Reports seems to indicate that Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf downfall is imminent with a likely scenario of his stepping down and a self-imposed exile to avoid the humiliating impeachment trial. Musharraf’s declaration last year of emergency rule wherein he suspended the constitution paving the way for the arrest of thousands of government opponents and firing of senior judges including the most popular chief justice may have been his undoing fueling anti-Musharraf sentiments.
The ruling coalition of slain former Prime Minister Bennazir Bhutto are preparing detailed charge sheet against Musharraf for various charges including violation of the constitution and corruption charges for misappropriating millions of dollars in US funds.
While the ruling coalition do not have the required two-third number at least in paper for the impeachment they may just get the number when even members of a party that had long allied itself with Musharraf, the MQM, or Muttahida Qaumi Movement are keeping their distance.
How it plays out will determine if Musharraf will chose self-exile to avoid accountability or fight it out in the impeachment proceedings. On the other hand while the frenzy of Pakistani president stepping down drummed up by the ruling coalition is denied by Musharraf’s spokesman Rashid Qureshi saying the president was not set to resign or was seeking legal immunity to do so.
Musharraf’s loudest critic Bhutto’s widower Azif Ali Zardari accusing him of corruption comes from one with a reputation for being one himself known as “Mr. 10%” for allegedly demanding kickbacks on any major government project. The irony of ironies is that the embezzler may just be replaced by another embezzler with Zardari’s prospect of becoming the next president should Musharraf step down, ousted or sneak out for self-exile.
Sounds familiar if you look at the Philippine experience with a corrupt leader deposed by an equally if not more corrupt leader and we are not even talking of mere 10% kickback which is peanuts by Trapo (traditional politicians) standards. Pakistan and the Philippines are both feudal where politics is based on personalities and patronage so it is no surprise to see a corrupt leader resurrect here and there as if they have no debt to society. At the rate the Philippines conduct its politics who knows maybe the Asiong Salongat errr Joseph Estrada is learning and watching closely what happens in Pakistan……. he is still popular after all, how he does it only indicates a society with a perverted sense of values due to endemic corruption.
Pakistan strongman Pervez Musharraf resigns under impeachment threat and the chairman of the Senate, Mohammadmian Soomro, will be acting president until a new one is elected within 30 days.
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