Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Musharraf On His Way Out? Not Stopping Pakistan’s Cruise-Missile Program

Posted by K.E. White on March 22, 2007

Pervez MusharrafToday’s Washington Post lead editorial heralds the “lame duck” Presidency of Musharraf, considering Musharraf “unable to rein in Talibanization in Pakistan or guide the country toward a more democratic future.”

Musharraf has faced stiff public resistance for removing Pakistan’s top national judge.

And this public turmoil in Pakistan—a nuclear weapons state—coincides with deadly mudslides in Kashmir and its recent cruise-missile test.

Is Musharraf’s fate sealed? And will this mean a severely troubled (or even failed) state in Pakistan—a country with an active nuclear weapons program?

Ahemed’s Rashid writes on Musharraf’s loss of support from his own political party, the nation’s intelligence agencies, and from the international community:

Moreover, Musharraf is losing control of three key elements that have sustained his rule but are now either distancing themselves or turning on him completely. The first is the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Party, which has acted as the civilian appendage to the military but faces an election and knows that going to bat for the unpopular Musharraf will turn off voters. Party leaders and cabinet ministers are already distancing themselves from him.

The second element is the country’s three intelligence agencies, which are at loggerheads over control of Musharraf, Pakistan’s foreign policy, its political process and the media. Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence are military agencies, while the largest civilian agency, the Intelligence Bureau, is now run by a military officer. Ironically, Inter-Services Intelligence, the most powerful agency in the country, has been the moderate element urging Musharraf to open up the political system to the opposition parties. The other two agencies are the hard-liners and are urging Musharraf to adopt even tougher measures.

The third loss for Musharraf has been the unqualified international support he has received since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Anger in the U.S. Congress and media, and particularly among members of the Republican Party, toward Musharraf’s dual-track policy in Afghanistan — helping to catch al-Qaeda members but backing the Taliban — is making it difficult for President Bush to continue offering Musharraf his blanket support.

The Times of India adds an important component, Musharraf’s loss of support within the Pakistani military:

Hard-line Islamists, favoured previously, are now out, and soldiers charged with mutiny have received the death penalty, says Hoodbhoy. Although this has further deepened pro and anti-US divisions within the army, among both commissioned and non-commissioned officers, Musharraf clearly expects to remain the president well beyond the October 2007 elections, as well as extend further his term of leadership of the army.

“To achieve this end, whatever needs to be done will be done; principles and rules are elastic,” Hoodbhoy says. He also writes that the US remains “clueless” on how to deal with Pakistan and its problems. “One might have expected the Americans to know better than to bet all on a man who might be gone tomorrow. But, beyond pumping in dollars and supporting Musharraf and his military, the US appears clueless in dealing with Pakistan and its problems of social development,” says Hoodbhoy.

These developments will undoubtedly cause diplomatic heartburn from the United States. Whatever Musharraf’s faults, he kept Pakistan (relatively) stable and was a key ally (though imperfect) of the United States.

Whatever is to come of Musharraf, unpredictability in Pakistan’s politics carries with it profound ramifications in global security.

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7 Responses to “Musharraf On His Way Out? Not Stopping Pakistan’s Cruise-Missile Program”

  1. sonia said

    musharraf is best prsident of pakistan.
    musharraf shab pakistan sub kaa hai.
    benazeer nawaz sharif pakistan to aye to bale aye.
    mugaar poori quoom ko paraq nahin parigh.
    nawaz sharif bale prime ministers hojay per pakistan jaLDI HELICAPTER SE AYE

  2. kashif hussain said

    hi i m kashif. And about our best ever President Gen. Pervaiz Musharaf in my view he is simply the best. If people said that there now days have lots of law and order because of the operation against the talibinization. if you think for some time if you want to ban or get action against any bad things you should got more problems but gradually it become less by time. Same the story is about these terrorist which are behind the mask of Talibinazation which they called the Islamic war. This is not the islamic war this is simply the foolishness to kill their own heroes. Which secure our borders against out revilas(india). So in my openion every thing is fine what is doing our president, and about these terrorist they are just covered.

  3. waqas ahmed chohan said

    iam waqas ahmed our commints is this
    newaz shreef and banzeer and mushraf and chaudary bradars all party for full his cors but no benifat his nation i thought need for pakistan a new leader no newaz banzeer not moshraf but need a pure muslim he provide poor peaple all these think his nation ho neeed it not only aprovida strong party

  4. Sher Ali said

    Mushraff is a great Militray General as well as a Great politicians. It is fact that Mushraff Deprived Judges from their Emplyment and become un-popular in pakistan polics. Musraff do this because he want nobody interfer the sensitive matter of security.
    Musraff saves the paksitan at the hand s of america and its allies. Also from india + isrteal combination. That’s why musraff do this alone becasue he can not belive on judges on prime minister. HE works well his security policy for last eight years.
    Afrer his goinf now pakitan have crises more than before.

  5. zeeshan said

    I think General Perwaiz Musraff is the best Commander an best leader in history of Pakistan.

    Zeeshan

  6. hira said

    I love alot jernal pervaz musharf. you are a great man & marvellous person. I miss you sooooooooooo much. you are a excellent leader. I love you toooooooooooo much. Mayri life ki sub say bari wish hay kay KASH main kabhi ap say mil sakon. i want to see you live

  7. modern weapons…

    […]Musharraf On His Way Out? Not Stopping Pakistan’s Cruise-Missile Program « Proliferation Press[…]…

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