Question mark over Musharrafs future

November 16th, 2007 - 4:24 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 16 (ANI): The Washington Times in its editorial says that observers are facing this serious question: “Which is worse, General Musharraf or a leap into the dark?” because President Pervez Musharrafs rule has become tenuous.
In the same issue of the paper, Paul Moorcraft writes that the West had a Musharraf - not a Pakistan - policy.
Inevitably, the declaration of emergency rule has highlighted dangerous contradictions. Since 9/11, America has promised to fight a war on terror and to spread democracy. In Pakistan it might - temporarily - have to choose one or the other, Moorcraft writes.
“The embattled Musharraf is at the epicenter of three global threats: Terrorism, nuclear proliferation and failed states,” he observes.
“Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, and is not coincidentally, al Qaedas premier target. It is suffering from a low-intensity civil war between the minority of Islamist extremists and the majority of secular-minded political parties,” the Daily Times quoted Moorcraft, as saying.
The tribal areas along the Afghan border have slipped even more out of a federal influence - and now the jihadist insurgency has spread to areas such as Swat, the scene of recent jihadist fighting, he says.
Moorcraft believes that without Musharraf, the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda could not have been fought at all, even though some American generals and the Afghan Government claim that elements within Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence agency provide succour to the Taliban.
“The immediate alternative to Musharraf is not democracy, but anarchy and/or rule by Islamic extremists. True, Washington had tried to modify his autocratic rule by encouraging a political deal with Benazir Bhutto. But she departed from the Western script by calling Musharraf to quit as both Army Chief and President,” he writes. (ANI)

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