Saturday, February 23, 2008

Musharraf seeks US support for Miranshah II

On Friday, the Washington Post published an article authored by Musharraf, wherein he reaffirms Pakistan's commitment to the fight against terrorism and once again acknowledges that the simple application of military force is not a viable solution to the crisis in FATA:

"... as the U.S. experience in Iraq has shown, military force alone is not sufficient. A successful counterinsurgency requires a multi-pronged approach -- military, political and economic. Our political strategy emphasizes separating terrorists from those citizens living in the regions bordering Afghanistan. Our economic strategy is bringing education, economic opportunity and the benefits of development to those same areas. As history has clearly taught us, when people see improvement in their daily lives and the lives of their children, they turn away from violence and toward peace and reconciliation."

Musharraf's article follows a second peace deal entered into earlier this week at Miranshah, between the Federal Government and the Wazir and Daur tribes. Unlike the previous peace deal of September 2006, the current agreement has supposedly been reached with the local tribal elders as opposed to the militants groups. It is noteworthy that Musharraf advocated the same point before the American media after the September 2006 deal. Once that agreement fell apart, Musharraf's terror-fighting credentials took a substantial hit. Consequently, this current peace deal may be met with some skepticism in the American press.

Interestingly, General Kayani's physical attendance at Miranshah just days prior to the accord could suggest that he eschewed the traditional approach of relying exclusively upon political agents/intermediaries, and chose to be directly involved.

Musharraf also appeals (again) for American patience with respect to the establishment of democracy:

"[B]uilding democracy is difficult in the best of conditions; doing so in a complex country such as Pakistan -- with its uneasy political history, with its centuries-old regional and feudal cleavages, and with violent extremists dedicated to the defeat of democracy -- is even more challenging. As history has shown, a peaceful transition to democracy requires the leadership of government and the willingness of the population to embrace democratic ideals. The people of Pakistan on Monday demonstrated that willingness; now it is time for government leaders to work together and do our part."

As should be expected, the Pakistan Army and prior American policy do not feature within his list of structural hindrances to democracy.

1 comment:

Yeti said...

How does his writing articles for the Washington Post fit in with his impending resignation?