Musharraf relinquishes military ties

Derek Thurber

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Derek ThurberIn an unstable part of the world a military dictator has just stepped down to make way for an elected government. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has renounced his position as general of the military in order to become the civilian leader of the country.

Though it is not a democratic government or a totally free government, it is progress towards a more free and stable country, one that is looking forward in a part of the world that is still trapped in dictatorships and “military coup governments.” This act shows a move that is not frequently found in today’s news or world.

Too often we read that stability is waning in Iraq, or that a terrorist organization has been elected, or that a government has been overthrown by a military coup. This is a piece of good news that can be sorted out of all the bad things that happen with governments. Instead of moving away from democracy, as so many countries are, Pakistan has just made a move towards democracy.

With political pressure both from within and from allied countries including the United States, Musharraf recently resigned as head of the military and was sworn in again in civilian garb.

This move has, for the moment, decreased the anger from opposition to his rule. However, as Bhutto said, there is still much work, and the election will not go unquestioned.

President George Bush has declared his support for Musharraf under the condition that he ends the state of emergency and allows democratic elections in the Pakistani Parliament. Even with this support Musharraf faces a difficult struggle in the coming weeks to restore his claim to presidency and peace in his country.
There is still much that can be changed and much to be hoped for in Pakistan’s future, but this change to a civilian leadership is the first step in the struggle towards stability and democracy in a confused country.

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