Wanted: A new fig leaf

The demands of Musharraf’s contrived democracy

The Daily Times of Pakistan has a very well-considered article describing how the President of Pakistan restored order among the increasingly frisky politicians of the ruling party. Gen Musharraf, it observes, brought the warring factions of the ruling party to heel.

Unfortunately, the editorial ignores a point; the same which the speaker of Pakistan’s national assembly prohibited even lawmakers from making — Gen Musharraf, in full military regalia, presided over a meeting of a political party. This after all, is Pakistan, where parliament passed a law enabling the army chief to double up as president. But the controversial ‘two offices act’ does not provide sufficient cover for the army-chief-cum-president to head a political party. That demands a new fig leaf.

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