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Can Terrorism Be Controlled Though Terrorism?

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Pakistani media and all politicians have turned their guns on President Pervez Musharraf as he has been fighting a battle against terrorists, who have millions of people hostage. Politicians have been using unfair means. Now they have been forcing Musharraf to resign. Like most of the tribesmen I think there should be rule of law. The law will be the same if it President Musharraf or other people. Terrorism cannot be controlled through terrorism. It can only be controlled through rule of law.

According to Nation newspaper: it is unprecedented for the leadership of a coalition about to take over power to boycott the oath-taking ceremony of their prime ministerial nominee on the ground that the President administering the oath was unacceptable to them. That this happened on Tuesday underlines the increasing isolation of President Musharraf. Most coalition partners had not cared to respond to Maj Gen (Retd) Rashid Qureshi's claim that everyone except Mian Nawaz Sharif was willing to work with the President. The absence of Mr Asif Zardari, Mr Asfandyar Wali and Maulana Fazlur Rehman is a clear indicator that all coalition partners want him to leave now. The handful of PPP members who turned up were seemingly there to chant slogans that must have been unpleasant to the President's ears. Even PML leaders who had worked with him for five years were absent from the function. Under the circumstances, Mian Shahbaz Sharif had a point when he suggested that President Musharraf should proceed on leave to facilitate oath-taking by the Cabinet members who are reluctant to be inducted by him. 

With the new PM insisting that his relations with the President would be strictly in line with the Constitution, the President's problems are going to multiply in days to come. His close confidantes heading the Information Department and two security agencies have already handed over charge. It is a matter of days before the PM, makes changes in the top administrative machinery. President Musharraf would no more be in a position to keep the Establishment under his thumb as before. The deposed judges have already been released under orders from Mr Gillani who described them as detained judges rather than retired judges, which indicates how he defines their status. Once they are reinstated in line with the Murree Accord, which the PM has vowed to carry out, the issue of President Musharraf's disputed election would again be in the Supreme Court. The two top-ranking State Department officials have failed to secure any guarantees from the PPP and PML(N) leaderships regarding the President's tenure. Mian Nawaz Sharif has renewed the call for him to urgently quit while Mr Zardari has declined to assure that he will remain in office. 

It is time for President Musharraf to realise the extent of his isolation. Continued confrontation with the winning coalition would create a state of uncertainty harmful for the country. The best way out of the situation is the exercise of the option by the President to retire in peace. 

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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