US expert not in favour of Pakistan President quitting early

June 11th, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

New Delhi, June 11 (ANI): Daniel Markey, a South Asia expert at the US Council on Foreign Relations, has said that Washington would like to avoid complex problems that could arise if Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf quit office early.
“The concern that Washington has about Musharraf leaving tomorrow is that it could spark even greater instability in Pakistan. If the army is worried that its former chief Musharraf could be kicked out, then may be they start to fear that there is a greater problem or that they are really at risk,” Markey said.
He added that the absence of Musharraf could also lead to political instability.
“Then you could see a real confrontation between the politicians like Nawaz Sharif and the institution of the army itself. That’s the kind of thing Washington wants to avoid. I should add though that the level of instability on Pakistan has been high for atleast a year now. This is been very dangerous,” Markey added.
On Saturday, Musharraf had that he has no immediate plan to resign or go into exile, in a bid to quash rising speculation that he will quit office soon.
Markey said that military was likely to play a significant role for a very longtime to come and a dramatic departure from the past would destabilize the country.
“I think it’s important to recognize on Pakistani context that the military is likely to be a very significant player for a very longtime to come. And that in some ways a dramatic break from that past could be more destabilizing than a kind of gradual steady process in which the army still feels like it has a role to play,” he said.
“But its very clear over the past several months that nobody really agrees on exactly what road should be travelled on. Its also clear that if you look at the relationship between Asif Zardari and Nawaz Shariff, they differ on the way that they should be managed. It’s clear that the difference is the defining feature of the split, that’s come between,” he added.
With the government proposing sweeping changes in the constitution to curb his power, Musharraf has indicated that he would not like to be reduced to a ceremonial head of state. (ANI)

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