Pak President Leaves Country Amid Crisis, Fuels Rumors of Flee
Situation becomes more confused in Pakistan as the president’s office announced that the president Ali Asif Zardari will go to Dubai to attend a wedding, fueling rumors that he ma never come back amid accusations from the Supreme Court that he was not an honorable man and that he should order the reopening of corruption cases that implicate him too and were closed in 2007 by the National Reconciliation Ordinance of the former president Pervez Musharraf, who is accused in Pakistan of having ordered the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, wife at the time to Zardari.
On Wednesday the prime minister of the country Yousuf Raza Gilani dismissed the defense minister over some allegations made by the military chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani, who said that the actions of the government’s chief could have “grievous consequences.”
Gilani complained last month about the insecurity of his position and alluded to the possibility of a military coup, which would remove him from power. He warned on that occasion the military to remember that the military is run by civilian institutions.
The tension has been building in Pakistan between the two forces that lead the nation, the military, which has a prominent role in the stability of the country and is extremely powerful as long as the threat of India hovers over, and the civilian leadership, which plans to take the country into an era of reforms that would assert it as one of the most democratic in the Muslim world, but who is however engulfed in accusations of corruption and is practically powerless in dealing with controversial laws like the blasphemy law, which claims the lives of innocent people every year, and keeps Pakistan in the company of countries like Iran and Afghanistan.
The things escalated in the country after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, in a covert operation staged by the Americans without informing their Pakistani allies. The operation was a blow to the army’s prestige, but the real blow was to follow, when the American administration decided to cut off the funds for the Pakistan army, as a result of the bin Laden case.
The cutoff brought with it a cooling of ties between Pakistan and the United States to that point that in autumn the US State Secretary threatened Pakistan with repercussions if they did not get more involved in battling the Taliban and the Haqqani network on their territory,
At about the same time a scandal broke in the Muslim country related to a memorandum which is said to have been sent to Washington, in which the authors were expressing fear that the political balance of the country may be broken by a military attempt to stage a coup. The Supreme Court is investigating if the civilian authorities were the ones to have sent the memo.
In December the president decided to go abroad to tend to his medical problems, and many believed he would not return anymore. Now he went to Dubai to attend a wedding and is expected to return on Friday, although sources say that he will do a follow up on his medical condition.
Military analysts consider that this is not a good time for either of the sides to win the battle, which makes a possible coup a remote possibility. Both sides, a retired general says, came out of this with an image deficit.11