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Kamran Asdar Ali, Director WCH 4.132, Mailcode G9300, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3550

Ali: A country at a crossroads

commentary

Posted: November 9, 2007

And frank the discussion probably was: In the face of spirited protest in Pakistan, and a querulous press in Washington, back-channel pressure succeeded in persuading Musharraf to promise parliamentary elections. Yet the generous U.S. aid earmarked for Pakistan — on top of nearly $10 billion since 2001 — is quite evidently not at risk.

What may be at risk is Musharraf?s tenure as head of the military government. According to The New York Times, U.S. policymakers are building up Musharraf?s deputy, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, as the preferred replacement for the increasingly unpopular president. Clearly, Washington wants to retain at the center of Pakistani politics a powerful military figure who will help wage the U.S.-led ?war on terror? in the region.

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