Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Musharraf Takes Manhattan
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 12:11 PM
Pervez Musharraf is on a world tour, and apparently he wants his old job back. On Tuesday, the former president of Pakistan (by way of coup) was at the Council on Foreign Relations on the Upper East Side, and, I'm sorry to say, I didn't make the event. But this blistering interrogation, conducted afterward by the BBC's Matt Frei, is as entertaining as it is squirm-inducing.
Pressed by Frei to justify his campaign to return to office, Musharraf says he's more popular than people realize.
MUSHARRAF: I am popular. I know I'm popular.
FREI: How do you know that?
MUSHARRAF: Well, I have a good assessment. I have a good assessment from the Facebook that I have.
FREI: You're basing your popularity on the number of hits you've had on your Facebook site?
MUSHARRAF: No, this is one indicator. I don't take everything so wrong. I mean, obviously, it's one indicator. It's an indicator. I'm not saying it's entirely the Facebook.
Frei grilled Musharraf on his decision to campaign abroad, rather than at home, but Musharraf cited security concerns. He also said people are clamoring for him to come back and "save Pakistan."
Musharraf launched his party, the All-Pakistan Muslim League, this summer. His Facebook page currently has more than 346,000 fans.