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Pakistan Newswire
First a news flash: Frederick Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon are idiots
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via, Pakistan Daily reports:

Frederick Kagan of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute and Michael O’Hanlon of the more liberal Brookings Institution argue in an article published in the New York Times on Sunday that the US simply cannot stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss.

Possible plan: One possible plan would be a Special Forces operation with the limited goal of preventing Pakistan’s nuclear materials and warheads from getting into the wrong hands. Given the degree to which Pakistani nationalists cherish these assets, it is unlikely the United States would get permission to destroy them. Somehow, American forces would have to team with Pakistanis to secure critical sites and possibly to move the material to a safer place. For the United States, the safest bet would be shipping the material to someplace like New Mexico, but even pro-American Pakistanis would be unlikely to cooperate. It would be better for the US to settle for establishing a remote redoubt within Pakistan, with the nuclear technology guarded by elite Pakistani forces backed up and watched over by crack international troops.

That’s not just jumping the shark. That’s jumping on the shark, tap-dancing on its nose, and using a secret brain ray to force it to type the plays of Shakespeare on a vintage Underwood.

And that’s before they come up with the idea of abducting Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to a secret location in New Mexico.

I actually had to check the New York Times website to make sure this wasn’t a spoof or some piece of anti-American psyops by the Pakistani media. And yes, they really said it .


Second, via, The Australian gets it…

with the headline Bhutto’s backflip as poll is called

The lede:

PAKISTANI President Pervez Musharraf yesterday nailed down January 8 for elections while opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, in yet another political backflip, appeared to lay the groundwork for resuming power-sharing negotiations with the military ruler.

Recall that Bhutto’s attorney also chose not to argue the suit against Musharraf’s election as president; another sign that the PPP is party to a new U.S-brokered deal to let Musharraf have the presidency in return for “taking off the uniform” and governing as a civilian and smoothing the path to January parliamentary elections.

So everybody’s priority (except the hapless Pakistani lawyers’) for Pakistan is not democracy; it’s to prevent democracy from screwing up a power-sharing deal that the U.S., Bhutto, and Musharraf all want to see go ahead—even though they all hate and mistrust each other.

Finally, the great game continues…

Bhutto, in an effort to maintain her street cred and to keep the threat of a legal challenge to Musharraf’s presidency alive, had, while refusing to argue the election case, also refused to confirm the legality of Musharraf’s presidency.

Well, if Benazir wants to keep Mush in legal limbo, well, he’ll return the favor.

In a tit-for-tat move, Musharraf’s attorney general announces that the amnesty that Musharraf granted Bhutto on graft charges as part of the original power-sharing deal maybe has a bit of a problem:

Former premier Benazir Bhutto may soon face the same corruption cases that forced her into exile for eight years as the amnesty [National Reconciliation Order] lifting the charges was likely to be overturned, said Attorney General (AG) Malik Qayyum.

Five writs have been issued against the amnesty in the Supreme Court and it would not survive the challenge, Qayyum told The Sunday Times.President Pervez Musharraf had granted the amnesty to Bhutto by promulgating the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) ahead of her return to the country on October 18.

NRO not ‘happily worded’: “I don’t think it [amnesty] will survive the challenge,” Qayyum said. “Whoever drafted it, it was not happily worded. Only the courts can decide to throw charges out, not governments.”

Take that!

And on with the games!

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Bhutto, Musharraf, Pakistan 
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