Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Musharraf To Step Down As Army Chief


Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf reportedly now says he plans to step down as army chief at the end of November, and begin a new presidential term as a civilian.

Of course, with the military in the hands of his old crony General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, the former head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) counter espionage agency , Musharaf will in fact retain control of the army. Since that's pretty much all that's keeping him alive, let alone in power,he'd be silly not to.

Musharraf also blamed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto ( who's currently under house arrest again) for adding to the nation's political turmoil. He also made in clear that he has no plans to lift the emergency rule, saying it's likely to continue through the January elections.

He also questioned Bhutto's popularity and whether she would win the elections scheduled to be held on January 9 with the emergency still in effect.

"Let's start the elections and let's see whether she wins," Musharraf said.

Considering that Bhutto may not be able to run for another term legally and considering the corruption charges still lingering, Musharraf may be on to something.

Meanwhile,US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte is a apparently en route to Pakistan with a message to Musharraf from President Bush.

Stay tuned..

4 comments:

louielouie said...

while i do read all of ff essay's, and understand most, sometimes he's just way over my head, but that's why i come to J/P.......
with that said, i don't have any idea what the hel@ ff is talking about in this essay, nor do i have a grasp on what is going on in paky.
i mean, if he's not president and not chief of the army then what is he? and what is he going to be next week? pushing up daisies?
i think mushy should just take all the money the US taxpayers have given him and move to Vegas.
the essay does sound a little like a dysfunctional mafia family fueding with the dysfunctional street gang family living next door.
and that part about shrub sending a note to mushy.
that used to mean something.
i bet shrub is just telling him how much he enjoys pounding sand................

OMG!!!!!!
i just.......
oh no.......
it can't be..........
did monkey boy drop out of the race here in the US because he heard there was going to be an opening in paky?
mushy talking about let's start the election and the manner in which he phrased it sounds a whole lot like monkey boy.
did he plan this?
if so, then chimp boy has my full support!!!!!!!

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Louie,
Sorry to be confusing.Hopefully this will clear things up.

Pakistan has a parliamentary system with both a president (who is elected by parliament) and a prime minister.

In Parliamentary systems, each party has a leader and a `list'of other candidates and the party which wins the most seats in the elections has its leader become prime minister.

Countries with parliamentary systems differ on the responsibilities and power of the PM s opposed to the president.Some like the UK don't have a president at all, others, like Israel, have the presidentcy as mostly symbolic, and some, like Pakistan, have a separation and breakdown of specific powers.

What Musharraf is talking about is the fact that he won the election within Parliament as president - which the Pakistani Supreme Court challenged because he was still head of the army.That's why he essentially pulled off a coup.

This is a big deal in countries like Pakistan, where there have been a fair amount of military coups and the army is one of the few parts of Pakistan that isn't dysfunctional.

The popular elections for parliament are still to be held, come January of `08...which is when Bhutto and her party may try to garner a majority in parliament.

Clear?

I don't have a clue about Weekend Monkey becoming leader of Pakistan...and I certainly don't want him armed with nuclear weapons and his finger on the button.

As full of rage as he is right now, I'm afraid that his being in charge of Pakistan's nukes might lead to a very different type of fireworks at the Democrat convention in `08!

louielouie said...

well......
your explanation of the parlimentary system is well thought out and reasoned. your description describes specific positions and responsibilities.
however, it does not have anything to do with the description in your essay about what is happening in paky.
in short, mushy sounds as though he is changing positions like i change shirts.
in the third paragraph above "clear?" you say that mushy was elected president by parliament.
ok, so who is prime minister of paky and what position other than house arrest is bhutto?
and if she is under indictment why did she come back at all?
i am sure you understand it, but all i'm saying is even after reading & re-reading your essay it sounds like one screwed up dangerous mess. and i just don't get it.

Freedom Fighter said...

Dangerous mess is about the size of it, Louie.

The current prime minister ( and finance minister,BTW) is a guy named Shaukat Aziz, who was basically appointed to the job in 2004 by Musharraf to finish the term of Zafarullah Khan Jamali when he `resigned'.New popular elections for the spot are due in January.

It's important to remember in figuring all this out that Musharraf became president via a military coup, in 1999, and he's been changing the rules of the game, to say the least.

The whole fracus involved th efact that Musharraf was both army chief and president, which the Supreme court of Pakistan ruled was illegal. SO Musharraf decided on an `out of court settlement' as they say in places like Cicero and parts of Brooklyn.

Bhutto herself has no official position in Pakistan. She was Prime Minister twice, and fled the country under a cloud because of charges of corruption and theft...which may very well have been true.

Think of her as sort of like Teddy Kennedy without the senate seat. She's a member of the ogliarchy, but has the popular reputation of being pro democracy.Her father was also prime minister,but was also popped for corruption.

She's the leader of the opposition Pakistan People's Party ( PPP).

Bhutto was basically foisted on Musharraf by the US, in an effort to provide more popular suport for Musharraf's regime. She came back to Pakistan after negotiations with Musharraf on a power sharing arrangement that gave her amnesty on the criminal charges and called for her to be prime minister while Musharraf retained the presidentcy.

I'm still convinced that a lot of the tension between Bhutto and Musharraf is a ploy,or at worst a jockeying for position. Bhutto needs the army to rule, and Musharraf needs calm to rule. Bhutto, because of her reputation can't be seen to be openly making a deal with Musharraf, so...

I'm also convinced thatthe Islamists, who hate both of `em will have something to say about how things go in Pakistan before all this is over.