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Ear to the Ground

Impeachment Threat Looms for Musharraf

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Posted on Aug 8, 2008
Musharraf
AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev

For several months, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s political fate has hung in the balance, as last year’s state-of-emergency ordeal made all too clear. Now, the situation in Pakistan is becoming critical, with Musharraf’s opponents calling for his impeachment.


The Washington Post:

Tension in the capital of Pakistan was high on Friday as uncertainty about the country’s stability mounted in the wake of a decision by Pakistan’s ruling coalition parties to impeach President Pervez Musharraf.

A day after leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N party said they would move to oust Musharraf from office, politicians across the country appeared to begin repositioning themselves as the crisis over the beleaguered country’s leadership continued to unfold. On Friday, leaders of Pakistan’s Muslim League-N said four of its top members would return to their cabinet posts in the government after a three month hiatus that threatened to permanently fracture the ruling coalition elected in February.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, August 14, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Dear Cyrena,

In last post;

In first sentence of the post;

For ;        ‘contention for one.’
Please read; ‘contention for any one.’

Regards

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, August 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Dear Cyrena,

Money paid to Pakistan should not be the matter of any contention for one. The most doting adventurism that US wants to push forward is her hegemonic agenda that in order to secure the lucrative economic energy rich lands of Central Asia to bring them in her fold After having consolidated her position in Middle East; US had decided to advance toward Afghanistan. Pakistan was some how coerced in to it to become US ally and was assigned special tasks. No vision can be advanced with out provision and accordingly an amount was agreed to be paid to Pakistan as a cost of assigned job from the same US fund from which all other allies are being paid. The amount thus is the agreed money paid to Pakistan for the service rendered, (primarily for cost of the movement of security forces in area of operation) which were only paid (in stages) on the completion of assigned Jobs only. It was not some aid money. Jobs were completed and payments were made; so…it is all, done and dusted.

It is absurd to make it a matter of any contention now. If some one has to ask; they need to take up the case with George W Bush or Dick Cheney and Co.

Mr. Zardari must mind his own business and should care for his own government new contracts that US has agreed to pay another 150 million Dollars, spread over next ten years for the same type of job that Pakistan has recently completed.

Regards

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By cyrena, August 14, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

By Nasir Jamal, August 13 at 4:08 am
•  “I have no doubt that the president is an honorable man. His integrity is beyond question. He took some decisions which were thrust upon him. He had no other option but to side with the United States in its war against terror. So far those who accuse the President for his role in war against terror have not come up with any policy of their own as to what they would have done in his stead?

•  Now that the President does not hold any real power, why has the United States not been told that enough is enough? Why has the US not being told that we cannot do more to fight its war? Why did the prime minister accepted the financial aid? “
~~~
Well, here’s my take on this Nasir Jamal, as a tax paying American citizen. I don’t see your President as an honorable man, because he ran a brutal military dictatorship, and I can’t name a single dictatorship of the past 200 or so years, that has been ‘benevolent’ or honorable, or has any integrity. If you see him as such, that’s fine.

As far as I’m concerned, he certainly did NOT have to ‘side with’ the US in a phony “war against terrorism’, nor is there any indication, (as far as the US citizens are concerned) that he ever DID do anything about any terrorism. However, he DID take the money! In fact, by the time your president was moved aside by the PPP, it amounted to a MINIMUM of $22 BILLION of US tax payer dollars. For us, that’s quite a large sum of money, and the majority of the US citizens would have much preferred that it NOT be given to President Musharraf. For us, it really doesn’t matter what he did with it. And if he was a man of such integrity, he should have told George W. Bush to stay out of Pakistan’s business, and REFUSED THE MONEY.  That is if he had any so-called integrity. If he had that, and if indeed there is a ‘terrorism problem’ in Pakistan, then he should have certainly been able to ‘handle’ it with the military regime that he led.

And you wonder why NOW the US has not been told, enough is enough? Why didn’t Musharraf tell them that nearly 7 years ago? He made it clear enough that the US military could NOT and SHOULD not, exercise any military options in the sovereign territory of Pakistan. So, WHY DID HE ACCEPT ALL OF THOSE BILLIONS OF OUR DOLLARS?

You say that he cannot do more to help the US fight their war, and it would appear that he hasn’t done anything anyway. No, I don’t see why the Prime minister has accepted any financial aid either, but your president accepted a whole lot more, and we’ve yet to get a receipt for any of it.

Wanna send it back? We could certainly put our own money to very good use, right here in the US. Just don’t give it back to George Bush or Dick Cheney. They have a habit of making trillions and trillions of our dollars disappear.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, August 14, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

Dear All Pakistanis and the well wishers,


Please Accept the Heartiest Congratulation on this auspicious Independence Day of PAKISTAN that we Love our country; so much. Long LIve PAKISTAN.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, August 14, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

By A Khokar • Aug 14th, 2008 • Category: Features • (3,752 views) • One Response
In view of the proposed Impeachment of President Pervez Musharraf being moved in the Parliament; he is being advised by the wise political pundits to resign. Since he is now a democratically elected President and no more a sole Executive power in Pakistan, the way he used to be; the man ought to get used to the norms and dictates of Pakistani real politics and its peculiar run of democracy infested with the imprints of hierocracy. The NRO that he once extended as a good will gesture to accommodate others, has since become the rootstock of his own strangulation. These are the repercussions of NRO that it is affecting him adversely to the extent of being impeached by the same beneficiary stooges to whom he once bestowed relief. These ill wills of our democracy may be new for the Maestro but here democracy once comes in power; does not ask or listen but only tells. Before this that he acts upon the advice of his political pundits and decides to resign and makes his way toward the doors of Exit; he must look for the silver lining that the president now has a historic opportunity to correct two great wrongs, viz (1) scrap the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and/or (2) annul his action of Nov 3 and restore the superior judiciary. Restoring the superior judiciary will put himself at risk but in the circumstances what has he got to lose? The onus of responsibility will then be firmly on Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to revoke the NRO.

He is morally bound to send this black law to the dustbin. More importantly the chief justice will be under no obligation to anyone for restoring him to office. This will be Iftikhar Chaudhry’s acid test, otherwise was all the rhetoric about the rule of law during the long period out in the cold mere lip service and Musharraf-specific? 

The president’s predicament can be gauged from only a cursory reading of “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”. One can imagine that the situation may be nerve-wracking for even someone as iron-willed as Pervez Musharraf, particularly when the coalition is using the media as a potent spy-war weapon.

Most of those he counted on to be loyal have either forsaken him during his hour of need, or are playing a waiting game on a fail-safe line, nothing new in Pakistan where loyalty is often up for sale. However by repeatedly asking the president to resign and failing to come up with a charge sheet before moving a resolution in the National Assembly, the coalition is less than confident about a successful impeachment process. It may indeed be bluffing, trying to spook the president into resigning.

The allegations that Asif Zardari made about President Musharraf siphoning off funds given by the US for re-imbursement for engaging in the “war against terrorism” is extremely dangerous and contrary to national interest. Zardari alleged, in sync with Karzai, RAW and what others have been saying for the past week, that these funds have been funnelled to rogue elements in the intelligence agencies (by which he obviously means ISI).

Not only this is absurd, it puts the ISI (and by extension the Pakistan Army) in the dock. Putting Pakistan’s defence structure in jeopardy may be the real reason for trying to impeach the president.  The person of the president may be under attack, the army as an institution is the real target. While the army hierarchy may have become gun-shy of politics, how long and at what cost to the nation will they remain deaf, dumb and blind to the obvious?

This has to be done; and done now or Never. The President certainly may become the real saviour of this besieged nation.  The old evil practices of feudalistic hierocracy [Khaan peen noon Noor Bharee; tey Dhawn Bhunaway Juma]** the way he himself is suffering, must be put to end and orders reversed.
—————–
**That is to say: Mrs. Marple ate up all the apple pies and Mr. Ford ends up paying for it.(

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By Nasir Jamal, August 13, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Asif Zardari has accused the President of corruption. He forgets that his own self is steeped in corruption. The luxurious life which he lives has been made possible with the money obtained through corruption during the two PPP governments in the past.

It was the media, and not any one else who had nicknamed him as Mr. 10 per cent. It is ironical that in all the world it had to be Asif Zardari to accuse the president.

I have no doubt that the president is an honorable man. His integrity is beyond question. He took some decisions which were thrust upon him. He had no other option but to side with the United States in its war against terror. So far those who accuse the President for his role in war against terror have not come up with any policy of their own as to what they would have done in his stead?

Now that the President does not hold any real power, why has the United States not been told that enough is enough? Why has the US not being told that we cannot do more to fight its war? Why did the prime minister accepted the financial aid?

People are made to believe that the land will be filled with milk and honey if Pervez Musharraf goes. In a few months time the reality will dawn upon the people.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, August 10, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

No one possibly may blemish the character of Musharraf and his patriotism as a true Pakistani; that what all he did under the circumstances; right or wrong; he did in the best interest of Pakistan.  We live in a one global village where Pakistan is seen as the epicenter of world top menace- the Terrorism. Pakistan has not been able to come out of it clean. With the given status of Front state to fight out the war on terror, in its own back yard, Pakistan possibly may not ignore the dictates of sole superpower-the United States of America. It may not escape the repercussions of global war against terror. Pakistanis may not realize but the visionless plans and wisdom less moves and military actions in the tribal areas are turning this lands into a ‘World Future Battle Grounds’; NWFP and Baluchistan of Pakistan. It is slipping away fast from under the feet of its defenders- The Pakistan Armed Forces. Under the present Coalition government; a total surrender and subjugation to the foreign forces of Pakistan is but eminent. Pakistan future can be seen; in its total subjugation to US; deprived of its nuclear assets, a torn apart disintegrated impotent and God forsaken society at the hands of US and India; sizzling in anarchy, mayhem and turmoil… and as a future bread basket of the world.

To level up an ‘Impeachment plan of President Musharraf’ to get rid of him at this stage is as usual a part of old popular US moves; destined for all the US proxies that humiliations and gallows always await them at the end. (Musharraf ka janna tther gia hey; suah gia, keh sham gia). That is for sure; but present day gimmicking of a charge sheet of impeachment at home on the flimsy grounds and wishful thinking to see him go out by the political alliance of Zardari-Nawaz sharif is just a Political stunt to divert the attention of public from the crushing socio-economic issues in the country.

  Alas; he could have moved like a revolutionary leader and declared himself some revolutionary mystic maestro; a Hero and kept this nation united. Peoples in the third world only believe in mystic figures and their slogans of purported heroic deeds. He had the ‘tide and the time’ on his side but he failed there miserably. Possibly he can reverse the winds blow back in his favour…even now!

They say; Roses ought to grow thorn on its stem to safe guard against savagery of belligerent creepers. But he failed to do that!

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By cann4ing, August 9, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Too bad Nancy “the-constitution-is-off-the-table” Pelosi lacks the intestinal fortitude of Pakistan’s congressional leaders.

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By WARIS SHERE, August 9, 2008 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

United States strongest regional ally in the “war on terror” faces grave political turmoil after the country’s ruling coalition had agreed to impeach President Pervez Musharraf. The General seized power in a military coup in October 1999 and ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan for eight years with the backing of the US, which has counted him as a key ally since the September 11 attacks. Musharraf stepped down as army chief in December 2007 after he was elected as
president for another five years in a controversial election. Musharraf’s popularity slumped after he ousted the country’s independent minded chief justice and imposed a state of emergency in November 2007 to prevent any challenges to his re-election as president. The move triggered huge protests all over Pakistan against his perceived flouting of the rule of law. Also in July 2007 President Musharraf ordered his security forces to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad, resulting in casualties of over hundred people. Many observers are of the opinion that the impeachment of President Musharraf could increase political disarray in the country and might
force the army to act, although the army leadership has so far kept itself out of the picture. The impeachment of Pervez Musharraf would take Pakistani politics into new territory, since no leader of Pakistan has faced it before. A rattled Musharraf might order dissolution of the National Assembly or impose Emergency rule under a caretaker government. President Pervez Musharraf was facing the gravest crisis since seizing power over eight years ago. Charges against Musharraf said that the President had failed to address new parliament as required by the constitution while economic policies pursued by his government over the past eight years had brought Pakistan to the brink of a “critical economic impasse”. “The incompetence and failure of Musharraf’s policies has thrown the country into the worst power shortage in its history. His policies have weakened the federation and eroded the trust of the nation in national institutions.”  Impeaching a
President requires a two-thirds majority support of the assembly and the Senate. According to reliable sources, 90 per cent of the lawmakers would support the ruling coalition. The only option left before Musharraf is to dissolve Parliament with the Army’s support. That’s his biggest weapon still, under the Pakistan constitution. President Musharraf is still thought to have some influence over the military and its reaction will remain crucial. Pakistan has been
ruled by military leaders for more than half of its existence since independence in 1947. Political uncertainty has badly affected the economy with inflation reaching a record high. Many analysts said the impeachment move could further destabilise the country, which is facing severe economic problems.

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By GW=MCHammered, August 9, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

US leaders swagger as though infallible, untouchable. And like organized crime, manifestly they are. But you know rich kids, always getting into something, eventually squandering their family’s fortune. If the current greed gene doesn’t self terminate, we’ll get its posterity.

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By cyrena, August 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Blue Eagle is correct of course, in that the term ‘impeachment’ doesn’t apply in military dictatorship, or any other kind of authoritarian regime. However, since they’ve already been able to partially remove him, by way of their latest elections, (or coup, whichever you wanna call it) this could serve the purpose of removing him entirely, along with the rest of the military apparatus that has supported his nine-year long dictatorship. AND…since Dick Bush has ALSO supported Musharraf’s nine year dictatorship, (with our billions) let’s just hope that they can get rid of him and the remains of his apparatus.

Now our situation is slightly different in some respects, and very similar in others. The basics are that both Musharraf and Dick Bush took power via a coup. Dick Bush worked it through an electoral/judiciary coup and Musharraf did the standard military coup. Still, it was an overthrow of the Constitutional Republic that we have here, (as Blue Eagle points out) which in our case, while not a ‘democracy’, has been a relatively open society, comparatively speaking. I don’t know what Pakistan had before Musharraf’s military coup, but it wasn’t a ‘democracy’ either.

Still, any regime holding the power in any authoritarian state cannot be ‘impeached’ in the true meaning of the concept/term. So, maybe that’s why Nancy constitution-off-the-table Pelosi hasn’t bothered. She obviously is part of the authoritarian apparatus that has turned us into a Totalitarian form of political control. She is part of the ‘ostensible’ government, which is basically useless in the face of the shadow government, other than to maintain the appearances of being what we were originally set up to be. And, she’s just done a really piss poor job of it, since nobody is fooled.

So, no point siccing her on Pakistan, right when they’re in the process of getting themselves together, and cleaning up their own house.

Besides jail, I can’t really think of a good place for her to be, except outta here!!

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By WARIS SHERE, CANADA, August 8, 2008 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

United States strongest regional ally in the “war on terror” faces grave political turmoil after the country’s ruling coalition had agreed to impeach President Pervez Musharraf. The General seized power in a military coup in October 1999 and ruled nuclear-armed Pakistan for eight years with the backing of the US, which has counted him as a key ally since the September 11 attacks. Musharraf stepped down as army chief in December 2007 after he was elected as
president for another five years in a controversial election. Musharraf’s popularity slumped after he ousted the country’s independent minded chief justice and imposed a state of emergency in November 2007 to prevent any challenges to his re-election as president. The move triggered huge protests all over Pakistan against his perceived flouting of the rule of law. Also in July 2007 President Musharraf ordered his security forces to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad, resulting in casualties of over hundred people. Many observers are of the opinion that the impeachment of President Musharraf could increase political disarray in the country and might
force the army to act, although the army leadership has so far kept itself out of the picture. The impeachment of Pervez Musharraf would take Pakistani politics into new territory, since no leader of Pakistan has faced it before. A rattled Musharraf might order dissolution of the National Assembly or impose Emergency rule under a caretaker government. President Pervez Musharraf was facing the gravest crisis since seizing power over eight years ago. Charges against Musharraf said that the President had failed to address new parliament as required by the constitution while economic policies pursued by his government over the past eight years had brought Pakistan to the brink of a “critical economic impasse”. “The incompetence and failure of Musharraf’s policies has thrown the country into the worst power shortage in its history. His policies have weakened the federation and eroded the trust of the nation in national institutions.”  Impeaching a
President requires a two-thirds majority support of the assembly and the Senate. According to reliable sources, 90 per cent of the lawmakers would support the ruling coalition. The only option left before Musharraf is to dissolve Parliament with the Army’s support. That’s his biggest weapon still, under the Pakistan constitution. President Musharraf is still thought to have some influence over the military and its reaction will remain crucial. Pakistan has been
ruled by military leaders for more than half of its existence since indipendence in 1947. Political uncertainty has badly affected the economy with inflation reaching a record high. Many analysts said the impeachment move could further destabilise the country, which is facing severe economic problems.

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By QuyTran, August 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Hey, how about GWB and his “uncle’ Dick Cheney ? They ought to be impeached too !

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By BlueEagle, August 8, 2008 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

The verbiage used both in the article and comments is disturbing.

1. Why is the term impeachment used when referring to a military dictator in another country. It is simply absurd.

Impeachment is a British invention. Following the British example, the constitutions of Virginia (1776) and Massachusetts (1780) and other states thereafter adopted the impeachment doctrine. (Wikipedia) Impeachment could never happen in Pakistan because they do not recognize the term nor the process. Musharraf could never be impeached. He could be “overthrown” or “pushed out” of his current position.

2. Greg - the US is NOT a democracy nor has it ever been a democracy. It was setup as a Constitutional Republic. There is a very big difference. BTW, I would love for Nancy to go on an extended vacation to Pakistan.

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By jobart, August 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me that if a country like Pakistan can understand that their leadership is corrupt and adverse to the people’s wishes and NOT doing what their country needs, why can’t we?  We live in the greatest country in the world guys, or at least we used to, and we can’t seem to find a way/vehicle to rid ourselves of leadership that makes it seem like we should say to them “if you think that’s bad, check this out”, and “present” to them our own “American Nightmare”. Where has the power of “We the People” gone, anyway? It’s bad enough that our society has been, effectively, “dumbed down”.  But to what depths, as in how “low” can we go? I don’t know how you folks feel about this but I see this occurance as a “wake up” call to all of us, who still think and care.

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By Greg Bacon, August 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Maybe we should send the corrupt and traitorous Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, over to Pakistan to explain how a democracy ISN’T supposed to work.

She could lay out stratagems for Musharraf on how to derail the impeachment process, since she has been so effective at sabotaging democracy here in the US.

Go get ‘em, Nancy and PLEASE, just stay there.

We at home can then start cleaning up the numerous messes you’ve made since assuming your position.

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