Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pakistan: Musharraf will resign in lieu of impeachment; outlook for policy on Al Qaeda uncertain

Media sources report that Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf will resign from office and leave soon, since “Parliament” is going to impeach him. The development seems to change the perception of Musharraf as a military dictator, often seen in his olive green or brown uniform, sometimes even in fatigues.

Musharraf has been an important ally to the Bush administration in the “war on terror” but his military has been unable to control the northwestern tribal areas that border Afghanistan. Also the return and assassination of Benazir Bhutto would complicate his situation, to say the least.

It is unclear who his successor would be, and what kind of policy a successor will have regarding Al Qaeda. Pakistan has a cache of small suitcase nuclear weapons and belongs to the nuclear club. There is always concern that the weapons will fall into the wrong hands.

The latest story about Musharraf appears in various sources, such as in the Wall Street Journal, posted today (after press) by Zahid Hussain and Peter Wonacott, link here.

The New York Times ran a story on Aug 8, by Jane Perlez, link here, “Pakistan Coalition Moves to Impeach Musharraf.”

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