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'Real threat to Musharraf from within Pak military'
March 22, 2007 13:08 IST
"Men who live by the gun are willing to die by the gun, and Musharraf is not taking chances. He knows that the real threat to his power -- and his life -- comes from within his constituency, the military," according to Pervez Hoodbhoy, who teaches at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University.
"As a result, he has become obsessed with micromanaging everything from troop movements and special events to postings and promotions, all of which require his personal stamp of approval," he wrote in an opinion piece in The Japan Times, a leading English language newspaper on Thursday.
Hardline Islamists, favoured previously, are now out, and soldiers charged with mutiny have received the death penalty, he says.
Although this has further deepened pro and anti-US divisions within the army, among both commissioned and non-commissioned officers, Musharraf clearly expects to remain president well beyond the October 2007 elections, as well as to extend further his term of leadership of the army.
"To achieve this end, whatever needs to be done will be done; principles and rules are elastic," Hoodbhoy says.
He also writes that the US remains "clueless" on how to deal with Pakistan and its problems.
"One might have expected the Americans to know better than to bet all on a man who might be gone tomorrow. But, beyond pumping in dollars and supporting Musharraf and his military, the US appears clueless in dealing with Pakistan and its problems of social development," he says.