Capital suggestion: Two who pulled Musharraf down

by Dr Farrukh Saleem
She joined the foreign service in 1973 as an economic officer. She has been the recipient of a Presidential Honour award, a Meritorious Honour award and the Order of the Congress from the Congress of Columbia. She was Ambassador to Colombia and to El Salvador. She has fought drugs as head of the Bureau for International Narcotics. She has fought an insurgency and she has been the target of a failed bomb plot.
Under ‘Plan Columbia’, she attracted $1.3 billion but while she was in Columbia the Columbian government unleashed a wave of terror and was charged for the country’s “most serious human rights violations.”

He was a member of Islami Jamiat Talba. He has been Far Eastern Economic Review’s correspondent covering Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has been an adviser to prime ministers Mustafa Jatoi, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. He contributed to Voice of America radio and was a syndicated columnist for the ‘The Indian Express’, ‘Daily Star’ and ‘Gulf News’. He has been the director of the Institute for International Relations at Boston University and the co-director of the Hudson Institute’s Project on the Future of the Muslim World. He is articulate, prolific, and at 52, still considers himself a ladies man.

In 2007, he wrote a string of anti-Musharraf opeds in The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. He lobbied hard against Musharraf on the Capitol Hill and testified tough in front of Congressional committees and sub-committees. He teamed up with Mark Siegel (a one-time assistant to President Carter, a Washington lobbyist and a close confidante of Shaheed Benazir). He engaged the Department of State, the Pentagon, the National Security Council and the U.S. Central Command. At an intellectual as well as the strategic level, he convinced them all that Musharraf could neither protect nor promote America’s geo-strategic interests.

She came to Pakistan in the middle of 2007. At 5 feet 1 inch, she is the face of American awe in this country. She maintained, sustained and supported Musharraf for 9 months. By March 2008, she had concluded that Musharraf had outlived his utility for America. She engaged the Department of State and she persuaded Condoleezza Rice. But, the Old Executive Office Building at the White House was still glued to Musharraf (the Old Executive Office Building houses the executive offices of both the president and the vice president).

On July 10, General David Petraeus was confirmed as the new Commander of U.S. Central Command. Musharraf did not fit into the Petraeus Doctrine. Petraeus, soldier and philosopher rolled in one, wanted political consensus within Pakistan to fight the ‘war on terror’ and Musharraf had become an obstacle. Things would never be the same for Musharraf.

With the State and the Pentagon both on board, our man in Washington finally managed a Bush-Gilani meeting at Sharm el Sheikh. Things would never be the same for Musharraf, never again. On July 28, Gilani, assisted by our man in Washington, met Bush once again and this time inside the Oval Office. That fateful day, right inside the Oval Office, Musharraf was written off, a new occupant for Pakistan’s presidency was picked, Nawaz was to be marginalised and Pak Army was to take on the militancy.

In exactly 20 days after July 28, Musharraf resigned. In exactly 23 days after July 28, the coalition broke. In exactly 25 days after July 28, Asif Ali Zardari was nominated as PPP’s candidate for the president of Pakistan. And, now we all await hoards of American cash to bail us all out.

Postscript: Neither he nor she would have been able to pull Musharraf down if it wasn’t for the lawyers’ movement. The lawyers sowed the seeds – look who is eating the fruit.

The writer is an Islamabad-based freelance columnist. Email:

Courtesy: The News, September 07, 2008

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