“He is trying to convert supporters by presenting [the flood response] as a failure of political forces domestically and at the same time waiting to play his cards internationally, especially in the Middle East and America, in case any political vacuum is created,” says analyst Najam Sethi.
Political rivals say his Musharraf's newfound Internet popularity won't get him far. “He might be a political leader in the virtual world of Facebook. But the real political field is on the streets of this poverty ridden country, and that he hasn’t faced yet,” says Nihal Hashmi, a central leader of former premier Nazwaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML). Mr. Hashmi points out that in one of his earlier incarnations, Musharraf reached out to the same political elite that he now claims to revile.
Musharraf has many enemies and difficult legal and political hurdles to cross. He's had multiple death threats for his role in mixing state institutions with militancy. At the end of his rule when he fired the chief justice, he triggered severe backlash. He then declared emergency rule and imposed censorship rules on the media – eventually leading to his ouster.
Those actions have not been forgotten. “He will have to face powerful judiciary, and the two rival political forces of ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party and Nawaz Sharif’s PML, and the leading media houses,” says Mr. Sethi, the analyst and editor-in-chief of Pakistani newsweekly The Friday Times.