US should stick with Musharraf, says ex-State Department official

November 29th, 2007 - 12:17 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 29 (ANI): Former State Department official Daniel Markey feels that the US should stick with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for bilateral military cooperation, as according to him, the former army chief currently occupies a unique position in Pakistani politics.

Markey, who is now working at the Council on Foreign Relations, said during a debate with Husain Haqqani of the Boston University that Musharraf could still serve as an essential transitional figure in the future for the US.

In the immediate term, Musharraf offers Washington continuity in the face of uncertain political transition… Under even the smoothest possible transition scenarios, Musharrafs departure would interrupt bilateral cooperation on military, counter-terrorism, and intelligence matters for days or weeks - with uncertain consequences for US security, he said.

Markey was quoted by the Daily Times as saying that former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharifs constituents have little interest in implementing policies designed to tackle the deeper roots of extremism and militancy in their society or in building sustainable democratic institutions. He added the Benazir Bhutto led PPP is the only large party that might conceivably fight for a more progressive, reform-oriented agenda.

However, he added that Musharraf should neither be oversold nor given a free pass.

He is a flawed leader, one who has failed to achieve many of his own stated goals for Pakistan or to advance Washingtons counter-terrorism agenda as rapidly as Americans might like, Markey said.

His declaration of emergency rule represents another serious stain on his record and threatens to undermine two of his biggest accomplishments Pakistanns strong economic growth and the proliferation of its private electronic media outlets. Musharrafs signal shortcoming has been his inability to build a political party with grassroots appeal, he added.
Haqqani, on the other had, expressed the view that the US should dump the former army chief because under his rule, terrorism in Pakistan had increased and terrorist safe havens have expanded. (ANI)

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