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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Can the General Survive After Angering the Three As?

Move to avoid the noose of Zulfikar Bhutto may have hastened it?

It was self-preservation that finally drove General Musharraf to impose emergency and chaos in Land of Pure. Now that he did, he seem to have lost the patience of at least two As - America and Army. The Islamists have been saying for few years now that the General has angered Allah.

American and Army play the same game. One gives and other takes and follows orders. If the general defied America, the Army may decide to cut its loses and move on. Hence the expedited move towards the noose.

The key question Musharraf faces is how long the army will continue to back him. Rank-and-file soldiers are keenly aware of the widening gulf between them and the public they are supposed to protect. The army, already demoralized, is unwilling to fight a never-ending war against its own people. [Ahmed Rashid's A Second Coup in Pakistan - WaPo]

Gen. Mush could have cut a deal with the Army and his buddy CoAS General Kiyani before the official announcement of the Supreme Court's verdict (it's very likely he knew what the verdict would be - there was no reason to make this move otherwise) and retired in Europe or America. No, he wanted to take his fate in his own hands. Now it seems it may not be in his hands anymore.

Musharraf seems to believe he has something else going for him as well. The general has survived suicide attacks, a plane hijacking and even an instance when he fell out of a mango tree. "I have confronted death and defied it several times in the past because destiny and fate have always smiled on me," Musharraf wrote in his 2006 memoirs. "I only pray that I have more than the proverbial nine lives of a cat." [Musharraf Declaration Seen as Latest Misstep - WaPo]

The wile cat may have run out of lives.