Pervez Musharraf : From college elections to presidential poll

ISLAMABAD, Sept 27: Very few people know about Pervez Musharraf's first 'successful' election experience as a civilian way back in 1958 when had contested for the slot of a councilor in his student days. Now 49 years down the road, Musharraf is contesting for the second time in his life, this time for the presidential slot and that too as a top uniformed officer, not as a civilian, a status that could win him just councillorship.

As compared with other presidential candidates like Justice (r) Wajih-ud-Din Ahmad and Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Musharraf is least experienced in contesting elections. Justice (r) Wajih-ud-Din has served as president of the bar association twice and Faheem has been returning to the National Assembly for the last two decades.

Musharraf is quite conscious about his 'inexperience' and had to admit it before senator S. M. Zafar who once asked him: "Have you ever contested any election." "Yes, in FC College," was Musharraf's brief reply. Zafar had inquired about Musharraf's election experience by the end of 2003 when the stage was being set to secure a vote of confidence for Musharraf from the assemblies in the backdrop of an agreement with the MMA on LFO in the form of 17th amendment. In his book - "Dialogue on the political chess board"- Zafar has mentioned his conversation in this regard with Musharraf.

Going back to 1958, Pervez Musharraf won the seat of a councilor in F. C. College, in 1958 when his senior, Amanullah Khan Niazi, fielded him for the councilor's slot from Secondary Union panel. Niazi, a retired Brigadier presently serving in CM Punjab's Inspection Commission, was later elected as union president by the votes of his councilors. Beside Musharraf, Chaudhry Ahmad Saeed (brother of Ahmad Mukhtar and a close friend of COAS-President) was also elected as councilor of the F. C. College at that time. Interestingly, Musharraf's top aide, Tariq Aziz who was senior to him by session, was elected president of the college union. Musharraf also wrote in his book - "In the Line of Fire" - that he had friendship with Niazi and some East African boys who were then studying in the FC College. Brig (r) Niazi who was two years senior to Musharraf, had fielded him for the slot of councilor whereas he himself was vying for the slot of the union president. The News



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