Oct 2, 2007

Musharraf, Benazir & Extremists: What Do they seek?

Sept 20, 2007 - CSIS- Vikram Gupta and Teresita C Schaffer, analyses the political situation in Pakistan. General Musharraf faces 3 challenges: new energised judiciary backed by vibrant civil society, Nawaz & Benazir and finally extremists breaking the law and directly attacking army.

Musharraf basic constituency is Pakistan army.

Judiciary: President election on Oct6 and then Parliament election before 15 Jan 2008. President if elected from the (out going) parliament that was elected in 2002, many Pakistanis think, will be against the spirit of the constitution.

Political Parties: Musharraf is seeking 3 things: Benazir to at least give tacit support, maximize Presidential powers and retain control of army at least till he is elected as President. Benazir is seeking 4 things: corruption cases withdrawn, Musharraf retire from army before being elected as President, eligibility to run again as Prime minister that means a legislation allowing a third term and repeal of 58 (2b) so President cannot dissolve parliament. Musharraf is OK with withdrawing corruption cases but not with the last 2 demands. Nawaz wants to return to Pakistan and start a movement to oust Musharraf.

Dawn report Oct 5, 2007 - Military and Benazir "power sharing deal".

Report blames MQM for May 12 violence in Karachi that left 40 people dead. MQM thuggish track record hurts Musharraf more than their capacity to mobilise people. MQM opposes any deal with Benazir as PPP is their rival in Sindh.

3 factors could trigger to impose a State of Emergency: court disallowing Musharraf to run for President, major trouble in the streets and political parties resigning such that quorum or moral legitimacy is absent from Presidential election.

Looking into sources of extremism authors asks a pertinent question that who controls tribal area (FATA)? . 2 groups are sources of extremist violence, one that sees Pakistan government efforts to integrate the areas into Pakistan. The other group is the one who are challenging the army and law enforcement. These are the perpetrators of suicide attack on military and those that want to establish themselves as Islamic oriented power.

full report

Govt minister confirms that cases againt Benazir to be dropped. Daily time 2 Oct 2007

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