Monday, October 08, 2007
Alvaro Vargas Llosa has said about "President" Musharraf what one might surmise about any dictator: that he is loath to relinquish power. Here is a person the American government considers strategic to their interest who as it happens holds power by usurpation and seems now willing to relinquish some power merely because he must. If he is to hold on for now, he must make concessions, or at least seem to do so, given the demonstrations by thousands of lawyers against him in the streets, some of the demonstrations having gone on for more than a month, and given the evident reluctance of the Supreme Court to legitimate his persisting attempts to rule. I know we must all hope, and undoubtedly changes of importance are taking place for the time being. But will they actually constitute a turning point in Pakistani affairs? Will the new changes lead to stability? And how will the Islamist groups figure in the future of the country? Tune in. . . . RLC
By Alvaro Vargas Llosa
The Independent Institute
"The idea behind Musharraf's support was that his authoritarian army would crush religious terrorist groups. Instead, the influence of fanatics in Pakistan's political and military institutions has grown under his watch."
"The general is now making a mockery of any notion of the rule of law in order to remain president and head of the armed forces. By stepping over institutions such as the Pakistani Supreme Court, he has unleashed precisely what his macho rule was supposed to prevent?chaos and civil strife."
"Military rulers cannot govern without making some sort of alliance with key civilian groups. Musharraf,whose party basically is a spinoff from the Pakistan Muslim League, has allied himself with Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of Muslim political organizations with close ties to fundamentalists. Furthermore, the organization that he has placed in a position of absolute power, the army,is disproportionately made up of Pashtuns, an ethnic group that is dominant in the tribal areas in which al-Qaeda is active."
"By heavily repressing former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League, the current government rid itself of the few available means that Pakistan had of diluting fundamentalism in Pakistan's society."
"For the umpteenth time in history, a military ruler who promised to bring order has generated worse disorders than those he set out to correct."
"Leaders in Washington, London and other Western nations have now belatedly realized that dictatorship was not the solution to the problems that had been incubated during Pakistan's democratic period. They should have known better."