'US should keep away from Pak's internal politics'

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Washington, Oct 2: Ahead of the October 6 Presidential polls in Pakistan, analysts believe that a hastily restored democracy in Islamabad by relegating military in the background would not be beneficial for the future of the country unless stronger institutions are created, and that the US should keep itself away from interfering in the country's internal domestic politics.

Moeed Yusuf, a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, while debating whether the US should continue its support of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said: " Wishing for democracy and instituting it are two separate issues."

"Pakistan civil-military anomalies are structural in nature which will not allow civilian supremacy unless a civil-military truce is achieved on the political front. What is required are stronger institutions, and those can only come about if the civilian political enclave is united and bargains from a position of strength," he added.

He argued that by trying to force out the military, Pakistan will again end up in the vicious alternation cycle between civilian and military rule, which the country has been witnessing since it was formed, sixty years back.

He cautioned the US against influencing the outcome of the political turmoil in Islamabad.

"This entire process has to be internal...More importantly, the US should not (influence), both for its own as well as Pakistan's sake," he said.

"From the U.S. point of view (also in Pakistan's best interest), the only viable option is to work with whoever is at the helm of affairs without attempting to engineer a change," he added.

Terming the criticisms that Musharraf has been unable to tame the extremists as 'erroneous', Yusuf said, "Extremist backlash is a function of the strength of the 'enemy' and the State's inability to step up the military campaign given the strong opposition among Pakistanis against such a move."

"No civilian leader will order a ruthless military operation in the face of popular resentment," he added.



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