World could be in danger if ‘moderate’ Musharraf is removed

November 14th, 2007 - 2:26 am ICT by admin  
Jack Rosen, Chairman of the American Jewish Congress-Council for World Jewry, has rejected recent attacks on Musharraf, including one in the Jerusalem Post itself, attributing it to “a lack of understanding of the real dangers that would face Pakistan and the world, if Musharraf is removed.”

If Musharraf is removed, it is an “open question” what would then happen to Pakistan’s nuclear assets. The current peace with India could be in jeopardy as well, Rosen claimed.

“Remove Musharraf, and you may be gambling with the stability of Indo-Pakistani relations, with all that implies for the United States and the world,” Rosen warns.

Rosen argues that if Musharraf, the strongest figure in the moderate wing, is removed, it is possible that this balance would shift to the advantage of the Islamists and forces hostile to the West.

He writes that the Islamists in Pakistan are a well-armed and a well-financed force, that wield considerable influence within the government and have close ties with the Pakistani military and intelligence.

These ties grew in the 1980s when massive US and Saudi military assistance to Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet mujahideen flowed from Washington and Riyadh through Pakistan’s intelligence services, he adds.

According to him, in the 1990s, the Pakistan Government funded and trained Islamist “freedom fighters” for operations against Indian targets in Jammu and Kashmir.

US officials believe that by the time of 9/11, the influence of Islamist sympathisers in Pakistan’s Army, intelligence services, and government had reached a “dangerously high level”.

“Musharraf’s critics paint a rosy picture of what might happen if Musharraf is removed. But what if they are proved wrong, as critics of the Shah of Iran were in 1979 when they predicted that moderate forces would take power after his removal?

An unstable Pakistan could create a nightmare in the sphere of nuclear proliferation. What could happen is illustrated by the case of AQ Khan, who headed Pakistan’s nuclear programme until 2002,” he writes.

Rosen hosted Musharraf’s meeting with American Jews in New York in 2005 and has visited him in Islamabad “several times”, the Daily Times reported. (ANI)

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