USA & Pakistan’s Musharraf: A Dangerous Affair…?
The cussed approach of the US administration bodes ill for the emerging democracy in Pakistan and may create a serious crisis there. This is becoming clear by the latest news. The Pakistani Spectator says that the political parties that have won decisively, especially Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party does not believe that President Pervez Musharraf would leave office voluntarily, and is lobbying hard for his impeachment.
The blog adds that Nawaz Sharif’s party has the support of the late Benazir Bhutto’s PPP and other parties, including the independents, other nationalist parties from Balochistan, and even defectors from the PML-Q (who were badly humiliated at the hustings this time) on whose support Musharraf became president before the general elections.
Leaders of political parties are meeting at the moment and once the ruling coalition gets two-thirds majority it would be an exteremly tough going for President Musharraf with impeachment staring him in his face.
The Pakistani Spectator says that in this action packed drama the US ambassador to Pakistan is playing a desperate game to ensure the survival of President Musharraf. The blog says that now it is the battle between the US ambassador and the mandate of the Pakistani people.
Wow! Is this another form of ‘War on Terror’? Or an attempt to cover up the strange goings-on between Bush and Musharraf during the past seven years with billions of dollars pouring into Pakistan’s army establishment led by the present Pakistani President? So who are the real terrorists? No one has the guts to answer that question…!!!
Meanwhile NYT reports that Nawaz Sharif increased the pressure on President Pervez Musharraf by urging him to call a session of Parliament and contending that the three opposition parties discussing a coalition had won two-thirds of the seats.
““I would like to say on behalf of all of my colleagues that we inform Mr. Musharraf that we are not prepared to wait for a single day more for the assembly to be convened,” Mr. Sharif said. He called on the Election Commission to announce the results of the Feb. 18 elections so that Parliament could convene.
“The opposition parties held a joint meeting Wednesday in the capital to reinforce their alliance.
” ‘It should be amply clear to him that the nation has given a verdict against dictatorship,’ Mr. Sharif said, referring to Mr. Musharraf, a former army chief who took power by ousting Mr. Sharif in a coup in 1999. Mr. Sharif said 171 opposition elected members of Parliament were present at the gathering. ‘In the coming days, we will be crossing two-thirds’ of the 272 seats in the national election, Mr. Sharif said. The results for 264 seats have been announced so far.
“Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad, the secretary of the Election Commission, has been quoted in local news media as saying that the official results will be announced Saturday. A two-thirds majority is needed in Parliament to repeal constitutional amendments made by Mr. Musharraf or to impeach him.”
Now the million dollar question? How long can the US administration play its game against what appears to be Pakistani people’s mandate? An expert on Pakistan says: “At the moment it appears that PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Zardari (Benazir Bhutto’s husband) has stood up to the Western pressure and is forming a grand coalition with Nawaz Sharif. He has also signaled that the PPP would respect the popular verdict in both Baluchistan and NWFP and let the regional parties have their share of power.
“If Zardari is to go by US advice and mange a majority by taking on help of the minority pro-Musharraf League, he will in effect be defying the popular mandate with unforeseen consequences. In certain respects the situation will be similar to that of 1971 when subversion of the popular mandate resulted in the break up of Pakistan (and the formation of Bangladesh).”
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