Time for US to replace Musharraf with another General: Robert Kagan

November 23rd, 2007 - 9:11 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 23 (ANI): Noted political commentator and foreign affairs expert Robert Kagan has said that the US should find a replacement of Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf within the country’s army who would be able to restore democracy there.
In a column for the Washington Post, Kagan argues that Musharraf is playing the ‘old game’ of creating an impression of radical Islamists taking over the country if the West stops supporting him, similar to what ‘right-wing’ dictators claimed of Communists’ takeover during the Cold War era.
“Today, Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf is playing the old game, as is Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, and it appears to be working. Substitute radical Islamists for communists, and the pitch is the same,” Kagan states. Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, states: “Musharraf may be willing to lose American aid in order to remain in power, but that is unlikely to seem attractive to the men who work for him,” adding, “It ought to be possible to find a general who is willing to let Pakistan return to a democratic path and meanwhile do a better job of fighting Pakistan’s real enemies.”
He says that with billions of dollars of US aid to Pakistan involved, it could be possible for Washington to discuss with the Pakistani military the “alternatives to the man who so poorly serves their interests”
“He (Musharraf) is not irreplaceable. He is not the lone saviour of a whole way of governance. He is but a general, and not an especially effective one at that,” he says, adding, “There are other generals.”
Kagan states that the incumbent General has launched a crackdown on Pakistani moderates having good democratic credentials with far greater zeal than he has done against the al-Qaeda.
“If he (Musharraf) can hold on long enough, he may so radicalise the opposition that no reasonably moderate alternative will be available,” he fears.
Stating that US President George Bush’s claim that Musharraf can be trusted to lead Pakistan toward democracy is not credible, Kagan says, “If the (US) administration cannot muster the courage or skill to replace this eminently replaceable man in the name of Pakistani democracy, all because it fears the alternative, then it had better cease the absurd rhetoric about democracy promotion.” (ANI)

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