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Pakistan sans Musharraf worries US

india Updated: Jun 27, 2006 13:39 IST
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As many as four powerful US think tanks have turned against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, and are now talking about a post-Musharraf scenario, believing that he was history now, a leading Pakistani journalist has said.

He said that though the US State Department and the Pentagon were still supporting Musharraf, but the US Congress "takes suggestions" from these think tanks through its sub-committees.

The Congress-suggested cut in US aid to Pakistan "was a reflection of the mood of these think tanks only", he added.

The senior Pakistani journalist added said that when he had visited the US last year, he met officials from four major think tanks and all them were supporting Musharraf and had little interest in Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.

But when he visited this year, the situation was "different".

"All the think tanks seemed very critical of General Musharraf. The State Department and Pentagon are supporting Musharraf but the think tanks have moved away from him.

Now they are talking about a post-Musharraf period and think that he is history," the Daily Times quoted its Editor Najam Sethi as saying in an interview with PTV on Monday evening.

Sethi said that American think tanks were concerned that Musharraf had not put a system in place in Pakistan that would ensure the continuity of his good works when he is no longer in power.

The US think tanks feared that if something happened to Musharraf, who has already been the target of several assassination attempts, or there is a crisis of legitimacy surrounding his position, "then there would be no political system in place to continue Musharraf's good work", said Sethi.

Suggesting that Washington was moving closer to New Delhi as compared to Islamabad, Sethi said: "The US is not concerned about who is getting powerful and it only watches its own interest. Now it is moving towards a strategic relationship with India over the head of Pakistan."

Good relations between India and Pakistan were more in the latter's interest than the former, he said and added: "At the end of the day, it is Pakistan that has suffered in all conflicts."