Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Emergency in Pakistan?

So Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf might declare an official state of emergency in his country. Officials may talk of concerns in the wake of the Red Mosque confrontation and additional threats as the military ramps up in the Northwest Federally Administered Tribal Areas, hints that the U.S. might intervene (with what?) and all. But it's more likely that Musharraf sees it as a way to extend his grip on power. How pathetic that people who hold power, even perilous power (numerous assassination attempts), get so addicted to it.

As I understand it, if there's a state of emergency Musharraf might be able to postpone elections scheduled for December and meybe even parliamentary elections in December. He can probably secure reelection himself with th old parliament, but he's so unpopular he is almost certain to lose allies in parliamentary elections. It seems unlikely the fundamentalists could come to power through elections, but things are extremely unsettled in the near-ungovernable country.

It all creates complications for the U.S. Musharraf chose to ally himself with the U.S. after 9/11, but the U.. has tied itself too closely to Musharraf the individual rather than cultivating other friends/allies in the complex political realm. If he goes, the U.S. might not know what to do, even if former president Benazir Bhutto, without the taint of having been installed by the military, comes back to power .

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