The Mush stays

In what may be news to the Commonwealth secretariat and others who think Pakistan is a ‘fledgling’ democracy, Musharraf has told the BBC that he is not sure he will step down at the end of the year after all. Very cleverly, Musharraf cites the Islamic parties’ backtracking on the deal they had struck with Musharraf as the reason for his decision to continue as army chief. Clever, because the bogey of Islamic extremism is an easy sell to to his benefactors in Washington.

Meanwhile, Javed Hashmi, an elected opposition leader, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for ‘inciting the armed forces to mutiny’, and as long as Musharraf stays in power there is little chance that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif will be allowed to return to Pakistan.

In Pakistan, democracy is not a ‘fledgling’, it is stillborn.

Related Link: Evasive Musharraf on BBC HardTalk (requires RealVideo Player)