Pakistan’s Second Coup

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Police officers arrest political workers in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007. AP Photo.

PAKISTAN’S TENUOUS POLITICAL and security situation just got a whole lot worse. After days of rumors that President Pervez Musharraf would impose a state of emergency in the violence-wracked country, Musharraf followed through on Saturday in a move that is likely to plunge the county into further political turmoil and provide an opening for the Taliban and al Qaeda to consolidate their gains in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas.

Read the rest at The Weekly Standard.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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17 Comments

  • Tommy says:

    The one good thing that has come from this:
    Hamid Gul was arrested!

  • Winger says:

    And the question begs. Why would Musharaff take this step? To remain in power? In power of what?For how long? For what ultimate end?
    Is he really looking out for his country or looking out for himself? Is he trying to do the right thing and may or may not have made a good decision? Breakup the status quo?
    Is he smart or just a fool?

  • anand says:

    Very well written piece Bill. Few seem to realize the seriousness of the current situation. And quite honestly, I don’t know what the US government should do short term.
    I think that President Bush should call for the restoration of civil law, free and democratic elections. The question is then what.
    Fixing the problem in Pakistan is might cost us and the rest of the world hundreds of billions of dollars. Not to mention the risk of catastrophic terrorist attacks. What really scares me is not what is happening in Waziristan (although that is scary enough), but what is happening inside Pakistan’s urban areas and heartland. I suspect that AQ is operating from there, with the collusion of some of the most powerful parts of the Pakistani security establishment. There is a real danger that the Pakistani security establishment will opaquely fragment into different factions with very uncertain consequences.
    None of our political leaders are speaking the “inconvenient truth”

  • Neo says:

    “Is he (Musharaff) smart or just a fool?”

  • Neo says:

    Try that again.
    It is quite possible he felt it was necessary to preempt a plot against him.

  • PJH says:

    Anyone one commenting on Adm. Fallon’s visit on 11/1/07. Coincidence?

  • Neo says:

    PJH
    “Anyone one commenting on Adm. Fallon’s visit on 11/1/07. Coincidence?”
    “Coincidence?”

  • Neo says:

    I might add that there has been a fairly steady stream of Bush administration contacts going to Pakistan throughout the summer and fall. There’s a relatively large pool of people for that “coincidence”

  • PJH says:

    Neo: You impute more innuendo to my question than was meant. My personal inclination is to support Bush Administration plans; plots too. I am just wondering if Centcom, or anyone else, has made a comment on the substance of the meetings.

  • PJH says:

    ABC is now reporting: “The United States urged Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, not to do it. But he did it. He imposed emergency rule. He ignored appeals from the United States and other Western governments despite a stern face-to-face warning Friday from an American commander, Adm. William Fallon.”

  • Neo says:

    Sorry, I get used to seeing all the conspiracy stuff and assume.
    I have old friends with high college degrees and such that just eat all the conspiracy stuff up. The stranger the plot the better. They usually won’t come right out and say they believe all that stuff unless they are in an informal social setting. It really makes me wonder what sort of monster we have set loose.
    While I’m apologizing for things, I seem to be butchering my syntax pretty good today too.

  • templar knight says:

    It now seems inevitable that the Taliban/AQ will now take over the whole of the NWFP, and possibly make a push for the whole of Pakistan. The security nightmare this scenario will cause is beyond description. I can see the mad mullahs arguing among themselves on what should be the first target for a nuclear bomb, and if you don’t think this is possible, you had better think again.
    The West is facing a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, yet little, if any, thought has been given to just what we need to do as Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are just one suicide bomber from falling into Taliban/AQ hands. The time for action is right now, prior to these weapons being moved or hidden, and thus making the job of finding them impossible.

  • PJH says:

    Neo: Absolutely no apology is necessary. Yours was not an unreasonable reading of my terse and vague question.
    I mostly lurk around here because I so highly value Bill’s posts and the comments. Hell, the only reason I knew that Fallon had been in Pakistan was Bill’s link to the Dawn report on 11/1/07.

  • CK( thee grunt) says:

    Live by the coup, die by the coup. Sadly, Mushareff may have been made/encouraged/arm twisted and bribed into helping the US but there are way too many radical muslims in Pakistan for his alleged “friendship” with “the great satan” to think it will last without extreme means of force. The major question is, who will have the keys to the nukes if he loses power???

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  • TS Alfabet says:

    “If the Taliban stage a coup I hope India does the pre-emptive nuke thing. Hard, fast, and thorough.”
    Good comment, brian, but what has happened to our US of A? Have we really shrunk to the point that we need India (or Israel) to take care of our problems? (Not that India doesn’t have a big stake in the P-stan nukes, too, but it should be joint and not ‘Let’s hope India cleans this mess up for us.’)

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