The following is a translation of an Arabic Q&A from the official website of Hizb ut-Tahrir:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Answer to Question
Question: American officials have in the past often repeated that Musharraf is an asset for the United States of America in preserving their interests and strengthening & consolidating their stronghold in the region and that he was the US’s crucial ally in occupation of Afghanistan etc… then yesterday, 18th August 2008 C.E the same United States abandoned him leaving no option for him but to resign. How did it come to that? Does it suggest a political confrontation with the British where they succeeded in dislodging Musharraf? And finally, who is likely to replace him as President of the republic?
Answer: Answer: Yes, indeed Musharraf was an asset to the US and an asset which was true to its salt. He gave his services to the US in Afghanistan and the entire region; in fact it will not be an exaggeration to say America could not have occupied Afghanistan without the services of Musharraf despite the Muslims who resisted occupation and were fought under the so-called ‘War on Terror’ and it was Musharraf who arrested a number of Muslims who fought the occupation.
While all of these are true, but it must be noted that Musharraf had of late, especially during the last year or so, had failed to pursue the American agenda. His failure was both, due to his weakened position among the people, the army and the parliament. This was a result of his excessive crimes against the Muslims specially the killings in the Swat tribal region, the Lal Masjid massacre, his shameful zeal and enthusiasm in nurturing the US and his readily offering his services not only against the concepts and sensitivities of Muslims, but also against their emotions.
Musharraf’s failures were expressed by certain American officials who said that as a result of his weakened position among the people and the army, he failed to perform as required by America. Among these statements, the one expressed by Davis McCarnon, the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan who told the American news network CNN on 7th August, 2008: “Do I believe that thee is a kind of connivance from the Pakistani intelligence? Yes, I believe so?” He added “We have observed an increasing number of foreign fighters in south eastern Afghanistan in the last year or so and we are waiting for the Pakistani authorities to move against them and deny them safe havens.”
The New York Times had reported that Steve Caps, the second in command at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) travelled to Islamabad to demand explanation from the Pakistani authorities and confront them with evidence of Pakistani intelligence connivance with the rebel network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani.
The newspaper stressed: “The Americans have intercepted communications that establish what appears to be involvement of Pakistani intelligence elements in the attack on Indian embassy in Kabul which killed 60 persons.
Thus it became clear to the US that Musharraf’s weakened position among the masses and in the government itself does not render him to perform his duties as it wishes despite Musharraf’s efforts and sacrifices in service to America.
So the United States determined that Musharraf has played his role and that he must be replaced to demonstrate to the Pakistani people that they are now safe from dictator Musharraf and then secure US interests and safeguard its influence as well as continue to fight Muslims in the name of fighting terrorism… i.e. repeat a Musharraf-like character similar to him when he was in power!
It must be mentioned that Musharraf’s removal (resignation) yesterday was not simply a matter of one day; rather it culminated gradually over four important milestones whereby he lost his sheen and shine until he announced his resignation finally on 18th August, 2008 C.E.
These important milestones are:
The First milestone: was when the US reached an understanding with the British whereby Benazir Bhutto, the PPP leader was rehabilitated and was returned from her exile in England. This US-British understanding encompassed two main matters:
First: The PPP will not object to Musharraf’s re-election as the President of Pakistan.
Second: The PPP will share power with Musharraf such that she will be the prime minister with authority and power.
Which imply that America realized that it will not be possible for Musharraf to continue in power except with the support of the secular Peoples Party because of Musharraf’s excesses, killing of Muslims and their hate & anger for him. Thus America regarded this understanding with the British as a way to salvage Musharraf’s authority even if was an impaired one.
It must be mentioned that the Peoples Party itself is a coalition and not a structured party as such, i.e. it does not have any defined concepts which its members subscribe to, rather it is a coalition of persons who share certain interests and relations. Therefore it can easily be penetrated and this became obvious to America since the PPP during the time of Benazir’s father was supported and nurtured by it, but the British managed to win over the effective leadership during Benazir’s years of exile in England.
Thus the US understanding with the British which brought in Benazir to Pakistan was the first milestone whereby Musharraf’s powers were impaired.
The Second milestone: This was when the US allowed Nawaz Shareef to return to Pakistan. Indeed Nawaz is America’s man but he had earned the US’s wrath when he failed to prevent the Pakistani army from occupying the Kargil heights in India during the Vajpayee led BJP rule.
It is known that America worked hard for years to earn loyalty of the BJP after long years of pro=British Congress rule in India.
The United States had been assisting Vajpayee politically, economically and even militarily to consolidate its rule and the Kargil occupation came as a big jolt to the BJP popularity.
Therefore the US was behind Musharraf’s coup which overthrew Nawaz Shareef with whom America remained angry and strained and also did not permit him to return.
However after Benazir’s ‘assassination’, there was a surge in PPP popularity and America was scared that it may garner majority votes in the elections and then may not honour the understanding that US has with the British and assume all power and authority alone thereby restoring British influence.
Hence it allowed Nawaz Shareef to return to Pakistan and take its share of votes and cut the PPP to size so that the PPP and Nawaz Shareef’s parties share majority votes.
This was the second stage and it was clear from Nawaz’s return that ground is being prepared for a post-Musharraf era.
The Third milestone: this was when the US forced Musharraf to give up the army command to enable general elections. It was this army command which gave Musharraf the authority and strength whenever he faced any confrontation with whether the people or the parliament.
The Fourth milestone: The current Prime Minister Reza Gilani’s recent visit to the United States, his long conversation with Bush and his return to Pakistan to initiate the process for Musharraf’s ouster.
Indeed an observer who keenly followed this meeting will note that Gilani subjugated to the US while America ensured that the PPP would support the candidature of the US sponsored nominee for the post of the republic’s president. This by its nature would secure the position of Nawaz Shareef’s party.
As a result of this visit, the US gave its green signal to the coalition government to start the impeachment process against Musharraf after having secured Gilani and PPP’s commitment to support the US’s nominee for the president’s post. This was meant to ensure that the PPP does not create hurdles for the American nominee to become the President.
In fact Gilani, as the British agent may have agreed to support the US nominee reflecting the British policy of not openly opposing the United States, but it is more likely that the US may have promised him a more prominent position in the new dispensation and he may have moved closer to the Americans.
Despite this reversal, Britain is not expected to sit quiet on this missed opportunity to share power in Pakistan after its understanding reached with the US, therefore it is likely to work with the leaders of other pro-British parties to create problems in the next president’s election unless it is given effective say in the matters as provided in its understating with the US.
Though Britain does not eye a complete command over matters in Pakistan, it will not miss an opportunity that comes it way either, therefore the elections for the president’s post that will be faced with serious hurdles until there is a fresh dialogue to reach another understanding between the US and Britain.
Irrespective of the name of the presidential nominee, it is the US which will play the effective role in the elections, and there are three possible scenarios:
The First Scenario: The candidate may be Reza Gilani; this may happen if the US is convinced of his real loyalty. The US will not like to see him toeing like the British who publicly support the US position but work behind the scenes to thwart American designs. If the United States is convinced, Gilani will be lucky. But this will mean placating the British who will not easily digest this and may create hurdles in his path among the PPP leadership.
The Second Scenario: The nominee may be from Nawaz Shareef’s party, but this will have to be from among the leadership and Shareef himself since although he is pro-America, but his image among the people is relatively tainted. Moreover the US has not fully forgotten the Kargil confrontation, hence it will not rely on nominating Shareef except if his party does not come up with a strong nominee, which is when the US will accept Nawaz’s candidature.
The Third Scenario: If both of the above possibilities fail to materialise, America may have to take recourse to the army again, since Kiyani, the army commander was elevated to head the army by Musharraf with US approval. The United States will not waste any means to politicise the armed forces to comply with the strange American democracy!
To conclude, we would say that if these agents only remember the fate of their predecessors in the colonialised countries who were thrown out like the kernel and the agent looses all his worldly privileges also just as he had already lost his religion by virtue of being the Kuffar’s agent and by his treachery to the Ummah.
If only these agents considered their fate, they could at least save their worldly privileges by being close and loyal to their people than their colonialist masters, but they think not.
18th Sha’ban, 1429 A.H
19th August, 2008 C.E