Musharraf resigned to his fate, but not worried: editorials

June 8th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, June 8 (IANS) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf seems resigned to his fate “whatever that may be” but would not like to be disgraced or humiliated - and his departure from office could be a while away, editorials in the Pakistani media Sunday said. The bravado Musharraf displayed during a TV interview Saturday that was telecast live means he “has now resigned to his fate, whatever that may be, but he would not like to be disgraced or humiliated”, The News said in an editorial headlined “The emperor strikes back?”

Unless Musharraf’s “poise and calm…is a big bluff, he does not seem under pressure to go away in a hurry”, Dawn said in an editorial titled “Back to the president”.

During the interview with a select group of TV news anchors, the president declared that he would not resign, that he would not dismiss parliament, that a dignified exit would be impeachment by parliament, and that he had no intention of fleeing the country once he stepped down - whenever that would happen.

According to The News, Musharraf “seems to have thrown the ball back into the court of the politicians and parliament by quite unambiguously saying that he will not resign because he does not consider the February 18 elections as a mandate against him and his policies”.

“How the president could come to such a conclusion is worrying given that the rest of the country, more or less, did and continues to see the Feb 18 polls as a decisive vote against the Musharraf regime,” it added.

“In a sense, the retired general is throwing a gauntlet to the politicians, especially those in the (ruling) coalition, and hence some may perceive this as the last few moves of a dissipating force,” The News maintained.

“By stalling his departure and by forcing the political system to unnecessarily spend its energies on now trying and impeaching him, he is directly prolonging the uncertainty.

“He says he cannot stage a coup against parliament, he says he is ready to go if impeached through a peaceful process - so what stops him from leaving now? Perhaps that is a question only the president can answer,” The News added.

Noting that Musharraf was “back in his elements, evidently knowing once again what he was talking about,” Dawn asked: “Is it for good reason? Has he been assured by his interlocutors that he has little to worry about the constitutional package the government has proposed?

“Even as parliament will debate the 82 amendments when it does, none of these suggest the president’s impeachment. Instead, the package offers indemnity, even if limited,” to Musharraf’s declaration of an emergency last November, Dawn pointed out.

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