Musharraf's regime failed in 2006: Report | india | Hindustan Times
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Musharraf's regime failed in 2006: Report

india Updated: Jan 02, 2007 17:55 IST
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Leave aside achieving anything groundbreaking, the Pakistan government was unable to fulfill even the leftovers of its 2005 agenda, according to an editorial in the Daily Times.

According to the paper, the trouble in Waziristan had become more complicated than ever before, to the extent that General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, even agreed to call off the whole strategy of trying to evict the 'foreigners out'.

The September 5 armistice signed between the federal government and the tribal elders, which was hailed by President General Pervez Musharraf as the one having the possibility of bringing everlasting peace to the region, also failed to live up to its expectations.

NATO and Afghan forces accused Pakistan for the resurgence in terrorist violence in Southern and South eastern Afghanistan from sanctuaries inside Pakistani territory.

NATO accused Pakistan of doing nothing to stop the Taliban militants from carrying out insurgent raids into the border Afghan regions.

Pakistan's denials were also not taken seriously.

The other fallout of the deal was the complete Talibanisation of the 'settled' areas of the NWFP.

The Taliban set up its own parallel government in many parts of the agency areas. Some NWFP districts became the fiefdoms of new warlords.

According to the paper, if Waziristan was a thorn for the Musharraf government, then Balochistan was probably a stake that had the potential to literally impale the federal government and lead to eventual disintegration of the country.

First the government pushed in the army to crush the insurgency; then accused the Indian government of fuelling the uprising and lastly assassinated Octogenarian Baloch nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, in a botched operation.

"In Balochistan, the disaster was almost terminal. It brewed through 2005, but in 2006 the bottom fell when the army went in, saying that the Indians were pumping money into Baloch rebel groups to stoke the uprising.

Instead of tasting the benefits of a better revenue collection, Balochistan saw Nawab Akbar Bugti getting killed in a botched operation," the editorial said.

"Thus all chances of getting Balochistan to cooperate on such big futuristic projects as Gwadar and the Iranian Gas Pipeline were lost.

Sindh remained adamant on rejecting Kalabagh Dam, and one saw the Sindh Muslim League refusing to side with President Musharraf when the die was cast with an 'announcement date'," the editorial added.

Law and order also remained bad, the paper said, to the extent that "Karachi could hardly govern itself with many battles being fought in the city".

Sectarian violence flared up and the Barelvis were massacred in large numbers in Karachi even as the killing of prominent Shias as Allama Hasan Turabi went on, it added.

Fractures also developed in the ruling party with clear cut polarity between Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, and PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's factions.

Even though the economy was a bit of a plus point under President Musharraf, inherent dangers of living lavishly on low interest rates in 2005 began to loom this year.

Even the State Bank of Pakistan, the country's apex bank, warned of tough times ahead in 2006, the paper said.

"Economic vision didn't extend to opening up with India as the prime minister made free trade with India conditional to Kashmir.

In 2006 Pakistan became endangered from both sides, from Afghanistan through the creeping Talibanisation; and from India through non-resolution of long-standing disputes," the paper said.

"The year 2007 is threatened by more disorder, as President Musharraf will most probably get himself elected as president again without letting go of his post of the army chief.

Without being a purist about democracy, one can say that this would be a dangerous course to take," it added.

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