With Pakistan under a state of emergency and protests being staged around the world against President Pervez Musharraf, the Daily Dachshund and Dog News has been investigating a little covered canine angle — the symbolic and important disappearance of Musharraf’s dogs.
When the general first seized power in 1999, he made a point of not just breaking Muslim taboos by owning dogs and drinking liquor but also by being open about it.
Asra Nomani, a journalist who worked with Daniel Pearl in Pakistan and was protrayed in the movie, A Mighty Heart, wrote in 2001 shortly after the U.S. forged its curent alliance with Pakistan: “The dog issue, in fact, seems to hound Musharraf. In India, a columnist refers to Musharraf as ‘a dog-loving nattily uniformed general.’ Musharraf boldly posed holding his two dogs for his photo-op after taking over the country. Go figure. The man knew that many Muslims go running when a dog starts approaching them, even with its tail wagging, especially with its slobbery pink tongue hanging out of its mouth. We have to do something called wuzu, a ritual washing, before doing namaz. We’re taught that touching a dog makes you dirty for namaz, so that you shouldn’t keep a dog in the house. Others interpret what is said in the Quran more liberally, though.”
Somewhere over the past six years, however, as Musharraf has felt the pressure from radical Muslims over his alliance with the United States, his dogs have reportedly disappeared. Whether it’s just from the spotlight or from Musharraf’s home as well is a question the Daily Doxie is currently investigating.
Just as readers helped our sister site, the Scottish Terrier and Dog News, get to the bottom of the story of Vladimir Putin’s poodle, we are hoping someone will be able to tip us off as to what’s going on with General Musharraf’s dogs.
And since we’re on the subject of Putin and his public fetish for big dogs, it’s interesting to note that, in his autobiography “in the Line of Fire,” Musharraf had this to say about whether size matters:
I prefer small dogs, though, not the huge ones. This surprises my friends, for they expect a commando to have something like a rottweiler. I think people who keep rottweilers, and similar dogs, have a need to cultivate a macho image.
Update: Check out these fabulous new artist’s renditions of Musharraf and his pekes, and President Bush and Barney.