What will Pakistan do?
Re “Gates offers troops for joint combat efforts with Pakistan,” Jan. 25
Knowing full well Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s opposition to any involvement of U.S. troops in Pakistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ offer indicates that the U.S. is increasing pressure on Pakistan. Also knowing that real power in Pakistan has always been allied with the army, the U.S. is obviously trying to encourage new Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Kiani to bypass Musharraf’s objections. Will Kiani oblige? Or will Musharraf advise Kiani to milk Uncle Sam some more while still assuring the safety of Osama bin Laden? After all, any Pakistani leader (military or civilian) worth his salt is well aware that a safe and well-protected Bin Laden is worth a lot more in U.S. aid to Pakistan than the measly $25 million or $50 million offered by the U.S. for a dead or captured Bin Laden.
Re “Ex-officers ask Musharraf to resign,” Jan. 24
Musharraf’s spokesperson rightly said it’s all politics. These former officers all switched allegiances to different administrations to get power and prestige. These retired men are trying to be relevant by siding with the Pakistani nation.
Where were all these generals, admirals and air marshals when the Pakistani nation needed them in 1979 through 1988, or in 1999? I strongly suspect most of them were part of the power game played out in Pakistani politics during the last three decades of military and civilian rule. Does anyone remember the rule of Gen. Zia ul-Haq? I don’t remember any ex-general rushing to help restore democracy.