Pakistan media: Musharraf's 'miscalculation'

Pervez Musharraf in court Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Musharraf faces charges related to the time he was president

Media in Pakistan feel former military ruler Pervez Musharraf miscalculated the mood of the country and his judicial options before deciding to return home.

Mr Musharraf has been in arrested and is in police custody after his bail plea in the 2007 judges detention case was rejected.

Many editorial writers also highlight the fact that recent political developments may bring more chaos to the country which is already grappling with other serious challenges.

Pakistan's leading financial daily Business Recorder says "it is payback time for former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf who faces three legal cases for his actions from his time at the helm of power".

The paper feels "his decision was based on gross miscalculations of both his worth and the mood of the country".

The Dawn newspaper says Musharraf's arrest ''was a moment foretold many times over but nevertheless came as a surprise".

The paper says the former ruler received a "lukewarm reception" on his return and "the disdain with which the media and civil society reacted to his return" was a telling sign that Mr Musharraf was going to face a tough time in politics.

Another mainstream daily Pakistan Today says "the ex-general's luck was bound to run out".

"With a lot of hype spun on his expected return in Karachiā€¦ there was barely a crowd worth speaking of for those who remember the martyred Benazir Bhutto's return to the country in October 2007. Where there was hope when Benazir returned, there was indifference, and simmering anger on the return of Musharraf," an editorial in the paper says.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Demonstrators show their backing for Mr Musharraf but support for the former leader is far from universal

The Express Tribune says the former dictator must be "regretting" his decision to return to Pakistan.

Urdu daily Ummat feels "even if the courts extend him some favour, history and the nation would not pardon him. Like other former rulers of the world he is getting punishment for what he has done".

Another Urdu daily Jasarat feels "Pakistan has changed" for Mr Musharraf and "his companions have left him one by one and he is at the mercy of judiciary".

Some papers have predicted more chaos and uncertainty in the wake of his arrest.

The Nation says the case has created a stir in the political, military and legal circles of Pakistan and it will be interesting to see how the country will "deal with the first of its former dictators ever to go on trial".

"Pakistan is passing through interesting times, with one crisis over another bedevilling its scene. Even if one were to put aside the umpteen crises (crippling power cuts, near financial bankruptcy, upsurge in terrorist attacks, for instance), now, the former military ruler's cases have added another dimension: uncertainty," the paper's editorial says.

The Express Tribune says "the situation adds to the many pre-poll complications we are facing. Technically perhaps, the government should be acting to enforce court orders. But the main role of the caretaker set-up is to conduct elections. Getting embroiled in matters such as the Musharraf affair would hamper it".

The former general's case has set Twitter abuzz in Pakistan since yesterday with hashtag #Musharraf as one of the top trending topics.

Many resorted to humour to comment on the situation and felt justice should be done in the ongoing court cases against him.

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