By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Berkeley–December 6th–This was a small round table discussion with Dr. Neil Joeck, a CSAS Research Associate, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Security Research at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (U.S. government) with Dr. Ahmad Faruqui, Principle of the Battle Group (located in San Francisco.)
Ahmad Faruqui began talking about the 1999 coup over Karachi.
The Military has ruled the nation for over half of its existence. The Armed Forces have always been a faction of the Muslim League. General Musharraf has constantly stated his uniform was his second skin!
His most foolish mistake was to fire Chief Justice Chaudhry this year to guarantee that his victory at the polls would be upheld as Constitutional. Also, whether it was the Governmentâ€™s fault or not, individuals have been disappearing. (Remember, the Peshawar, etc. regions, etc. is very anarchistic! To say this is the Governmentâ€™s fault might not be all that accurate accurate in all instances)
Recently, the President felt he required another five-year term with a different assembly. The Chief Justice objected. The Justice proclaimed that the Constitution did not permit the Chief Executive to have two such positions as President and Chef of the Army Staff at the same time. Therefore, to remain president, he would have to give up his uniforms. There was no question that he was elected by a landslide, but without legitimate opposition parties the US was putting great pressure on him to allow two of the former PMs back into the country, Bhutto and Sharif. This has created an awkward security situation. Opposing political groups are now out of control, threatening the safety of the nation.
The General has finally taken off his uniform, but the message has remained that the Army is still all-powerful!
Neil Joecke: The crisis is not over yet. In fact, it is having an impact on Americaâ€™s foreign policy, for Islamabad has a great influence on North America at the moment. We have to set our priorities. Is it Rawalpindiâ€™s role in counter-terrorism, or should we be pushing that nation into Jeffersonian Democracy? Frankly, Sharifâ€™s Administration was worse than Musharrafâ€™s. Democracy is not always exemplary. â€œThe U.S. is interested in pushing the Islamic Republic because it represents our values.â€ Bush has opted for putting up with Musharraf because he is an ally.
There is a good deal of what might be called nuclear security hysteria regarding Pakistan from Washington that has no basis in fact. Pakistan is a â€œCorporate Entityâ€ with its nuclear weapons well under control.