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What proof, Musharraf

What proof, Musharraf

Author: Editorial
Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: July 25, 2006
URL: http://www.samachar.com/features/250706-editorial.html

Is President Musharraf being encircled? As he is expressing word sympathy with the next of kin of the 200 killed and about the 1000 injured in Mumbai bomb blasts, he is somewhat aware that he is not taken seriously in this country when he talks about the peace process. He is repeatedly asking for proof that terrorists operating from Pakistan are behind train blasts in Mumbai.

The Pak President knows only too well that the entire world does not trust him when he disowns any responsibility for terrorist operations from Pakistan. Even the US, which has been mollycoddling Musharraf as the frontline fighter against terror, has serious doubts about Musharraf's bona fides. Many in the Republican Party have raised questions about the dependability of the Pak ally, when the chips are down.

The international community has proved its mistrust of Musharraf when the G8 Summit passed a unanimous resolution supporting India on its stand that Musharraf has not done all that he had promised to do to curb the terrorists. All this makes it difficult for Musharraf to demand any concrete move on the part of India to push the peace process.

Inside Pakistan, he creates the impression that too many problems are riling him. Two former Prime Ministers waiting in the wings and making inroads into public opinion in Pakistan have become a thorn in his flesh.

To the extent that people are rallying around them, the demand for his resignation of one of the two top positions he holds (the President and the army chief) is gaining ground. How he plans to get on top of this problem is a moot question. But his plight vis-a-vis the terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba and the lengthening tentacles of Taliban and the rebellion in the Northwest Frontier-Province does not suggest any easy way out.

He cannot make any conciliatory noises about terrorist outfits. And his role in Afghanistan is already suspect and as the death toll among the US and UK troops increases, his relations with US generals in Afghanistan get aggravated, whatever may be the dubious accommodation that President Bush is willing to extend to him.

What is more, most politicians in the occupied Kashmir have refused to vow the accession of that part of Kashmir to Pakistan. Inthis scenario, Musharraf cannot refer to taking the peace process to the next stage. But the jehadis would have none of it. And that is why the foreign minister of Pakistan made the most callous and insensitive comment about the Mumbai blasts that as long as Kashmir problem is not solved, incidents like those of 11/9 cannot be avoided.

India may demand the repatriation of Dawood Ibrahim or Tiger Memon. The answer will be the same. They do not stay in Pakistan. How would Musharraf surrender those individuals who help him inflict a thousand cuts on India? India cannot let the jehadis kill the peace process, though India has to keep its powder dry.

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