Without uniform Musharraf has become weaker, say experts

November 28th, 2007 - 9:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 28 (ANI): The doffing of military uniform by Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has evoked cautious reactions from defence and foreign strategists in India with majority of them calling for adoption of wait-and-watch situation.
Noted defence strategist K. Subrahmanyam said that Musharraf has obviously become weaker, but a lot depends on who will emerge victorious in the January polls.
‘If (PPP chairperson) Benazir Bhutto wins then there is a likelihood of her working in close cooperation with Musharraf as President, but if (PML-N leader) Nawaz Sharif wins, then it would be difficult for Musharraf since the former Prime Minister has already said that he would not work under him,” Subrahmanyam said.
The former diplomat said that the US would continue to play its role in Islamabad and would continue to talk with all the three players.
With Musharraf and Bhutto, the US has good connections and with regard to Sharif, Washington would talk through Saudi Arabia, which had been instrumental in making the return of Sharifs possible to Lahore.
“I don’t expect that there would be any major foreign policy review, whether it is with the United States, the war on terror, China, Saudi Arabia, I believe there would be a continuity in the policy,” another noted defence strategists Uday Bhaskar said.
However, with regard to a new power centre emerging in the form of General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani who today took over the command of army from Musharraf, experts found little precedence in the 60-year long history of Pakistan that would indicate about the turn of the events.
Whether loyalty of General Kiyani for Musharraf would continue or whether he would emerge more powerful than the man who handed over the post to him could be known only in days to come.
“He (General Kiyani) is a loyalist of Musharraf and was selected entirely by President Musharraf. So at least in the immediate future one can see his total loyalty towards the President and also the extension of total support. Whether that will remain in the near future or in the mid-term future is utterly unpredictable,” said Major General (retired) Dipankar Banerjee of Institute Of Peace and Conflict Studies.
Considering the importance of Pakistan army in the political set up of the country, General Kiyani’s role would be closely observed. (ANI)

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