So much for Musharraf’s comeback
posted at 10:42 am on April 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Sometimes, a politician just leaves you scratching your head and wondering What the hell was he thinking? We get a lot of that here in the US, lately from Anthony Weiner and Mark Sanford, but we don’t have a monopoly on strange comeback attempts. The high court in Pakistan just derailed Pervez Musharraf’s attempt to regain office, but he didn’t have much chance even with their blessing:
High court judges disqualified former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from Pakistan’s parliamentary election, likely ending any hope of a political comeback.
Musharraf has faced paltry public support, a raft of legal challenges and Taliban death threats since he returned to Pakistan last month after years in self-imposed exile.
Many experts predicted Musharraf’s fate and have been scratching their heads at what drove his decision to return. Some have speculated he misjudged how much public backing he would get, while others guessed he was simply homesick.
Or just power-sick. That’s really the only explanation that explains his return under these circumstances:
Only a couple thousand people turned out at the airport in the southern city of Karachi to greet the former military strongman when his plane from Dubai landed on March 24, a sign of how little support analysts say he enjoys in the country. A few days later, an angry lawyer threw a shoe at Musharraf as he walked through a court building in Karachi.
Musharraf faces a variety of legal charges, including some related to the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He has not been arrested because he arranged pre-arrest bail before he arrived, a feature of Pakistan’s legal system.
The Supreme Court is also hearing petitions from lawyers alleging Musharraf committed treason while in office, an offense that can be punished by death or life in prison. He has been barred from leaving the country while there are legal challenges against him.
Amid all of this, the Pakistani Taliban have threatened to assassinate Musharraf. The militants released a video the day before Musharraf returned to Pakistan saying they had set up a special death squad to target him.
This reminds me of the strange return of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier to Haiti. Some people just can’t help themselves.