pakistani on the same.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Yes, unless even bigger things happen before then! Also, I think that the May 12
firing by MQM goon had a bigger impact upon public opinion than Lal Masjid. Public opinion on Lal Masjid is definitely against Musharraf, but that's because they now lump so many things together. So anything he does now is disliked, even if its a good thing.
alammasood1 asked, Dr Pervez ASAK I personally feel that Musharraf took right decision to take on Lal masjid extremists. These extremists are showing other part of Islam. Why are they not showing real face of Islam that teaches humanity, sympathy and mercy?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, The Lal Masjid operation should have been carried out months earlier. Even better, they should have been embargoed and deprived of food, water, ammunition.
saifkashmiri asked, don't u think indian army is behaving much better than the pakistani army behaved in east bengal and now in balochistan
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, I've indicated this in an earlier reply during this chat. The Indian Army is an occupying army in Kashmir and will behave no better than any other army placed similarly, such as the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan. India has a genuine problem of legitimacy in Kashmir.
madhu29 asked, Do you believe there is a leader much stronger-willed than Musharraf to rule Pakistan, which is trouble-torn.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Strong men lead to weak countries. No more please!
Rajeev asked, Kashmir issue is essentially a religious issue. The muslim majority of Kashmir does not want to stay with India. Although muslim minority (300 milions !!!) are treated as holy cow by the govt. The govt. can easily be accused of providing covert and moral support to terrorists by refusing to act suitably ( not giving befitting reply in thier language)and allowing them a free run to the extent possible.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, It may have become a religious issue now, which is very unfortunate. But it wasn't in 1987. Misgovernance, corruption, and a feeling of being ruled from New Delhi led to the alienation of Kashmiris.
anisha asked, Does Pakistan feel threatened in the same way as the rest of the world does?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Pakistan's leadership is beginning to feel that the real threat is internal, not external. This is what we had been telling them for years. I suppose it takes a few suicide bombings to wake people up.
kabir asked, DOnt u think mussharraff is the best bet for all secular people?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, No. He's a disaster. He lost his chance. Sad, because he had many good things going for him.
svenskalg asked, är han sitter där ?är det sant att prof.pervez är där!!!eller någon svarar för mitt frågor?det e inte bra
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Please translate!
Rahul asked, Dear Sir, i Wish people of your country well/..... and hope they leave us and kashmir alone
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, The good wishes are mutual. I'm also pleased that you distinguish between India and Kashmir.
Kashmiri Munda asked, Dr Saheb, Dont u think the same people who terrorised kashmiris and created a mess out there are hauting u now, Do u as pakistanis regret the fact that you abetted terrorism in punjab and kashmir blindly and without realizing it will bite your own back one day
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, This is exactly what several of us have fought for years about. It was criminal of Pakistan to hve done so. I have had the opportunity of telling Musharraf twice in his face, and in his office, that we should not be sponsoring jihad in Kashmir. This was while the sponsorship was ongoing. But this does not take away from my earlier position that India has deeply wronged the Kashmiris too.
sumanlayak asked, Will MUsharaf be able to survive if he is not the president or the military chief? Will he have to go in exile?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Good question! No answer.
vishal asked, do you see more internal crises in pak in coming days?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, The recent suicide bombings may be followed by others and will force Pakistan into a hard line against the Taliban. Also, the Supreme Court CJ verdict will be out soon and that could lead to an uproar.
pakwolf asked, Mr. Hoodbhoy why do you think that an average Indian is extremly ignorant about Pakistani society labeling it fundamentalist when in reality it is the vocal minority which gets the headlines in westren news papers due to the agenda of lobbies and interest groups. Is it because the rise of Hindu fundamentalism is leading to there declne from a secular to a non-secular entity almost on the lines of Lal Masjid Brigade?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Fortunately the Indians were able to boot out the BJP - peacefully. Hopefully we'll get rid of our fundamentalists some day - peacefully too.
babulal asked, What should Musharraf do now?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Already replied.
kabir asked, Musharraff used to always call for addressing the root cause of terrorism has he succeeded in addressing te root cause?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Not at all. That's why I think he's a disaster and must not run for elections.
vajpayee asked, should india destroy pakistan ?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Absurd to think it can. Nor should it, even if it could!
pakistan asked, How an islamic republic can be secular?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, The original idea of Pakistan was as a Muslim majority state, not as a theocracy. A Muslim majority state can be secular.
raj asked, hi .. what is the future of NWF region after lal masjid ? We see lots of acts of terror post lal masjid incident.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, I agree - its going to be tough with the MMA there.
kabir asked, i think its also in the interest of india that mussharraff stays in power
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, Musharraf gets an A for relations with India. He gets C-F in everything else.
ranjit asked, who, according to you, is a better candidate for heading pakistan ?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, We need a process, not a person.
Nadeem asked, Hello Professor Hoodbhoy, I am a fan of yours since reading your insightful "Islam & Science". Given that Musharraf let it grow into a full scale seige instead of handling it earlier, what's your comment on the possibility that this was stage-managed and security agencies encouraged the unsuspecting Mullahs from behind the scene, only for Mush and the forces to step in and show what saviors of modernity they are!
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, I don't buy that although that conspiratorial view exists, and Musharraf may have dabbled with the idea. He's not very smart. But things got out of control very fast.
Kabeer asked, To be fair to Musharraf, isin't it true that the former Chief Justice was meddling with politics nurturing his own political ambitions?
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy answers, must run. sorry...bye