‘US interference in Pakistan politics is at all time high’November 14th, 2007 - 2:02 am ICT by admin
“The extent of American interference can be judged from the worrying fact that Washington had lately written a letter directly to a Pakistani spymaster to discuss the progress on Benazir-Musharraf dialogue issue,” a source privy to such deliberations told The News.
One of the two top confidantes of Musharraf - Lt General (retired) Hamid Javaid and Tariq Aziz - are maintaining direct contact with the US authorities, the source said.
They directly talked to United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher, who is closely monitoring the events unfolding in Pakistan.
The contact was now so frequent that Javaid and Boucher were exchanging short message services (SMS) on their mobiles, said the source, adding, during his last visit to Pakistan, Boucher had also called on presidential aide, but nothing officially was said about the meeting.
According to media reports, during her visit to Washington two weeks ago, Benazir made a telephone call to Musharraf from Congressman Tom Lantos’s office, a diplomatic source said.
“She made the call from the office of Congressman Tom Lantos, the powerful chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,” the source said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned both Musharraf and Benazir to ensure that they had reached an agreement, the source added.
The next day, the Pakistan Government announced that it would drop criminal cases pending in Pakistan against Benazir.
The two telephone calls contradict the State Department’s repeated assurance that while the US backs the formation of “a moderate political centre in Pakistan, it does not favour any particular candidate or party.”
Congressman Lantos, who enjoys good relations with Musharraf, played a key role in incorporating democratic reforms as one of the conditions for the continued US assistance to Pakistan to a new law that the US Congress passed earlier this year.
Neither Bhutto nor the congressman publicly discussed the conversation but the sources said that Lantos spoke briefly with President Musharraf and then passed the phone to the PPP leader.
While the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) might take care of the corruption cases that Benazir is facing within Pakistan, Washington has indicated that it would take care of her cases in Madrid, London and Geneva, the source said.
The most interesting fact is that the government - the prime minister and his cabinet - is generally ignored and bypassed in all such interactions between Washington and the Presidency or the spymasters, he added. (ANI)
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Tags: benazir, congressman tom lantos, contact, contradict, diplomatic source, ensure that they, general pervez musharraf, interference, missive, pakistan government, presidential aide, presidential polls, richard boucher, secretary of state, services sms, short message services, spymaster, state condoleezza rice, tariq aziz, us secretary of state