Sakset/Fra hofta

Musharraf ser ut til å være sin egen verste fiende. Han sier han vil slå ned ekstremistene, men går istedet løs på de liberale deler av samfunnet. Nå er han sikker på å få dem mot seg som han hadde trengt mot ekstremistene. Maktbasen krymper. At hæren misliker tapene i nord, er også foruroligende.

Musharraf ser ut til å ha rotet det ordentlig til.

In imposing the state of emergency on Saturday, Musharraf said he intended to crush Islamic militants, who have extended their deadly assaults beyond the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and staged a growing number of suicide bombings in urban centers.

But the insurgency isn’t the only crisis Musharraf faces. The others are a loss of political support for his grip on power and court challenges to the legality of his dual role as president and chief of staff. His declaration of emergency rule came ahead of a Pakistan Supreme Court ruling that might have de-legitimized his recent re-election as president.

Musharraf’s «focus will be on stabilizing his power base, which means dealing with dissidents, opposition parties and law and order in general,» said Seth Jones , an expert on Pakistan with the RAND Corp. , a think tank that advises the U.S. government.

All of that will leave Musharraf little energy or time to conduct counterinsurgency operations against the extremists, who have imposed harsh Islamic rule in parts of the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, bordering Afghanistan . As a result, militants could have more freedom to carry out their operations and recruit.

«It’s going to be difficult to see how Musharraf can take new initiatives up in the tribal areas,» said a State Department official, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

Musharraf also will have to keep close tabs on the army for signs of a mutiny.

The officer corps is angered by hundreds of casualties that the army has sustained in operations against the militants launched under pressure from the United States . It’s also upset over the tarnishing of the military’s image caused by Musharraf’s rule, experts said.

Musharraf has kept the army in its barracks since the crackdown, relying mostly on police and paramilitary units, because many officers and troops would be unwilling to use force against fellow Pakistanis, said several U.S. officials and experts.


Musharraf’s crackdown could fuel Islamic insurgency in Pakistan