US gets tizzy as its influence in Pakistan ebbs

November 14th, 2007 - 2:37 am ICT by admin  
“What I am struck by are the trends we see today: the North-West Province is ungovernable and a sanctuary for terrorists,” The New York Times quoted former US envoy to New Delhi, Robert D. Blackwill, as saying.

“The politics are fractured and deeply unstable, Musharraf is weaker, and the army is uncertain which way it will go,” he said, adding, “We have to remember that the US doesn’t have very much capability to affect internal developments.”

The daily stated that senior officials of the US administration have termed the present situation in Pakistan as a “nightmare scenario”, and have conceded in private that American influence over events in Pakistan may be ebbing fast, which has been indicated in recent intelligence assessments.

After years of compromises and trade-offs, there are questions inside and outside the administration about whether US President Bush has invested too heavily in a single Pakistani leader, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, an over-reliance that may have prevented the United States from examining other long-term strategies, the report stated.

Critical of Bush’s reliance on Musharraf, a senior State Department official, Daniel Markey, said, “It never stitched together,” adding, “At every step, there was more risk aversion - because of the risk of rocking the boat seemed so high - than there was a real strategic vision.”

Some experts say that the focus on General Musharraf is a mistake.

Arguing that Pakistan’s army is overwhelmingly moderate and will remain so, Pakistan expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Teresita C. Schaffer, said, “I think our policy has been too much built around one person - and that is Musharraf.”

“The result was that we were seen more as Musharraf’s friends than Pakistan’s friends,” she added.

The US is fearful about the safety of the nuclear weapons in Pakistan as it could make its way into the hands of terror elements.

Over the past year, the Musharraf government has quietly sent officials to Washington to assure Bush administration officials that even if the general were ousted or assassinated, the mechanisms for controlling both weapons and nuclear technology - safeguards that Pakistan acknowledges it has put together with aid from other countries - are now unbreakable. And his designated successor, the newly appointed vice chief of the Pakistani Army, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is widely seen as a pro-American moderate, the daily added. (ANI)

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