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Fate of Musharraf and Pakistan

New Delhi, Wed, 13 Aug 2008 NI Wire

It was President Musharraf’s 65th birthday on Monday (August 11), and also the day when Pakistan National assembly set forth a motion of impeachment against his eight-year long rule. Herewith, one can envision a little rollover in the course of Pakistan politics, though it is yet to find a definite answer on Musharraf’s own perception: whether to step down quietly or fight the democratic, political battle.

Musharraf’s impeachment, if it is in anyway driven by the assembly, would certainly set a new course in the modern history of Pakistan when its rulers were either assassinated or forced to leave by the autocratic set up of military. The President will no doubt be the very few lucky one to be going out at a very constitutional process.

Though the speculation of his quit prior to the impeachment process is gaining momentum, but considering the nature of a military man who has survived three wars, two life attempts and various political and judicial crisis, such an action is highly unlikely to come this way.

While it is implausible for him to dissolve the parliament as his constitutional and presidential power, considering the latest political development, moreover, the fraction in his own power base – the military – it is clear he is reluctant to quit but to fight a constitutional procedure to get his name clear.

Being Pakistan’s army chief he indeed gained public support after 1999 coup but his fight against terrorism with United States as strong allay sidelining the hardliner Muslims didn’t go down well for him. Again his decision of sacking the Chief Justice in March last year following another 56 judges eight months later on his election for a second term to President brought deep criticism.

The United States, one time close ally of Pervez Musharraf, is also preferred to be unvoiced over the issue terming it as Pakistan’s internal matter. This, one way or another, shows US’s lean towards a democratic set up rather a military leader, which has hardly brought any result to the genuine commitment of fight against terrorism.

However, as far as Pakistan- a democratic nation is concerned, Musharraf’s impeachment would hardly bring any drastic or radical change in its overall growth and development. Since February, when the PPP-PML (N) coalition came to power, the government is still struggling to get over from internal crisis apart from the economic downfall, especially the tribal territorial conflict and constant terrorists attack from the part of hardliners. Musharraf’s exist may be a crucial political transition but it would be highly critical for a coalition government with many differences to develop a moderate, democratic Pakistan.

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