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=> LONDON: The British media has told President Perve

LONDON: The British media has told President Pervez Musharraf that if he is serious about giving Pakistan a real transition to democracy, then he should heed the timely advice of 100 retired military officers, who now want him to resign, as many of them once “trained the future president”.

This single advice given by a leading British newspaper, the Guardian, sums up the outcome of the four-day long stay of Musharraf in London in his bid to win the hostile British media, public and its think-tanks since he removed judges, detained lawyers, beat the members of civil society, curbed media freedom followed by assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

At the end of Musharraf’s visit to Europe, the British media has come out with its own analysis of the speeches and commitments he made with the European leaders during his eight-day-long trip to four countries.

Prominent among many reviews published on the visit of Musharraf, the Guardian has simply told Musharraf to hear the voices of those who want him to resign.

Expressing its disappointment over the policies of Musharraf, the Guardian concluded that “100 retired senior military officers, including some of the staff officers who once trained the future president, wrote an open letter exhorting Mr Musharraf to resign. They too consider themselves patriots acting in the national interest. If the president is serious about giving Pakistan a real transition to democracy, he should heed their advice”.

This is the first editorial that has been written since Musharraf arrived in the UK last week. It says: “Mr Musharraf conflates his destiny with Pakistan’s. The two are synonymous in his eyes. He may have shed his military uniform but not his belief that he is the ultimate arbiter of order. He claims the elections will be free and fair and that he will work with whoever is able to form the next government. We shall see. There is already evidence of the PML-Q, the party loyal to him, getting substantial logistical and financial support from the government. If the PML-Q gets a clear majority, robbing the two other mainstream parties, the PPP and PML-N, of the chance to form a government, a fresh political crisis will be unleashed.”

It says: “Pakistan is in the eye of the storm. The state faces not only a continuing constitutional and political crisis, but major challenges from al-Qaeda, the Taliban and insurgents in the tribal areas. The central charge against Mr Musharraf is not that he has bungled the fight against militants and that he now has to wage a real war in the tribal areas and Balochistan, it is his perpetual manoeuvring to stay in power.”
Source: The News