Sunday, March 25, 2007

US looks at plan to oust Musharraf

If it is true that the Americans are signalling that Musharraf might be removed, then his status is indeed precarious. It is strange that this is published in Australia but not in the United States.

US looks at plan to oust Musharraf
By Bruce Loudon
The Australian

"The US has indicated for the first time that it might be willing to back plans by elite echelons of the military in Islamabad to oust Pervez Musharraf from power, as the Pakistani President was beset by major new difficulties over his attempts to sack the country's chief justice."
"Reports yesterday quoting highly placed US diplomatic and intelligence officials - previously rusted on to the view that General Musharraf was an indispensable Western ally in the battle against terrorism - outlined a succession plan to replace him."
"Thousands of lawyers clashed with baton-wielding riot police yesterday during a nationwide day of action against the sacking of the top judge."
"motives for the sacking emerged when it was disclosed that last month Justice Iftikhar said in a speech that General Musharraf could not continue as army chief beyond the expiry of his term as President later this year."
"General Musharraf has a highly controversial plan that would have him elected to another five-year term as President ... But he also wants to continue as Army Chief of Staff"
"The bitter wrangling lends weight to those in the US diplomatic and intelligence community who believe it is time to consider the post-Musharraf era."
"The US report suggests ... the view that the alternative to his regime would be chaos and a takeover by extremist Islamic mullahs is no longer ascendant."
"The report ... might ... indicate the President's allies in Washington are about to pull the rug from under him."

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