Musharraf regime to continue till commanders are united: Stratfor

November 14th, 2007 - 10:18 am ICT by admin  
George Friedman, the author of the report says, “Whatever Musharraf does, as long as the army remains united and he controls the corps commanders, he will remain in power.”

“Even if the corps commanders — the real electors of Pakistan — get tired of him and replace him with another military leader, Pakistan would remain in pretty much the same position it is in now,” he adds.

With Taliban and al Qaeda-supporting tribals increasing their hold in large tracts of Pakistan’s western province, neighbouring Afghanistan, the army is the only institution that has the potential to restore order in the mountain regions.

As a result Musharraf, who is trying to walk a tightrope between American demand of initiating a crack down on his own section of army sympathetic to the Taliban and his desire to preserve his regime, is keen to remain as Army Chief since it represents unity of the state and the force.

“To remove the uniform and rule simply as a civilian might make sense to an outsider, but inside of Pakistan that uniform represents the unity of the state and the army — and in Musharraf’s view, that unity is what holds the country together,” the report states.

According to the author of the report, the instability in Pakistan would be due to a split in the army, or the generals would side with the Islamists or PPP leader Benazir Bhutto.

However, Friedman says that senior commanders would remain united because they would lose far more if they fracture. There are two signs to look for: severe internal dissent among the senior generals or a series of mutinies by subordinate units,” he says, adding, “At some point, there will be a showdown among the various groups. That moment might be now, though we doubt it.” (ANI)

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