Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Musharraf in trouble?

The crisis in Pakistan seems increasingly ominous. BBC reports that the Chief Justice, who is being pressured to resign for as yet unstated reasons, "refused to take the official car sent to take him to the hearing at the Supreme Court but started walking there. He was stopped by police and taken to another official building before being forced into a car and taken to the court buildings."
Evidence of the seriousness of the procedings is the scale of the demonstrations against the government by lawyers all over the country: The BBC says that "Some 200 lawyers supporting Mr Chaudhry managed to reach the Supreme Court despite tight security, chanting slogans against the president such as 'Go Musharraf, go.'"
For middle class lawyers to be demonstrating in the streets and challenging Musharraf's hold on power is a serious development. It looks like extreme measures could be the only way for the government to respond, and that could lead to such a large-scale reaction that Musharraf would have to be replaced. There is no doubt that the army will retain control of the country, whether by elections or coup d'etat. It is conceivable that already there are elements within the army ready to take over. But which elements? Those who support the Islamists? Capitalist interests? Whoever comes forward, we can be sure they will disassociate themselves from the Bush administration. So, could that mean that the Bush policy in Pakistan is likewise in trouble?

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