To understand the conundrum of Pakistan's politics one has to understand the fault lines of the very structure of that entity.
Carved out of British India through the sheer intellect and will of its founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, over intense opposition of the majority of Indians and hostility of the British rulers, Pakistan has not found her grounding.
It was created as an economic and political refuge for the Muslim minority of India. Due to a long history of religious orthodoxy and opposition to everything Western, the Muslims of India had fallen woefully behind economically and educationally when the time for independence came. Muslim leaders felt that the Muslims of India will be totally swamped by more prosperous, better-educated groups in a united India. It was thus that the demand for a separate homeland for Muslims was floated.
Due to the lack of a cadre of well-educated leaders among Muslims, the mantle of leadership fell on the elite landed class or religious leaders. The only exception was Jinnah himself, who was a British trained barrister. In contrast, the Indian National Congress, which fought to keep the country united, was blessed with a slew of educated, non-feudal, non-religious leaders. Even Gandhi was a lawyer and a commoner. This explains the diverse courses taken by India and Pakistan following Partition.
While India instituted land reforms immediately after independence and dismantled the British-created feudal system quickly, Pakistan is ruled by the same class and its cohorts to this day. Jinnah died soon after independence, though it is unlikely that even he could have broken the hold of the feudal class.
It is thus that Pakistan has yet to adopt progressive policies. Pakistanis live in a schizophrenic world. They have pushed religion into politics and governance against Jinnah's explicit warnings. The country has a dual court system where secular laws are overridden by archaic religious doctrines administered by religious courts. On the one hand, young people celebrate Western style socialization while their bearded counterparts want to ban all pleasurable activities. Their more extremist cousins, the Taliban, are spreading murder and mayhem in the name of religion.
It may be worthwhile to mention that this sharp turn to religious fanaticism was engineered by none other than Dictator Zia-ul-Haque with the help of Saudi money and the CIA to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Nawaz Sharif is a protégé of Zia. He was so impressed by Zia that he, during his second term as prime minister, tried to extend his control to all branches of the government, declare himself the Caliph and institute a theocracy. It was during his attempt to remove Musharraf as chief-of-staff and install one of his cronies that he was overthrown. Sharif was exiled to the protection of his soul mates, the rulers of Saudi Arabia.
Musharraf, a commando by training, immersed himself in the corrupt and dirty politics of Pakistan. His good fortune brought about the American invasion of Afghanistan. He always appeared cocky and too self-assured. His sophomoric autobiography bears this out. His return to Pakistan was under this assumption that he will be received as a hero. His sycophants no doubt assured him of that.
Now he is a victim of small-minded vindictive politics of Pakistan, where only the rising sun is worshipped. Most of the concocted "cases" against him are just that. It will be next to impossible to prove his direct hand in any of these allegations. In my view his fault, in a couple of cases, was that he waited too long to respond to open rebellion, which even this democracy would never countenance.
Musharraf's army credentials may still save him. Pakistani armed forces are a nation within a nation and they do take care of their own.Khan is a Charleston heart surgeon.