President Musharraf of Pakistan told ABC news that he might consider the possibility of resigning if conditions after the January 8 elections do not result in a significant improvement regarding the needs of his nation. He denied making any deal with the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who was allowed to return from exile a few months ago and promised that he would not support any political party during the electoral process for a new parliament. Musharraf placed a great deal of blame for the current situation on failures of American governments over the past decades to take any decisive action against the growth of terrorism. When questioned about the reality of an election, he responded: “Come hell or high water, elections will be held on January 8.” Although he gave this assurance, many Pakistan political leaders and parties fear the election is being rigged causing them to consider the possibility of boycotting the electoral process. Bhutto fears a boycott would simply allow Musharraf’s Muslim League political party to gain an overwhelming victory.
There is considerable woe is me in Musharraf’s comments concerning not receiving support from the United States. Pakistan has obtained at least $10 billion in military and economic assistance since 2001. He fails to make any reference to the fact that Pakistan Intelligence was the group that provided military aid to the Taliban and helped it take over Afghanistan. Musharraf ignores the close cooperation between Pakistan military leaders and insurgent groups in northwest regions until fairly recently. There is no question that Bush made a terrible mistake by withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan in order to use them in the Iraq invasion, but Musharraf is also a guilty party in allowing al-Qaeda and the Taliban to become powerful.