To call President Musharraf’s recent speech to Brown students underwhelming insinuates the expectation that he was going to say something meaningful. Instead, we were left with vapid bullet points of leadership (he may need to work on that “sincerity” one), confusing and unaccommodating explanations of Afghan and Pakistani history, and the wintry realization that the former president of Pakistan is a solipsistic, mendacious and prevaricating louse.
I asked him, “How do you respond to the allegation that it required pressure from the Pentagon, not your own moral volition, to order the Pakistani army to cease and desist aiding Al-Qaeda militants fighting as a proxy in Kashmir?”
He responded, “What allegations? Who is making these allegations?”
I: “You’ve never heard these allegations before?”
The Salomon audience then enjoyed a collective guffaw; we knew what would follow. The same evasion every politician, former statesmen or Bush attorney before our undergraduate body employs: the old “ugh… you have to put these things in their broader context” routine.
Well, Mr. Musharraf, I have to admit, you are starting to sound a bit too much like the erudite economists you so humorously patronized early in the evening. How about some of that “boldness” you charged us to adopt?
Of course, this is only one of the many occasions General Musharraf has eluded critics with his circumlocution. As Sriram Subramanian ’10 correctly noted, the Kargil campaign (if it can be innocuously called that) was a “diplomatic embarrassment for Pakistan.” The connections between the Pakistani army, the Inter-services Intelligence and the Taliban are nearly undeniable.
Perhaps former President Musharraf should have spent more time covering that “justice” section he inelegantly decided to skip. But, as the laughter in the audience once again indicated, the joke was on Musharraf. I just wish we could get that eighty grand back.
— Anthony Badami ’11