Mugabe and Musharraf: two sides of the same coin
Mugabe is a dictator. Most people believe this statement to be true and feel strongly about it. And most, if not all, have come to this conclusion through information fed to them through the western press. Regardless of the petty successes some may site, a dictator never deserves support and excuses are very rarely made for Mugabe’s actions.
Musharraf is also a dictator. Many people do not have a strong opinion about this statement. And most, if not all, have come to this conclusion through information fed to them through the western press. His petty successes are sited to justify his rule and excuses often made for his actions.
Managed to spot the difference? I’m sure you did.
Whenever the media reports on Zimbabwe, the finger of blame is clearly pointed at Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship. The unrest, the violence, the heavy handed rule, the control of the media; they are all a direct consequence of his dictatorship. You can’t blame the Zimbabweans for them.
But when problems in Pakistan are reported, the unrest and the violence is reported as a result of Islamic extremism. Musharraf’s heavy handed rule, control of the media and illegitimate position as President is hardly emphasised. Pakistanis are frequently blamed for the problems in Pakistan.
Mugabe has changed the rules of the game to stay in power, so did Musharraf by dissolving parliament, suspending the judiciary and unconstitutionally appointing himself as president.
Mugabe has controlled the press, so did Musharraf by banning the press from reporting on protests of all sorts.
Mugabe sent his supporters to fight opposition, so did Musharraf by using the army to fight its opposition, more commonly labelled as ‘Islamic extremism’.
Mugabe says only God can remove him from power, Musharraf seems to think God is keeping him in power due to the failed assassination attempts.
But Mugabe is the bad guy because he’s clearly against western colonialism (aka post colonialism). Musharraf’s title of ‘goodie’ or ‘baddie’ is dependent upon how useful he will prove to be to the west in the future. As long as he is of use to his colonial masters, he will probably remain in power with any criticism of his dictatorship eventually disappearing. Should he start to represent the will of his people, western interests would be compromised and I suspect criticism of his dictatorship will be magnified as is the case with Mugabe. Meanwhile, I’m pretty certain that we’ll continue to hear that Mugabe is to blame for all the problems in Zimbabwe, whereas Pakistan’s problem stems from the ‘Islamists’