Friday, July 20, 2007

Pakistan SC decision

Reacting to the Pakistani Supreme Courts dismissal of the charges against the Chief Justice, Cernig notes that
The Pakistani Supreme Court has dealt a major blow to Musharaff's credibility, which he has been forced to swallow because he has insufficient political capital left to chance ignoring it.
and says that
The short version of what comes next - Musharaff is toast. Assailed by both sides, from pro-democracy critics and from once-supportive Islamists, his days are numbered.
I disagree with Cernig on this as I have previously on things Musharraf (though this time with less conviction than before) but I think the Supreme Court decision is the best of the many bad possibilities facing Musharraf. He and Pakistan are facing a major war, something he has avoided for the last five years, and he needed to clear the decks. The Chief Justice affair has been a running sore since March 9, and had to be concluded. He has tried various ways to somehow conclude the affair including the bloody attack by the MQM thugs on May 12. Nothing had worked for him and there were not many realistic options left. This decision by the Supreme Court has to have come as a relief. Cernig could be right about his being toast but I think it is much more likely that his future will depend on the success or failure of his campaign against the jihadis. Of course if the US tries another of their useless predator attacks or even worse follows the neocon position of "targeted raids," the chances of his survival go down considerably. Which does not contradict my earlier position, because if the US intervenes militarily the fight against the jihadis will most likely be lost.

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