Musharraf’s downfall began after he fired the Supreme Court for ruling against his position as both president and leader of the armed forces of Pakistan. Amazingly, the bar association of Pakistan went on strike for days on end in protest against his violations of the Pakistani Constitution (take note American lawyers). Rather than give up, he declared a state of emergency and canceled multiparty elections for Parliament and had the outgoing Parliament (illegally) re-elect him president before his party, PML-Q, could lose the upcoming elections. America’s favorite “moderate” and “democratic” dictator in South Asia didn’t look too much of either.
America’s great gambit to keep a pal in power was to return the exiled Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan. With the most famous last name in Pakistani politics and a monopoly over the Pakistan Peoples Party, she could “manage” a democratic resurgence in Pakistan. She couldn’t, however, prevent her assassination by mysterious means (terrorist attack? military conspiracy?), but by then, we all knew elections were going to happen. And that the PPP would win easily.
And, as I predicted before, real elections in Pakistan wiped out the Islamic fundamentalist parties. In the February 18th election, fundamentalist parties were wiped out in the Northwest Frontier Provinces and Musharraf’s puppet PML-Q was slaughtered as well. The PPP became the biggest party in Parliament while the man Musharraf overthrew in 1999, Nawaz Sharif, made a triumphant return with his PML-N’s second place showing. Now the two mortal enemies, PPP and PML-N, united against Musharraf by pushing for his impeachment. Seeing the writing on the wall, Musharraf resigned leaving the office of the president empty.
So who replaced Mister Musharraf today as president? The most corrupt man in Pakistan or Mister Ten Percent.
Pakistan’s Electoral College (Parliament plus the state legislatures) elected Mister Bhutto – Asif Ali Zardari – the new president of Pakistan. With the Pakistan Peoples Party in control of most states, his election was a foregone conclusion. The laughable reverence Western feminists have towards Benazir Bhutto cracks when they hear that most Pakistani refer to her as “that corrupt bitch.” Zardari used to demand that 10% of every government contract go towards him in bribes. He even served 11 years in jail without being convicted for his thefts and may have murdered his own brother-in-law.
What will he do about returning the fired judges? Nothing, because he has his own legal issues and doesn’t want his amnesty overturned by the courts.
Will he weaken the presidency? Not now when he is king and Mush is gone.
Will he be able to control the military? Washington has been betting against it, meeting General Kayani 5 times separately since October and not the civilian Prime Minister.
Will he finally control the out of control Pakistani Secret Service, the ISI, who bombed the Indian embassy in Afghanistan? Depends on whether the military lets him but so far not.
After being leaderless for many months now, Pakistan is firmly in the control of one man again. And this may be the end of the Improbable Return of Pakistani Democracy.