Musharraf is part of Pakistans problem not its solution, says academic

November 22nd, 2007 - 1:22 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 22 (ANI): A Pakistani academic based in Britain has said that the new forms of law and violence indicate that Pakistan has moved out of President Pervez Musharrafs grasp, and adds that Musharraf has become part of the problem rather than the solution.
Professor Iftikhar H Malik, who teaches history at the Bath Spa University, writes in the online portal “Open Democracy” that the stalemated “war on terror” in Afghanistan and across the Afghan-Pakistani border has damaged the Pakistani body-politic and spread insecurity through its institutions and citizenry.
Here, the circumstances of war and social change in which a narrow, dogmatic strain of Islam vehemently opposed to the West has coalesced with a pervasive Pushtun resentment that a six-year-long US-led military onslaught against their kith and kin across the border has reinforced, Malik writes.
Musharrafs perceived subservience to American pressure in facilitating the US campaign, and in the deployment of his own forces to combat “extremism”, are interpreted by his enemies as evidence of weakness. The momentum is with the adversaries of Pakistan, who feel empowered that the tide of history is with them.
Malik stresses that this is where the role of Pakistan Army becomes crucial as a defender of “order” and “security”, but also as the last line of defence for Musharraf himself.
“What is becoming clear is that these two objectives are now in tension. The army has its own extensive interests to protect in the current situation. The Pakistani military elites use of its wealth, power, foreign backing and intelligence networks to promote its own unilateral policy beyond democratic accountability are becoming less and less tenable,” Maqlik said.
Two features of the current crisis highlight that the extent of instability and violence is unprecedented. Among the lessons are a new degree of sophistication and acumen among the suicide-bombers, and confusion among the army as to its proper professional role in countering such threats.
The age of comparatively open media has shattered the traditional control mechanisms employed so long by Pakistani regimes to maintain their untouchability.
An ideologically driven US Administration has proved incapable of guaranteeing social order and progress. Instead, there is pervasive bitterness among Pakistans people, a sense of thwarted possibility, the Daily Times quotes Malik, as saying.
Malik writes that the absence of legitimate mechanisms for the transfer of power in Pakistan has never been so manifest as today. If power moved to the next Army Chief, it would only prolong the crisis, besides adding one more episode to a recurrent pattern.
What Pakistan needs is something more fundamental: Removal of the emergencys draconian laws, restoration of judicial independence and reinstatement of sacked judges, an end to curbs on the media, and the restoration of the 1973 constitution followed by free elections, he concludes. (ANI)

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