Will Musharaf Survive?
by Farooq Tariq

The second serious attempt on the life of General Musharaf within a Week show the absolute desperation of religious fundamentalist to take the life of the general. According to initial investigations, the attack was done in a way similar to those reported from Middle East countries. 14 persons died when two cars full of explosives tried to hit the caravan of General Musharaf while he was on his way to his home in Rawalpindi. He narrowly escaped but windscreen of his car was broken.

In today’s suicidal attack aiming at assassinating Pervez Musharraf, the vehicles used laded with explosive material and was itself a first kind of attack in Pakistan. Only a day earlier, on 24th December, General Musharaf boosted on television about his successful deal with the Mutehida Majlas Ammal (MMA), the main religious fundamentalist alliance in Pakistan. Accordi0ng to the deal, he will retain the dictatorial powers with the help of religious fundamentalist votes in the parliament. The Legal Framework Order (LFO) will be presented in the parliament and constitutional amendments will be carried out with the two third majority in the National Assembly with the help of MMA. "Democracy has won" General Musharaf declared in his televised address. But it was the victory of the dictatorial powers he would enjoy under the amended constitution of Pakistan. The religious fundamentalists showed that they can work together with the military as they have done in the past. The deal clearly expressed the hypocratic attitude on both sides.

On one side, the General Musharaf is a close ally of the American imperialists in their so called war on terror. While at home, he is very much busy in making deals with the religious fundamentalist to save his power and prestige. On the other side, the religious fundamentalist forces of Pakistan is trying their best to break their past association with the American imperialism and have been propagating "anti imperialist" gestures. Contrary to their public positions, the MMA went a long way to deal with Musharaf that will legalize all the crimes of Musharaf that he has committed under his naked military rule from 1999 to 2002.

The today attack on Musharaf life is widely considered a work of the religious extremists. So a very complicated relationship of the present military regime with the religious fundamentlaists is been seen by the latest political developments. Some of the religious forces are saving Musharaf politically, while others are trying to take his life for the "betrayals" he has committed by siding with American imperialism. This is a second attempt on Musharaf life within a week. A bridge was blown up seconds after Mushraf caravan left the space last week. No one was injured.

Will Musharaf survive politically or physically after the latest actions of the religious fanatics? What effect the latest attempt on Musharaf life will have on future political scene? What should be Socialists position on this situation? I will briefly take up these questions. The present murder attempt is a serious below to the deal of Musharaf with the religious fundamentalists. Musharaf may go ahead with the planned national assembly session next week to take up the support of the MMA to legalize his dictatorial powers. These powers include dissolution of the parliament at his will and some others. He may then proceed to have a big go on all the religious extremist groups. That may mean an end of the provincial government of MMA in North West Frontier Province and the alliance government in Baluchistan.

Why the religious forces want to take the life of Musharaf? Mainly his association with the American imperialism. Also they are unhappy with the present political development of the MMA to go along with Musharaf. They are also unhappy with Musharaf and Vajpai present efforts of peace between Pakistan and India. The road, air and train links are opened up after a bitter relationship for to years.

The relationship of the military establishment with the religious forces will go from bad to worst. The general Musharaf regime has to decide clearly what sort of relationship he wants to keep with the religious fanatics. He can not have the both. Internally making alliances with religious fanatics and externally going along with American imperialism. Probably, he will opt to cut their relationship with the religious forces. This may mean an end of the parliament also where Musharaf is facing a strong opposition despite the support of the MMA.

Actions of Musharaf regime against the MMA government in NWFP will also have negative effect with their relationship at the center. If MMA at the center may be forced to go in opposition to Musharaf regime, this will clearly be signal to overthrow or suspension of the present parliament. The present parliament was "elected in year 2002. Musharaf supporters have majority in the parliament but not a two third majority that is needed to carry out the amendments in the constitution. Musharaf may attempt to go the same way as the previous military dictator Zia Ul aq did in 1988. He suspended the government of Prime Minister Jonejo, he helped to come in power only two years earlier.

The recent attempt on Muharaf life will bring more dictatorial actions by the government in future. What sort of these actions may be, it is difficult to foresee but the circumstances will never be the same before this incident. It was serious attempt and serious actions will follow by the government. It is possible that more such actions may be taken by the fanatics despite all the massive security measures. But any successful attempt on Musharaf life will not bring any hay days for the religious fundamentalist. They may face even more hostile attitude by Musharaf successor. It will not force the military establishment to change their position towards the religious fundamentalists. The state support to the fanatics can not go on the same way as it was before 11th September 2001. But the relationship of the military is changing in installments and in a very zig-zag manner. The latest attempt on Musharaf life may also be warning to Musharaf that he can not have the both ways. It will polarize the political scene of Pakistan that is never seen before.

We can not support any action of terrorism. In the present incident, Several ordinary passer byes also lost their life. While we have no sympathy with Mushraf regime but our tactics to remove Musharaf has nothing in common with those who are behind this incident. We want to kick out Mushraf from power by a mass movement of the workers and peasants. That is only a long lasting solution to the present crisis.


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