Signs of Musharraf’s international isolation are fast appearing: Editorial

November 14th, 2007 - 10:20 am ICT by admin  

The Daily Times today said in its editorial that the political opposition in the country is getting ready to push for further isolation of Musharraf in the world as a strategy of forcing him to back off from his “dictatorial” phase under Emergency which looks like martial law because of the powers granted to him by his PCO.

“The PPP is clearly resorting to this policy to make him realise that he is alone in what he is trying to do to Pakistan. Ms Benazir Bhutto has rebuked the US for having showered USD10 billion on his establishment in the past eight years. PMLN leader Mr Nawaz Sharif too has given call to the US to ‘abandon Musharraf’. Soon, there will be a competition among the opposition leaders in pointing out how wrong the Western support has been to a regime that never meant to return Pakistan to democracy,” says the editorial.

Pointing out that the challenge of terrorism has intensified following the emergency declaration, the paper says that far from being deterred by the emergency, al Qaeda is hurriedly adding more territory to the mini-state it has created in the Tribal Areas.

“The warlord of Swat, Fazlullah, is no longer modestly disavowing his association with al Qaeda. He has ‘conquered’ six out of the eight tehsils of the district of Swat. There is no doubt that he is waiting for the army to appear on the horizon as the paramilitaries retreat before him, leaving their camps and police stations to his mercy,” it says.

The daily goes on to say that Pakistan is being seen by foreign analysts as a country reaching its final hour, who are pondering over “whether Pakistan will fall into internal chaos or civil war, or fragment into smaller states…the army is the only institution that transcends all ethnic differences and has the potential to restore order…but the army has significant pockets of radical Islamist beliefs, while Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the military’s intelligence branch, in particular, is filled with Taliban sympathisers.”

“Of course, much is being made of the past pattern in Pakistan of the suppression of the dictator from within the army,” says the editorial.

“The date of November 15 is approaching and that is the day when the big decisions will have to taken by General Musharraf,” it says, adding that any sensible person would say that the assemblies should go and a caretaker government should be set up that meets with the approval of the opposition parties.

“If these decisions are postponed because the status of General Musharraf in the next five years is not clear, this will be seen as a policy driven by his personal interest. Therefore, General Musharraf must announce the removal of his uniform and also his clear commitment to the holding of elections in January,” concludes the editorial. (ANI)

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