Pakistan needs a unified military for its solidarity: STRATFOR

November 14th, 2007 - 8:33 am ICT by admin  
President General Pervez Musharraf’s coup in 1999 has made clear Pakistan’s underlying reality, namely that it is a deeply divided entity, a STRATFOR commentary says.

Whatever the formal character of the state, be it democratic, military, Islamist or otherwise, the greatest threat to Pakistan’s territorial integrity comes from the divisions among the country’s various ethnic groups, it maintains.

According to STRATFOR, in the present situation, there is no visible sign of dissent within the military concerning Musharraf’s move. Secondly, there is no indication of any mass resistance to the state of emergency.

“The question is why Musharraf made this move. To a great extent it had to do with his own political survival rather than survival of the regime. There was great pressure on Musharraf to take off his uniform - to leave the military and become a civilian leader.”

Musharraf understands what many others do not: His power and legitimacy come from his role in the military, not in spite of it, STRATFOR said.

By taking off his uniform, he would be leaving the chain of command and thereby turning ultimate power over to his successor in the military. However carefully picked, that successor would command the army, and in due course would hold ultimate political power as well, Stratfor argues.

The commentary said that Musharraf is not prepared to leave the stage just yet and plans to stay in uniform and put off the election.

The challenge from the Supreme Court was simply the catalyst for his deeper decision. His calculation was that, following the immediate shock to the Pakistani polity, things would settle down and he would continue to hold power. There is no indication thus far that he was wrong, it said.

The US scolded Musharraf, but in truth Washington has only two interests in Pakistan, the Daily Times quoted Stratfor, as saying.

First, it wants a state that will fight Islamists along the Afghan border. Second, it wants a government that will hold Pakistan together and prevent internal collapse.

In that sense, whatever the moral sentiments expressed by the administration, the US has only one issue with Musharraf’s move: that it had better not fail, the commentary said. (ANI)

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