Benazir’s statement on retired military officers a message for Musharraf: Paper

November 14th, 2007 - 2:27 am ICT by admin  
The Daily Times said in its editorial that Benazir’s statement could be seen as a message to Musharraf, who could be out of the loop in relation to what people in organisations theoretically under his control are planning to do.

Baitullah Masood had reportedly threatened to deploy suicide bombers against Benazir on her return to the country, but the PPP chief said that the real threat came from within the military establishment.

The statement throws new light on the former premier’s understanding of the lack of security in the country, the paper said, adding that the first conclusion one may draw from this statement is that Mehsud is a front man for someone else who actually makes the moves in Pakistan.

“It is quite possible that these officers are either manipulating Baitullah Mehsud or have an ideological affinity with him. It is also possible that President Musharraf is not aware of this linkage and Ms Bhutto is also putting him on notice against the people he is relying on,” the editorial titled ‘Who threatens Ms Bhutto?’ said.

Referring to the attempts made on Musharraf’s life in the past, the paper said it was difficult to say that there was definite collusion from anyone inside the establishment, but anyone suspecting an “inside job” can hardly be blamed for being far-fetched in his thinking.

“There are many reasons people inside the Musharraf establishment may be secretly alienated from his programme of fighting terrorism, his action in the Tribal Areas and his final showdown with the Al Qaeda-connected clerics of Lal Masjid,” it added.

The editorial went on to say that this alienation was an “easy emotional state to achieve” because of the almost universal rejection of the anti-terrorist bent of mind among the people of Pakistan.

However, the daily said, Benazir went against the grain of the thinking of the average Pakistani when she began to raise her voice against terrorism in Pakistan after the infiltration of the Taliban and al Qaeda elements into Pakistan following 9/11. Since then she has indirectly supported President Musharraf’s campaign against this terrorism.

Pointing out that it is not only some retired elements who are dead-set against her, it said that there are others within the ruling party who could be more “in the loop” than Musharraf because of their own fears.

“Therefore, there is a great danger that this message might be taken as just another political ruse to divide President Musharraf and his party, and ignored. Yet, in Pakistan no intimation of any terrorist threat should be ignored,” the editorial concluded. (ANI)

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