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US “Welcomes Coup” Against Pakistan’s Musharraf; Faces “Total Failure in Afghanistan”

In Afghanistan, Culture of Corruption, Election 2006, Election 2008, Global War On Terror, International politics, Laws & Regulation, Misc., New York City, Terrorism, US Politics on August 28, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Asia Times has a thorough piece about the difficulties the GWOT faces in Afghanistan, specifically in the fallout of the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti against the direct orders of General Perez Musharraf.

The killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, a prominent politician who served many times in top government positions, at the hands of Pakistani security agencies on the weekend will ignite the movement for a “free Balochistan”.

At the same time, it deals a powerful blow from the Pakistani military establishment against President General Pervez Musharraf for him to step down.

[…]

Apparently, Musharraf directed that Bugti be isolated rather than killed as he did not want him to be turned into a martyr. He reasoned it would be better to have Bugti on the run than the clamor for a Baloch nation being intensified.

News of Bugti’s death, therefore, not only inflamed Balochis, but caught the army’s top brass by surprise. They are now bracing for a spurt in nationalist activities in Balochistan.

For Musharraf, the killing, which can only be interpreted as being deliberate and against his orders, sends a powerful message from elements in the army that all is not well in the barracks. There have been rumors of coup plot for some while. The general is unlikely to step down. Rather, he will hit back at those undermining him.
[…]

Bugti’s killing is likely to impact US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operations in Balochistan, which has become a strategic back yard for the Taliban.

Musharraf is expected to stop the FBI’s activities immediately, leaving his relations with the US even further strained. Musharraf is due to meet President George W Bush in Washington next month at an important stage in the “war on terror”.

[…]

Contacts told Asia Times Online they expected that very soon the Taliban would announce the revival of the “Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan” in that country’s southwest, from where a countrywide offensive will be staged.

For Washington, this would mean a total failure in Afghanistan – and Pakistan in large part would be held to blame. This is because the US has based much of its strategy on information fed to it by the Pakistani establishment.

[…]

It has emerged that during an earlier exchange of notes between Pakistani intelligence organizations and the US, American officials named a top retired Pakistani army official as orchestrating the Taliban’s strategies. The implication was that this was done with the tacit approval of the Pakistani establishment.

[…]

Musharraf certainly has some explaining to do in Washington. There are strong rumors from Washington that the Americans would welcome a “coup” against Musharraf, with the hope that his replacement would be more effective in the “war on terror”.

UPDATE: ” ‘All those weapons and aid that the US has given to Pakistan to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban, [the Pakistan Army] is using against the nationalists in Balochistan,’ adds Mr. Akbar Mengal [a member of the provincial assembly from the Balochistan Nationalist Party]. US officials have conceded as much to the Western media in the recent past, saying it cannot always control how the Pakistani Army uses its weapons.” – Christian Science Monitor

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