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Army urge Musharraf to step down: Robert Templer

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Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director,A Brussels-based think-tank has said in a report on the deteriorating law and order situation following the assassination of Ms Bhutto in Pakistan that The Pakistan army should urge President Musharraf to quit in coming two months.He said,”Unless Musharraf steps down, tensions will worsen and the international community could face the nightmare of a nuclear-armed, Muslim country descending into civil war”. It further syas, “It is time to recognize that democracy, not an artificially propped up, defrocked, widely despised general, has the best chance to provide stability and turn back extremists’ gains.”

Musharraf came to power in a military coup in 1999 removing the elected Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif, stepped down as Army Chief in November before being sworn in for a second five-year term as president. He previously got elected as president by an unconstitutional referendum to prolong his legitimate rule as Chief Executive of the country.

To resume the office of presidency, Musharraf got himself elected by a parliament that was about to end of its tenure. He declared emergency rule to purge the Supreme Court of judges who opposed his decision of being re-elected. After resuming office of presidency He lifted emergency rule on December 15. It is a common perception that Army has always been backing him since his Military cope. “If Musharraf refuses to resign voluntarily, it is in the interest of the military establishment, his sole bastion of support, to distance itself from its former chief lest it, instead of him become the target of public hostility,” the ICG said. Particularly the United States … should encourage the military leadership under General Ashfaq Kayani’s command to protect its ability to continue to serve Pakistan by persuading Musharraf to resign in the interest of national reconciliation.”

Report suggested that Senate chairman Mohammadmian Soomro should take over as interim president and appoint a caretaker government in consultation with all the major political parties to oversee the election process. ICG has informed the West that”By continuing to back him, Western governments might not just lose the battle for Pakistani hearts and minds, but could also be faced with the nightmare prospect of a nuclear-armed, Muslim country of 165 million descending into violent internal conflict from which only extremist forces would stand to gain.”

Musharraf must not quit being backbone of Pakistan: NIA Chairman
Dr. Raj Baldev, Chairman, National Integration Assembly (NIA), who promotes Indo-Pak friendship and peace between each country, and who has successfully contributed peace and helped phase out many hotbeds in last four decades, feels that democracy has more evils than good, since a common man in democracy lacks discipline, the democracy is a blessing but with certain restrictions and not the democracy as Templer feels.

Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Programme Director says that nuclear-armed Pakistan will end up in a civil war from which extremists would stand to gain if President Musharraf continues in the post which will further worsen the prevailing situation. His analysis lacks reasons, as per Dr. Raj Baldev, NIA Chairman from India, version released from California. I admit that Pakistan is already facing a law and order problem in the wake of former premier Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and the only way is to give it a civilian government. But it is necessary to have a strong man like President Musharraf to head who has the courage, and ability to assess the situation and then act, countries are run by strong personalities not only with a word democracy.

President Musharraf is doing very right and have taken the most apt decisions like postponing elections to 18 February and to take proper action against all those supporters of Bhutto who looted the country to task and caused an irreparable loss to their nation. Also his proposal that the Scotland Yard should take care of the investigation of causes of Bhutto’s death is remarkable so that all the doubts could be cleared.

Pakistan must have a restricted democracy and a disciplined democracy so that the Nuclear arsenals should not slip into the hands of Islamic Extremists and it is a great danger for Pakistan than just to have a nominal democracy on paper.If President Musharraf quits, the Islamic extremists shall only benefit and not the democracy. President Musharraf’s position as President can only keep Pakistan stable and on the world map.

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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