In an sweeping deal that enables great change and return to civilian rule President Musharraf and ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto have joined in a coalition of PPP and PML-Q parties, which combines the centrist groups of Pakistani politics.
The parties will work together to create an ammendment to the constitution that will allow Bhutto to serve a third term as Prime Minister, and from what Bhutto is saying, Musharraf will remove the Uniform as part of the deal.
While this will create a great deal of stir and cries of “foul” in the opposition parties, (ARD, MMA, PML-N,) it really is the only path I see for Pakistan to return to civilian rule in a secure manner.
Both of the politcos involved carry a lot of baggage with the people, but on the other hand Pakistan needs some leadership to get through the low boil crisis’ that have been bubbling in the background the past few years, and which have suddenly gone on “high heat”. [Editor: In ATP’s poll 58% say it will make things worse]
However, the cries of “Musharraf is not doing enough” might go away; now that he stands on firmer political ground through the coalition that will form, he will be able to act with firmer hand against terrorism.
There has been a concerted effort, both out of country and in-country to destabilize the existing government. That effort’s gone on at political, cultural, economic, and terrorist level in a highly coordinated manner; perhaps now some of that will stop and the government can focus on the immediate issues without international and internal cat-calls at every step.
The clear thing is that you can’t show a strong hand if you aren’t supported politically, and Musharraf has carefully walked the razor’s edge for years now.
UPDATE: More on Bhutto’s stance on the Uniform at Reuters