Musharraf’s Deal

Pervez Musharraf has struck a deal to give up his military post in order to be able to run for another term as president. It will also mean that the exiled former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, can return to the country to run for prime minister. There are also upcoming parliamentary elections that are expected to produce a legislative body less supportive of Musharraf. From a U.S. policy perspective, this could avoid the worst case scenario of Musharraf losing power, but it reinforces how vulnerable he actually is. What worries me is that it seems that U.S. policy toward Pakistan has been entirely built around Musharraf, but it’s increasingly important to begin to think of strategies for dealing with the country in a post-Musharaff era. He may hang on for now, but he won’t be there forever.

UPDATE: A Musharraf spokesman now saying that no deal has been struck.