Rice, Miliband phone calls went unanswered before declaration of emergency in Pakistan

November 14th, 2007 - 8:33 am ICT by admin  
The breakdown in communications was partly the result of chaos prevailing in the country, but it also reflected how the limited US and British influence is in a volatile part of the world, The Guardian reports.

According to the daily, Musharraf snubbed Rice and Gordon Brown by not fulfilling his promise to hold general elections in Pakistan on schedule.

Britain requires Pakistan to support it in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The US is caught between its desire to extend support for democracy and the fear of further destabilising a nuclear state that is already under pressure from religious extremists.

“Musharraf appears to have calculated that the threat of western ire was less immediate than the political challenge to his authority within the country. The head of the US Central Command, Admiral William Fallon, was in Pakistan on Friday, reportedly to warn him not to impose the emergency, but the declaration was made while the admiral was still in town,” the daily’s analysis says.

The response from Washington and London to the declaration was muted, with Britain expressing “concern” and the US “disappointment”.

Stephen Cohen, the author of The Idea of Pakistan, said: “The American and British Governments have dug such a big hole for themselves, they have no choice but to support Musharraf in whatever he does.” (ANI)

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