Pak Army to Ask Musharraf to Resign

Rick Moran
With the Pakistani coalition government ready to begin impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf, the army has taken it upon themselves to defuse the volatile situation by asking their former Commander in Chief to resign:

Pakistan's all-powerful army chief will ask President Pervez Musharraf to resign from office within a week, a senior government official claimed today.

The claim was supported by a former military aide to the president who said that the army's leadership wished Mr Musharraf to be spared the humiliation of impeachment. 

The civilian government intensified an attritional, seven-month long power struggle with the presidency when it announced earlier this week that it is to begin impeachment proceedings against Mr Musharraf on Monday.


The twin arbiters of power in Pakistan, the army chief of staff, Gen Ashfaq Kiyani, and America, which has provided dollars 12 billion in military aid to the country in the last six years, have publicly declared themselves to be neutral on Pakistan's domestic politics.

However a senior official from the ruling government coalition partner, the Pakistan's People's Party (PPP) said that the army has "whispered in Musharraf's ear that it is time to leave".

"Over the next few days they will make it clear to him [Musharraf] that a protracted battle [against impeachment] is not in Pakistan's interests," he added.

 

This is good news for the stability of Pakistan. An impeachment would have forced the army to take sides and in an atmosphere like that, anything - including another military coup - could have happened. The army is seeking to head off confrontation by letting Musharraf know that in any impeachment battle, he would be on his own.

The president may still seek to fight impeachment. As I mentioned
in this post, there may be a secret deal between the Pakistani People's Party (PPP) and Musharraf about impeachment - at least that was the scuttlebutt from some observers. With a major coalition partner reluctant to go through with kicking him out, Musharraf may feel emboldened to try and fight.

Would that still be a risk for Pakistani stability? Without the army behind him, Musharraf can only call upon his own political coalition of Islamist and nationalist parties for support. That may not be enough to save him.

Musharraf may now negotiate his exit, trying to get a deal where he won't be prosecuted for any of his extra-constitutional edicts or stray corruption charges that may arise. If the government is smart, they'll take that deal in a heartbeat and send Musharraf on his way into exile - like several politicians before him.



With the Pakistani coalition government ready to begin impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf, the army has taken it upon themselves to defuse the volatile situation by asking their former Commander in Chief to resign:

Pakistan's all-powerful army chief will ask President Pervez Musharraf to resign from office within a week, a senior government official claimed today.

The claim was supported by a former military aide to the president who said that the army's leadership wished Mr Musharraf to be spared the humiliation of impeachment. 

The civilian government intensified an attritional, seven-month long power struggle with the presidency when it announced earlier this week that it is to begin impeachment proceedings against Mr Musharraf on Monday.


The twin arbiters of power in Pakistan, the army chief of staff, Gen Ashfaq Kiyani, and America, which has provided dollars 12 billion in military aid to the country in the last six years, have publicly declared themselves to be neutral on Pakistan's domestic politics.

However a senior official from the ruling government coalition partner, the Pakistan's People's Party (PPP) said that the army has "whispered in Musharraf's ear that it is time to leave".

"Over the next few days they will make it clear to him [Musharraf] that a protracted battle [against impeachment] is not in Pakistan's interests," he added.

 

This is good news for the stability of Pakistan. An impeachment would have forced the army to take sides and in an atmosphere like that, anything - including another military coup - could have happened. The army is seeking to head off confrontation by letting Musharraf know that in any impeachment battle, he would be on his own.

The president may still seek to fight impeachment. As I mentioned
in this post, there may be a secret deal between the Pakistani People's Party (PPP) and Musharraf about impeachment - at least that was the scuttlebutt from some observers. With a major coalition partner reluctant to go through with kicking him out, Musharraf may feel emboldened to try and fight.

Would that still be a risk for Pakistani stability? Without the army behind him, Musharraf can only call upon his own political coalition of Islamist and nationalist parties for support. That may not be enough to save him.

Musharraf may now negotiate his exit, trying to get a deal where he won't be prosecuted for any of his extra-constitutional edicts or stray corruption charges that may arise. If the government is smart, they'll take that deal in a heartbeat and send Musharraf on his way into exile - like several politicians before him.