Friday, August 8, 2008

The proposed impeachment of Musharraf

Musharraf is no longer going to Beijing, instead Gilani will go.

Zardari has promised to reinstate the Judiciary after Musharraf has been succesfully impeached. Surely if the Judiciary is reinstated now, they will force Musharraf out.

Zardari probably argues that Musharraf is more likely to sack the Government( and he has the power to do that) if there is a chance of the Judiciary being reinstated rather than if he is being impeached. Musharraf on the other hand promises that he will not sack the Government.

The hand of Zardari is written large on this latest move. He is too clever for Nawaz and has succeeded once again in delaying any action on restoring the judges. Nawaz's hatred for Musharraf and his need to take revenge for his ouster makes him a pliable object in Zardaris hand.

Within 5 months of the elections, Zardari has placed his men in strategic positions, Nawaz has been sidelined to the Punjab, Musharraf has been made powerless and the restoration of judges has been postponed indefinitely. There was a failed attempt to put the ISI under civilian control but no doubt he will try again.

Zardari has been able to achieve all this in spite of intense pressure from the lawyers to restore the judges, pressure from the Americans to keep Musharraf, pressure from Nawaz to get rid of Musharraf, pressure from dissidents within his own party who have been sidelined and reported pressure from his own children to restore the judges. In the game of power, Zardari is winning so far by keeping all the balls in the air. He reckons that time is on his side as he will agree to anything and do nothing. By neutralising Nawaz, he has taken the air out of the lawyers balloon which desperately need the support of a political party to show street strength.

The street smart Zardari recognises no ideology except power and money. His strength is that his opponents are weak and equally without ideology. The pretense of ideology in fact places a heavy weight on their shoulders and makes him more nimble. At the end of all this Musharraf will not be impeached, the Judges will not be restored, the ISI will continue to function independently of the civilians, America will pump in more money to keep the Economy going and Zardari will have made more money than in his previous incarnation.


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