State Department throws Musharraf from the train
FILE; Warrick Page/Getty Images Looks like the United States isn’t planning on sticking its neck out for Pervez Musharraf: The United States said Thursday that a move by Pakistan’s ruling coalition to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, a close US ally, was an “internal” matter for the Pakistanis to decide. “We have consistently said the internal ...
FILE; Warrick Page/Getty Images
Looks like the United States isn’t planning on sticking its neck out for Pervez Musharraf:
The United States said Thursday that a move by Pakistan’s ruling coalition to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, a close US ally, was an “internal” matter for the Pakistanis to decide.
“We have consistently said the internal politics of Pakistan is an issue for the Pakistani people to decide,” said State Department spokesman Gonzago Gallegos.
Considering what State Department spokesmen used to say about Musharraf, that’s tantamount to saying, “Sayonara, Pervez!”
Jane Perlez has more on the latest developments.
But first, a brief comment. I called for the United States to ditch Musharraf in March 2007, and I still think it was the right move over the long haul. That said, I’ve been disappointed — if not altogether surprised — by the performance of this new government. One variable that I didn’t account for was Afghanistan’s growing relationship with India, which seems to be pushing Pakistan’s security establishment (or elements thereof) to want to back the bad guys. It’s a policy that has the added bonus of undermining civilian rule, portraying the military and intelligence services as the only folks who can restore order — thereby playing the dual role of arsonist and fire brigade.
I’m glad to see the Bush administration isn’t buying into this game, but we may be in for a rough ride for a while. Musharraf may choose to fight it out, and it will be child’s play to turn the two major parties against one another. He could also dismiss Parliament if he dares. And even if Musharraf resigns or is impeached, the military has vast resources at its disposal, and it won’t brook civilian oversight lightly. Expect fireworks for months to come.
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