terror in delhi 10/29
Friday, January 20, 2006
  Musharraf: Strong or Weak?
We could'nt help notice the contrast in the assessement of General Musharraf's position in Pakistan right now from two reports. The first article "Musharraf's unhappy new year" is from the The Economist. Its argument can be summarized in the opening para:
FOR Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, troubles are coming not as single spies but in battalions. An American rocket attack on January 13th on a remote mountain village in Bajaur, a tribal agency near the border with Afghanistan, provoked angry nation-wide protests. Army action in Baluchistan province against rebellious tribesmen continues to take a toll of soldiers and civilians, and this week anonymous threats prompted foreign aid organisations to suspend operations there. Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, devastated by an earthquake in October, is suffering the misery of a Himalayan winter. Many Pakistanis fear the peace process with India is going nowhere. To cap it all, the president has faced a political rebellion in Sindh province.
This pretty much echoes our arguments presented here and here. The editorial then talks about Musharraf's strategy (or lackthereof) on 'restoring' democracy:
Besieged as he seems to be, General Musharraf still shows no inclination to broaden his political base by making friends with the parties of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, two exiled former prime ministers. Rather, he seems to see the presidential elections due next year as a chance to weaken them further, and consolidate his own power. Ruling Pakistan is not at all easy, even for an all-powerful dictator who, most observers reckon, sincerely wants to do well by the country.
Second, we present an article by Indian blogger/cricket journalist Amit Varma in the Wall Street Journal titled "Musharraf's Strong Position" (Hattip: nukh). The contrast could'nt be more as manifested in the title. He goes on and interviews a couple of editors of English language newspapers in Pakistan and generally takes their word for granted. It is another issue that the total circulation of such newspapers is estimated to be a paltry 300,000 in a country of 160 million.
Gen. Musharraf in no immediate danger from the protests in most major Pakistan cities against the recent U.S. air strikes targeting al Qaeda terrorists hiding along the border with Afghanistan. The radical Islamic groups, who cynically exploited outrage over Pakistani civilian casualties to whip up these protests, know this only too well.
"These demonstrations are just a cynical ploy by the Islamists," said Murtaza Razvi, Lahore editor of the Dawn, Pakistan's oldest and most widely-read English-language newspaper. "They are just playing to their vote bank. No political party in the country can overthrow Musharraf."
Although Islamic political parties scored some success in parliamentary elections in 2002, they are a minority in parliament and their importance is often overrated by outside observers. "They have more influence in the cities than in the rural areas," said Mr. Razvi. "But not enough to unseat Musharraf."
writes Mr. Varma. It is contrasting to note that Gen. Musharraf courts the very same Islamist parties inorder to undermine the mainstream parties viz. PPP and PML. So far he has been playing off one politcal party/ethnic group versus another (relatively Secular vs Islamists, Sindhis Vs Balochis, etc.) thus retaining his own power as Chief of State and the Armed Forces. But his divide-and-rule policy backfired when all the political parties including the Punjab PPP were firmly opposed to Musharraf's ill-conceived Kalabagh Dam plan and even the non-Islamist parties were united in the protests against the U.S. missile strikes. Clearly, we do not advocate status quo. Gen Musharraf has been a catastrophe both in the Global War on Terror and has'nt changed one bit vis-a-vis India since being the architect of the Kargil War. Neither do we advocate an immediate 'regime change'. But we are nevertheless not convinced that all is well for the Generalissmo in his country. PS: We wonder why none of the Indian bloggers/journalists visiting Lahore don't pay a visit to al-Dawa University in Murdike not far from Lahore where the Jamat-ud-Dawa 'charity' group is based. More on it in this report from Frontline.
one hopes that it is just the kababs and [pakistani] beer talking.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home
news and views about the terror attacks in new delhi on october the 29th 2005. alerting citizens of all civilized nations on new terror threats.

About Me

Name:cynical nerd
Contact: cynical.nerd@gmail.com
Blogger Profile

Never forget

The victims of terror

We Salute

The spirit of 9/11 & 7/7 & 3/11

Counter Terror

Inside Laskhar
Breeding Ground of Terror
Root Cause My A**
G.O.A.T. Comes Home To Roost
Taking The Fight To The Enemy
Terror Strikes Varanasi: Plus ca change ...

Media/Public Opinion

Shocking Hypocrisy
Candle Kisser™®© Alert
Stop This Cricketing Madness
Why Are We Gloating?

India-US nuclear agreement

N-deal: More Clarity Needed
N-deal: An Isolated PMO
N-deal: Deconstructing The ‘Cheerleaders’
N-deal: Deconstructing the Non-Proliferation Lobby
N-deal: Looking Ahead Boldly
N-agreement: Putting the cards on the table


Uncle’s Long Arm
Iran's Misplaced Anger
India's Energy Security
Balochistan Blues: Another Bangladesh In the Making?


Fun Quiz
Master G.O.A.T.
CNN: Europe's Communal Tensions
Pervix Meretricix™®© Goes to Helvetix


Bharat Rakshak
Indian Maverick
Observer Research Foundation
Secular Right
South Asia Analysis Group
South Asia Terrorism Portal
The Acorn

Blogs that link here


October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 /

Stop Terror against the Indian people