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Will India miss Musharraf?

Emily Wax, reporting in today’s Washington Post, thinks so. Considering the longtime rivalry between the two neighbors, this seems counterintuitive at first. But Musharraf, at the very least, was a known quantity for India. Despite his imperfections, the general-turned-president was a source of stability, and his resignation marks an uncertain future for India-Pakistan relations: He ...

Emily Wax, reporting in today’s Washington Post, thinks so. Considering the longtime rivalry between the two neighbors, this seems counterintuitive at first. But Musharraf, at the very least, was a known quantity for India. Despite his imperfections, the general-turned-president was a source of stability, and his resignation marks an uncertain future for India-Pakistan relations:

He was India’s best bet in Pakistan. We will miss Musharraf," said A.G. Noorani, a constitutional lawyer and Kashmir expert. "If he had not fired his judges and gotten bogged down in domestic dramas, I believe we would have been able to make a significant breakthrough in a peace deal in Kashmir today."

Unfortunately, those "domestic dramas" took a decidedly undemocratic turn, and firing the judges was a desperate move to cling to power. The question now for the two countries is whether recent tensions had more to do with Musharraf’s waning influence, or his undermining the civilian government by refusing to bow out. Hopefully it’s the latter, but I’m not convinced.

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