Playing a cunning game of survival in the war zone

He is gone Mad, he knows very well his political career is about to finish. So Presdent Musharraf probably thought to write a book and make some Dollars in hurry. He feels, being an army man he did not expect to be questioned on what he wrote or could not be asked to produce proof.  Since he is not a democratically elected leader who feels his hands are tied by the constraints of a democratic system, he does not have to worry about the direct or indirect consequence of his words. The book might have boosted President financial standing but it had neither served the cause of truth nor the interests of your own country.

Pervez Musharraf was, by his own admission, a naughty child. His discovery that an unfiltered cigarette made an efficient time fuse led him and some friends to construct firecracker bombs that exploded deafeningly in rubbish bins and mail boxes outside the houses of school staff. “There was utter confusion,” he recalled with satisfaction.

Old habits die hard, it seems. Last week the president of Pakistan fired up a string of incendiary revelations that embarrassed the White House, upset Downing Street and goaded President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan into a hissy fit. For good measure, he appeared on an American chat show and traded jokes about President George W Bush. Musharraf was promoting his memoirs, a task usually left to retirement, but like most dictators, the 63-year-old army chief of staff shows little enthusiasm for leaving the stage. And just as his schoolboy prank went unpunished, he can count himself fireproof as one of the main beneficiaries of 9/11. Once a pariah whose links with terrorists accounted for President Bill Clinton’s refusal to be photographed shaking his hand, he is now feted by western leaders as a key figure in the global war against terror.

His first thunderflash last week was a stunner. Musharraf claimed the US had threatened to bomb Pakistan “back to the Stone Age” if it did not co-operate with America after the September 11 attacks.

A shaken Bush said he was “taken aback” by the claim and Richard Armitage, the former US deputy secretary of state accused of making the threat, insisted he had merely said “you are either with us or against us”.

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