Courtesy Prof. Juan Cole
US Refuses to Back Elected Civilian government
Dawn says that the parliament in Pakistan has prepared a mountain of documentation in its push to impeach President Pervez Musharraf. Senate leader Raza Rabbani said that if all the documents they have on Musharraf’s misconduct were dumped in the Ravi river (which runs through Lahore), it would cause it to flood. The opposition to Musharraf has firm control of the lower house and can easily impeach him there. The Pakistan Muslim League (Q), which had been supporting him, is stronger in the Senate. But Dawn reports that the PMLQ deputies are abandoning him.
One of the only things Musharraf had going for him in Pakistani public opinion (which in polls is down to about a 25% approval rating for the president) was a reputation for personal probity. de facto PPP chairman Asaf Ali Zardari is accusing Musharraf of massive embezzlement of public funds. Zardari himself is widely viewed as extremely corrupt, so it is an index of how far Musharraf has fallen that he is on the receiving end of such charges now.
The Bush administration is refusing firmly to support the elected civilian government against Musharraf who came to power as a military dictator in 1999 and has never contested a free and fair election in which he had an opponent.