Monday, June 11, 2007

US Intelligence now writing Musharraf Off?

Over the past few weeks, U.S. intelligence have started to conclude that Musharraf is on his way out. "It is the sense people have, and it's been out there," says Rob Richer, a former deputy head of CIA operations who has met with Musharraf personally and long worked with the Pakistanis on intelligence issues. "This is the view of both senior (U.S. intelligence) officials and people who follow the issue closely." What's more, Richer tells [the writer], Musharraf himself knows his time is up, and is "looking for an exit strategy":
"He believes his successor has got to be someone who supports the military but it won't necessarily be someone in uniform. There's no obvious candidate … At this point, he's looking for the right person, a right-winger, someone who understands the Army."

From: Some in U.S. Intelligence See Musharraf on His Way Out’: by Spencer Ackerman, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect

It is difficult to know General Musharraf's fate, a former Pakistan analyst for the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Marvin Weinbaum, said. "He may be able to get through the next few months, get to October. That is the earliest date for elections," he said. "But he is so damaged, his credibility will be questioned."

…Today, American intelligence officials see one possible successor to General Musharraf in the current vice chief of staff of the army, General Ehsan Saleem Hayat, according to two American intelligence officials.

Another possibility is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of the Pakistani military, Ehsun ul-Haq, a former chief of Pakistan's intelligence service.

Yesterday, Mr. Ackerman reported that Mr. Haq met last month with Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.

From: The New York Sun ‘Military May Pull the Plug On Musharraf’


Anonymous said...

US Intelligence AFTER meeting with top Paki Intelligence have apparently realized that there is a possibility of a stable Pakistan after Musharraf. MAHI


Musharraf's most widely known challengers

By Paul Wiseman, USA TODAY
Analysts say Pakistan is ready for a new era of political leadership.

Benazir Bhutto Nawaz Sharif Imran Khan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan Qazi Hussain Ahmad

Age 53 57 54 58 61 68 or 69

Party Pakistan Peoples Party Pakistan Muslim League (N) Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) None Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Jamaat-e-Islami

Career highlights Prime minister 1988-90 and 1993-96. Prime minister 1990-93 and 1997-99; overthrown by his army chief of staff, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Captain of Pakistani national cricket team; married and divorced daughter of British billionaire Sir James Goldsmith; elected to Parliament 2002. Pakistan's youngest chief justice of Supreme Court 2005-07. Suspended in March. Lawyer and driver for ousted chief justice Chaudhry; past member of Pakistani Parliament and cabinets. President of the fundamentalist Islamic political party; leader of a coalition of religious parties, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).

Base Sindh province, secular middle-class Pakistanis. Punjab province, Pakistan's most populous; conservative Muslims and industrialists. Southern Punjab province; sports-loving young voters; women. Middle-class professionals, particularly lawyers. Middle-class professionals, particularly lawyers. Islamic fundamentalists.

Strengths Daughter of populist Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was executed after a military coup; is most popular democratic politician in Pakistan; has large, well-organized political party. Conservative views could lure fundamentalist Muslims from religious parties at fringe; seen as pro-business. Beloved for helping Pakistan win 1992 cricket World Cup; praised for opening Pakistan's first cancer hospital; seen as honest and courageous for standing up to Musharraf and militants. Seen as courageous for rejecting military pressure to resign; admired for supporting families of those secretly imprisoned by intelligence agencies; flair for political theater. Viewed as articulate and brave. Strong support in northwest Pakistani and tribal areas; seen as honest and resolute in opposing Musharraf and U.S. war on terrorism.

Weaknesses Tainted by charges of corruption; faces legal problems, possibly jail, upon return from exile to Pakistan; risks grass-roots revolt in her party for negotiating with Musharraf. Tainted by corruption charges; reputation for power struggles, autocratic behavior. Weakened because his party splintered into pro-Sharif and pro-Musharraf factions. Weak party organization; shortage of experienced advisers. No political experience or organization; faces charges by Musharraf government that he abused power, committed petty corruption. Belongs to party dominated by Benazir Bhutto, possibly limiting his potential. Seen as too extremist to appeal to voters in more secular parts of Pakistan, such as Punjab and Sindh.

Contributing: Mark Pearson and

Anonymous said...

“If sections of the press have now “discovered” that Musharraf is a despot, it is because they fear that the general is losing his grip and are anxious about the consequences for US interests and influence in Pakistan, as well as for the US’s larger strategic ambitions in South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

There is growing concern in Western capitals, which for the past eight years have steadfastly supported the Musharraf dictatorship, that the Pakistani regime is unraveling and, hence, growing calls for intervention to broker a deal between the military and the bourgeois opposition.

Apart from Washington’s backing, the other key factor in Musharraf’s survival to date is the bourgeois opposition’s complicity with the military and fear of the masses.

The alliance of the religious parties, the MMA, to this day rules the North-West Frontier Province under Musharraf and in Baluchistan it is in a governing coalition with the pro-Musharraf PML (Q). Nawaz Sharif, having been deposed as prime minister by Musharraf, is an indefatigable opponent of the general-president. But this industrialist and frequent ally of the religious right owes his political career, if not his business fortune, to his ties to the military establishment and government bureaucracy.

As for Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People’s Party, while they posture as progressives and even socialists, their orientation is toward winning Washington’s backing by vowing to be serve US interests even more faithfully than the current government, and toward making a deal with the military, if not the hated Musharraf himself.

The Pakistani people have suffered horrendously under the yoke of a string of US armed and sponsored military regimes. Yet the PPP, Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) and the rest of the feudal/bourgeois opposition clutch to the coattails of the US, hoping—seven-and-a-half-years of rebuffs notwithstanding—that they can convince the Bush administration they can better serve the US’s predatory interests than Musharraf.

The venal Pakistani feudal/bourgeoisie has always sought to gain money and geopolitical influence by serving imperialist interests. Before Washington, it looked to London.

But the opposition’s appeals to Washington are above all grounded in its fears that any popular mobilization against the Musharraf regime could escape its control, undermine the military, and become a threat to the feudal/bourgeois order. Second only to the Pakistani military itself do the Benzair Bhuttos and Nawaz Sharifs look to the imperialist powers, and above all the US, as the bulwark of their own privileges, of a socioeconomic order that condemns the vast majority of Pakistanis to a life of poverty, ignorance and squalor”.

Onlooker said...

Anonymous 2

I couldn't agree more...

Anonymous said...

Of course you must be part of the urban middle-class and upper middle classes of Pakistan who would not know what is in the best interests of Pakistan even if you actually voted........

Pakistan needs stability at this point and representation for those who have not benfited from the economic miracle of Musharraf's Pakistan. JeevayPakistan

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