Saturday, April 19, 2008

Judge return as Musharraf ouster firms

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | The Australian, April 19, 2008

MOVES to drive Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf into a corner and force him to quit were being finalised last night as part of a parliamentary package that could end with Pakistan's sacked chief justice being reinstated as early as next week.

Sources said constitutional changes were being prepared that would "so cripple (Mr Musharraf's) authority in all respects" that he will have "no option but to bow out without facing impeachment".

Mr Musharraf's ouster would be a blow to the administration of US President George W. Bush and its widely criticised policy on Pakistan, attacked yesterday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the Congress in Washington.

The GAO held that even though it faced an enhanced terrorist threat from al-Qa'ida safe havens in Pakistan's tribal areas, the administration had failed to develop a plan to deal with the situation.

In what was being described last night as a "searing report" the GAO sharply criticised the administration, saying it had relied too heavily on Pakistani security forces to deal with a major US national security problem.

Continued . . .

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