Musharraf must go: Washington Post
President Pervez Musharraf has become an "obstacle" to American interests in Pakistan and to the interest of his own country as well, the US daily said.
President Pervez Musharraf has become an "obstacle" to American interests in Pakistan and to the interest of his own country as well, an influential US daily has said, stressing "The General must go".
"Pakistan's crisis unquestionably poses serious risks to US national security. But the Bush administration's practice of clinging to Musharraf is increasing rather than lessening the danger," The Washington Post said in an editorial titled "The General Must Go".
Stating that Musharraf's likely successor General Ashfaq Kiyani "is a pro-Western moderate who supports the US-sponsored counterinsurgency programme", the Post said, "The only way to preserve US interests and the cause of moderation in Pakistan is to eliminate the obstacle of Musharraf's desperate and destructive hold on power."
"Bush has hesitated to withdraw US support for Musharraf... Yet Musharraf's insistence on fighting rather than working with the country's civilian political center dooms the battle against extremism," the Post said.
It said Bush must now insist on the second demand he made in Thursday's phone call, which is that "Musharraf retire from the army."
The daily said despite his promises to Washington and back-channel negotiations with Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Musharraf has not altered the course he embarked on last weekend when he suspended the constitution.
It said US military aid should be linked to a restoration of the constitution and reinstatement of the judges who have been removed from their posts.
"He still intends to dictate his own continuance in power and to curtail the influence of the country's moderate political elite, who ought to be his army's allies in a war against Islamic extremists," The Washington Post has said.