As celebrities and TV anchors took to remembering General Pervez Musharraf as a military dictator whose progressive policies ultimately led to his own undoing, academics and activists, including sociologists and historians, took to Twitter to present their case against this caricature of Musharraf.
Nosheen Ali, a sociologist who teaches at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, wrote: "Musharraf was a murderer, and has much more to be tried for than imposing the Emergency in 2007. I am thinking today about GB, and Kargil and the more than 1000 who died in Musharraf's arrogant, unilateral 'misadventure'."
Ali refers to both what is called the "Kargil conflict" of 1999 and the Gilgit massacre of 1988. According to journalists Catherine Scott-Clarke and Adrian Levy, Hamid Gul told them that Musharraf was tasked with setting up an office of the Sipah-e-Sahaba, an anti-Shia religious organization, in Gilgit town. This was to the end of suppressing Shia political activity in the region. Allegedly, Musharraf, then just a brigadier, brought together Pashtun and Chilasi "tribesmen", who then carried around a rampage against Shia villagers to the south of Gilgit. Official estimates put the death-toll at 300. The journalists say some sources have put the toll even above 700. The incident has since been called the "Jalalabad massacre".
Ammar Ali Jan, a sociologist and activist who teaches at the Forman Christian College, wrote: "From Kargil blunder to Bugti's killing, Musharraf committed numerous crimes. Yet, for (the) past few years his image was rehabilitated, just like Ayub Khan's era was repackaged in 1980s."
Another Twitter user, Javaria Waseem, wrote: "Every time I see Musharraf, I'm reminded of women like Mukhtar Mai and Shazia Khalid and it breaks my heart."
Musharraf had placed Mai on an Exit-Control List, after he accused her of "defaming" Pakistan on international forums. The rape case of...