Benazir repackaging herself as a democratic leader: Boston Globe

November 17th, 2007 - 4:09 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 17 (ANI): With popularity of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf plummeting, former premier Benazir Bhutto is trying to dissociate herself from him and is repackaging herself as a democratic leader who is not in thrall to his American sponsors, says an editorial in Boston Globe.

The paper further states that Benazir seems to has recognised her political interest demands, as she is distancing herself from the US, even though she owes her homecoming after eight years in exile to a US-brokered deal between her and Musharraf.

At this treacherous point in Pakistans power struggle, President George W Bush and his advisers should first do no harm. The last thing they should be doing is to declare their preferences in that power struggle - or to let it be known, off the record, that they are sounding out senior Pakistani generals about persuading Musharraf to step aside.

The daily advocates that the US should favour free and fair elections in Pakistan, the restoration of constitutional democracy, and the preservation of an independent press and judiciary.

But trying to pick particular winners among candidates or parties would be a major mistake, the editorial recommends.

The daily notes that Musharraf has acceded to the Bush administrations request that he permit parliamentary elections in January, yet he refuses to lift the emergency or to reinstate Supreme Court justices whom he sacked.

Because Pakistan has nuclear weapons and harbours both Taliban and Al Qaeda jihadists, its political crisis cannot be a matter of indifference either to its neighbours or to its principal international backer, the United States. Pakistan has received more than 10 billion dollar in aid from Washington since 2001, most of which went to that nations military. Inevitably, donor and recipient have become entangled in their mutual dependence. But blatant American meddling in Pakistans drama could end up doing considerable harm to US security interests, while also discrediting the Pakistani political forces Washington may wish to help. There is some evidence that this is already happening, it added.

Boston Globe points out that supporters of religious parties who join with secular parties to demonstrate against Musharraf have been shouting anti-American slogans. They are seizing on the generals vanishing popularity to argue that Pakistanis ought to direct their wrath not only at him, but also at Bush who manipulates his puppet behind the scenes, the Daily Times reported. (ANI)

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