Thursday, November 29, 2007
Is today's announcement of plans to lift the nationwide state of emergency enough to save President Pervez Musharraf's eight-year hold on the Pakistani presidency? Not likely. Musharraf did resign yesterday from his post as head of the army, as he had been promising for weeks, and was sworn in today to a new five-year term as president, but his pledge to lift emergency rule on Dec. 16 is too little, too late. If new parliamentary elections do take place on Jan. 8, as he also promised, the Pakistani people won't forget the political turmoil he caused by suspending the constitution and arresting justices of Pakistan's Supreme Court on Nov. 3. Nor are they likely to return Musharraf supporters to the legislature now that former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have returned to public life.