Bush, Osama bin Laden would lose miserably in a Pakistan election, says Musharraf

November 14th, 2007 - 5:41 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov.14 (ANI): U.S. President George W Bush and al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden would fail miserably if they contested an election in Pakistan.
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf is said to have revealed this while promoting his autobiography in the United States last year
During an interview on Jon Stewart’s popular satirical news show, Musharraf laughed and said: “Both would “lose miserably.”
That comment has not stopped Musharraf from acquiring and building personal capital with the powers that be in Washington.
It is there for all to see in the wake of his decision to impose an emergency in Pakistan earlier this month.
Musharraf’s goodwill with the Bush Administration is visible in the restrained criticism coming out of Washington to what is internationally being perceived as an undemocratic move.
The International Herald Tribune quotes Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat who heads the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, as saying that the United States must shift from the “transactional” approach of “aid for services to a normal, functioning relationship.”
Washington should seek a “relationship based on the Pakistani government and its people, not just Musharraf,” Biden adds.
Officials who have worked with Musharraf say they want to give him the benefit of every doubt even as he behaves like a dictator.
Bush has said that the Pakistan crisis deserves a different approach to what is happening in Myanmar. Pakistan under Musharraf “has been on the path to democracy,” while Myanmar hasn’t, he told reporters last Wednesday.
Sixty-four-year-old Musharraf has been at the helm of affairs in Pakistan since October 12, 1999. He has been president since 2001, and efforts to remove him have so far met with little success.
“I am a strong believer in the essence of democracy in the form of freedom of thought, information and action, and not just the facade of democracy through elections,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2006.
“For too long, our so-called democratic governments have been rife with corruption and have been trampling on civil liberties,” he added.
The United States has given Musharraf’s government more than 10 billion dollars since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Most of the money has gone to the Pakistani military. A smaller share paid for local programs to strengthen the election process, development projects and humanitarian needs like earthquake relief.
Husain Haqqani, an adviser to three Pakistani prime ministers, says “there’s a long history” of the United States’ paying Pakistan for favours and being snubbed.
“Unfortunately, the Americans always, because they are a bigger party, don’t realize they are being played by the small party,” says Haqqani, who directs Boston University’s Center for International Relations.
Biden, like others in Washington, is hoping Musharraf will break the pattern by doing more to combat terrorism and ultimately return to something at least resembling democracy. (ANI)

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