Mushy, we hardly knew ye
Musharraf was ineffectual, corrupt, duplicitous, and brutal. And what ultimately follows him could be even worse — which is, of course, the stated reason why the U.S. stayed in his corner for so long, although given the high level of cognitive dissonance and sheer lunacy in the State Department, there were probably other reasons as well.
“Pakistan’s Musharraf steps down,” from the BBC, August 18
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is facing impeachment by parliament, says he will resign.
The charges against the president include violation of the constitution and gross misconduct.
Mr Musharraf said he was confident that the charges against him would not stand but that this was not the time for more confrontation in Pakistan.
He has been one of the United States’ strongest allies in its war against Islamist extremism. […]
The drive to impeach him has been led by Nawaz Sharif, the head of Pakistan’s second biggest political party, the PML-N. It was Mr Sharif who President Musharraf, then head of the army, deposed in a bloodless coup in 1999….
What might be to come? Well, Nawaz Sharif’s star is on the rise. And as for him, note this revealing little tidbit, buried in the 29th paragraph of last Friday’s Wall Street Journal story about Musharraf’s intention to resign, “Musharraf Set to Quit And Receive Immunity,” by Peter Wonacott and Zahid Hussain, August 15:
In the past, Mr. Sharif has shown his own authoritarian streak. He has had unfriendly journalists jailed. While he helped open Pakistan’s economy to foreign investment, he courted the military and religious conservatives for political support. A bill that he supported would have introduced Islamic Sharia law to the criminal-justice system.
Sharif’s party won 91 seats in Pakistan’s elections last February, which were widely reported as a repudiation of the “Islamist” parties in that country. The mainstream media and the learned analysts were not at that time taking note of Sharif’s support for the imposition of Sharia law. But luckily, the free world has the 29th paragraph of Wall Street Journal stories in which to discover the truth.