is 'Silly and Stupid' says Washington Post
October 1: In a stinging editorial that is part of an ongoing
feud between Pakistan Government and the Washington Post,
the US paper on Saturday slammed Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf
saying he actually was "silly and stupid".
"Gen Musharraf's lies" the Post says the General's
claim that his country was being portrayed unfairly on rape was
Islamabad has been claiming that the paper wrongfully quoted Musharraf
following an editorial board meeting he had early September. But
Washington Post nailed his lie when it posted the voice
of Musharraf on its web site in which he is clearly saying what
he has denied. Click
to hear Musharraf's voice
The editorial of the Post on October 1 said: "Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf complains that his country is unfairly portrayed
as a place where rape and other violence against women are rampant
and frequently condoned. In fact, it deserves such a reputation.
According to Pakistani human rights groups, thousands of attacks
are reported every year, including gang rapes and "honor
killings" of women who are accused of having affairs or who
refuse an arranged marriage. Most of these attacks go unpunished.
So retrograde are Pakistan's laws that there are more than 1,500
women in prison as a result of rapes -- they were prosecuted for
adultery -- while arrests of men occur in only about 15 percent
of reported cases.
Musharraf, too, deserves the reputation he is earning as a ruler
who cares more about how he is perceived in the West than in implementing
the policies he claims to espouse, or even in speaking the truth.
general, who seized power in a coup six years ago, has reneged
on promises to retire from the army or restore democracy. He has
not carried out the reform of Islamic religious schools that he
promised in 2001. He has allowed the extremist Afghan Taliban
movement to base itself in Pakistan's western provinces with virtual
has repeatedly insisted, almost certainly falsely, that Osama
bin Laden is not in Pakistan. All the while he has gone on collecting
hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year from the Bush
administration, which accepts his words and ignores most of his
Musharraf claims to champion a "moderate Islam" that
respects the rights of women. But when Mukhtar Mai, a victim of
a gang rape whose attackers have not been punished, tried to visit
the United States earlier this year, the President barred her
from leaving the country.
an interview with The Post last month, he claimed that he had
relented. But then he said this: "You must understand the
environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern.
A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for
Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped."
statement was, as Pakistani activists and the Canadian government
soon pointed out, an outrageous lie. There is only one known case
of a rape victim moving to Canada, a doctor who was assaulted
by a military officer. A far more common outcome for rape victims
is to be ostracized by their communities or jailed.
Gen. Musharraf's statement provoked an uproar, he responded with
another lie: He claimed that he had never made it. In fact, a
recording of him speaking is available on The Post's Web site,
words are quite clear. "These are not my words, and I would
go to the extent of saying I am not so silly and stupid to make
comments of this sort," the General said. Well, yes, he is.