As Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf struggles to maintain power in his country, The Washington Post goes behind the scenes to look at the Bush administration’s wobbly relations with Musharraf, whom Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was unable to dissuade from imposing emergency rule.

The Washington Post:

The United States now finds itself with few good options and dwindling power to influence events in the nuclear-armed state, particularly because experts believe Musharraf’s actions may have ensured his demise as a national leader. The Bush administration has given Pakistan $10 billion in aid since 2001 — much of it military assistance — and U.S. officials had warned that Congress may balk at continuing aid if emergency powers were invoked. But some analysts cautioned that if the United States is perceived as withdrawing support for Musharraf, it may increase the risk of a civil war and the shattering of Pakistan.

Rice, who called Musharraf on Friday and warned him against taking this step, said yesterday [Saturday] that Musharraf’s actions are “highly regrettable,” telling reporters traveling with her that “the United States has made clear it does not support extra-constitutional measures, because those measures would take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule.”

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