May 262008

By Aftab Iqbal

It may sound funny as usual, but this time is looks real. This time there is something big and serious otherwise Asif Zardaari would never have gone that far in thrashing the man who happened to be the author of almost every script that was written in Islamabad during the last eight years.
The chain of events, when appear in a sequence, presents an awfully interesting picture. The US Senators got fussy over the rapprochement in the tribal area blaming the Pak army for being unnecessarily cordial with the militants. The American Ambassador calling on Mr. Zardaari in a rush the next day, followed by his meetings with a couple of foreign ministers including the one from India, Parnab Mukerji. Then came the vibes about the constitutional package that sent shock waves every where, especially the President House. Not only that Musharraf nodded negative on the curtailment of his powers, but he also told the government in so many words to refrain from taking BB’s murder matter to the UNO which he thinks might compromise our nuclear program and other national interest. To my utmost surprise, Zardaari, in a somewhat threatening way, pledged to involve the Indian government too in order to pressurize the United Nations. This looks like a bomb-shell to me.
My method of analysis may not be of a universally accepted nature but, I am convinced that either of the two major stake-holders, the United States and the Pak Army seems to have withdrawn its support from Pervaiz Musharraf. Apparently it looks like the US has finally given a second thought to its post 9/11 policy of going out of the way in supporting him. Infect Musharraf is just a symbol. It is the military who seems to have lost the confidence of Washington.
In plane English, all this means that the Pak army has failed to deliver in the war against terror and the US has now shifted the focus from the military to the political forces in the country, the ruling alliance, to be precise. But is it the war on terror only that the US is focusing upon or is there something else in the package too? You just don’t have to be a genius to understand that. It is not a handful of runaway mullahs that the US is after, actually it is our nuclear arsenal of about 50 warheads that keeps it haunting by the day.
But I think, Washington one again is betting on a wrong horse. Asif Ali Zardaari neither has the capacity nor support that is enough to defy the collective wisdom of the Pakistan military regime who religiously considers it self the custodian and the savior of the nation. But again this observation is based on the hypothesis that the US has turned its back on the entire institution of Pak army.
I doubt that the establishment in Islamabad would ever allow the UN mission to step on Pak soil to probe into BB’s murder. I also seriously doubt that PPP’s most ambitiously laid constitutional plan will ever be crystallized. Especially the sections pertaining to the curtailment of Musharraf’s powers will most definitely be slaughtered in the very outset. Seeking the Indian support on any issue, as indicated by Mr. Zardaari, would nothing but further widen the gap between the PPP and the G.H.Q.
After having spoken and listened to Prime Minister Gillani over a lunchroom today, I can easily smell a head-on in the air. This is for sure that the US has finally thought of expending Pervaiz Musharraf. In that case he seems to have been reduced to a mere paper tiger, depending entirely upon the support of old buddies at the G.H.Q. if the support comes, Asif Ali Zardaari and his party are in grave danger. But if it doesn’t come and the old friends still keep aloof, Musharraf is not even a paper tiger. In that case, I would rather call him a “tissue paper tiger”.
The 17th day of August may be fixed as the day of Musharraf’s departure, first to the US and then to the Basphorus. This departure, if it really took place, would also commemorate the day some stake-holders got rid of another military dictator, twenty years back, in a horrendous way though!

Courtesy: The Nation, 26/5/2008

 Posted by at 6:52 am

  One Response to “Pakistan Politics: A “tissue paper tiger”?”

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