The US-brokered ‘love match’ between Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto may be coming apart at the seams.
Two days ago Bhutto (during an interview with Canada’s CBC television channel) directly blamed the Musharraf and the military for sustaining terrorism.
“As long as we have a cabinet ... that needs the threat of terrorism to sustain a military dictatorship in Pakistan we’re never going to get rid of terrorism."
“The military is the problem...True democracy will deal with the social and economic needs of the people of Pakistan."
Then using the services of to Canadian columnist Eric Margolis she went above Musharraf’s head and directly made an appeal to ambitious army officers.
`We must deal with reality,’ she politically answers. Power sharing with Musharraf, I asked? `We can get along with some generals,’ comes her cautiously reply. She used to accuse me of being too chummy with `your beloved Pakistani generals.’ Now, she is playing a dangerous game with them.
`Musharraf needs to resign to clear the way to promotion for younger, capable generals,’ says Bhutto, ` otherwise the army will loose some of its best men.’ A lot of mid-ranking officers will be listening to her.
These kinds of remarks will do little to endear her to Musharraf. As an editorial in The News commented today:
It would be fair to say that both the former prime minister and the general seem to have dug into their positions. Given that the latter is ostensibly in a weak position these days, this doesn't reflect too well on Ms Bhutto's negotiating capabilities. In any case, if the military is a problem then why enter into a deal with it?
Police and the VIPs of Islamabad
According to Dawn official records show that crime has been rising in the Capital Territory of Islamabad despite regular increases in the city’s police’s budget.
Dawn’s investigations reveal that of the 10,000-strong police force:
57% or 5,700 are detailed into proving security and protocol for VIPs.
13% or 1,300 perform traffic and intelligence duties.
This leaves just 3,000 policemen to maintain law and order and fight crime in a city with a population of over 1 million.
According to Dawn, all if not most of this city’s police department budget is spent on providing services to VIPs. The newspaper doubts if the eleven police stations providing law enforcement and crime prevention duties, forgetting even their proportional 30% share of the budget, get anything.
Dawn, print edition of 21 August, 2007 (page 2)
Brand Marketing Shortcut style
According to The News, Shaukat Aziz announced yesterday that “[Musharraf] is a brand in the world”.
Well, according to your Blogger, so are ‘Preparation H’ and ‘Marlboro’ cigarettes - but that doesn’t mean that they are good for us!
(On second thoughts, unlike Musharraf, Preparation H is at least useful for Pakistanis suffering from Hemorrhoids).