Scepticism growing in US over MusharrafNovember 16th, 2007 - 4:24 pm ICT by admin
Islamabad, Nov.16 (ANI): Western diplomats have said that there is growing scepticism in Washington about President General Musharrafs hopes of ending the political crisis engulfing Pakistan for the last several months.
A major concern in Washington is that political instability in Pakistan could have serious consequences for the war on terror and regional security.
He seems to be losing the battle for survival. The worst scenario is a country with nuclear arsenal falling apart, said a diplomat.
Western diplomats and senior Pakistani officials said John Negroponte, the deputy US Secretary of State, was expected to demand restoration of the Constitution and the release of thousands of political opponents from jail. Negroponte will also meet senior military leaders.
Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999, has been a key Western ally in the region and has enjoyed Washingtons support until now.
But the situation is fast changing, The Times quoted a senior Pakistani official, as saying on condition of anonymity.
Musharrafs problems have increased with the collapse of his Washington-backed power sharing deal with Benazir Bhutto. Diplomatic and Pakistani officials said Washington was still trying to salvage the fractured deal between the two pro-western leaders.
Bhutto has called for a national unity government to replace Musharraf before elections in January.
She said that she had also spoken to Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan about their joining such an endeavour.
Army commanders privately admit the situation is spinning out of control. Some officers say the army is becoming more concerned about protecting the interest of the institution rather than defending General Musharraf.
Political observers said If General Musharraf is forced from power, it would most likely be from within the army. The army is not likely to take over power, but would back a civilian interim government to hold parliamentary elections.
Many Western diplomats in Islamabad said they believed that that could be the only way to pull Pakistan out of the current political crisis. (ANI)
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