As Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf faces an ongoing crisis in his volatile country, President Bush and members of his inner circle are signaling their overall support of Musharraf while criticizing some of his choices in recent days. Meanwhile, Musharraf’s apparent alliance with Benazir Bhutto has sparked concern among those skeptical of her motives and leadership abilities.
The Washington Post:
Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made clear their continuing desire for Musharraf to hold elections and to resign from the Pakistani army, with Rice bluntly calling his assumption of emergency powers a “bad decision.” But they mixed criticism with sympathy for what they termed Musharraf’s past efforts to cultivate democracy and to help the United States go after al-Qaeda leaders in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“President Musharraf, right after the attacks on September the 11th, made a decision, and the decision was to stand with the United States against the extremists inside Pakistan,” Bush told reporters here after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “In other words, he was given an option: Are you with us, or are you not with us? And he made a clear decision to be with us, and he’s acted on that advice.”