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Pakistan after Musharraf
The battered leader is on his way out. What next?
 

Pervez Musharraf is finished, said Tariq Ali in the British daily The Guardian. If he sidesteps impeachment by resigning, as expected, in the next few days, the disgraced Pakistani president will win the politicians angling to fill the power void “badly-needed popular support.” But the U.S. has always dealt primarily with the army, so it’s only a matter of time “before the military is back at the helm.”

The transition could get ugly, said Jane Perlez in The New York Times. His departure could “unleash new instability in the country as the two main parties in the civilian government” jockey for the division of power. The coalition between the parties of former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and the late Benazir Bhutto was “troubled by deep suspicions” from the start, and it’s “likely to fragment” once their common enemy is gone.

Maybe, said I.A. Rehman in the Pakistani daily Dawn, but Musharraf’s exit is an essential step toward building “a state that the people may be proud to own, happy to nourish, and willing to die for.” Once he’s gone, Pakistan can focus on ending the insurgency in the north, and establishing the freedom the nation’s founders promised.

 

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