Skip to comments.Pakistan's president facing military anger over his U.S. ties
Posted on 11/26/2009 10:23:40 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Suspicions by Pakistan's powerful army that the country's civilian leadership is growing too close to the United States are fueling a political crisis that analysts here believe threatens the survival of the government and could divert attention from the battle against Islamic extremists.
Military officials believe that secretly taped conversations between Pakistani President Asif Zardari and his ambassador in Washington, prove that it was at Zardari's insistence that a $1.5 billion U.S. aid package passed by Congress in September contained several provisions that angered the Pakistani military. The military publicly protested the aid package last month.
"The reaction (from the military) was not so much to what was in the bill but to the thought that the government was trying to create a civilian-to-civilian dialogue (with Washington)," said a senior Pakistani official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The army has ruled Pakistan for most its existence, with civilian rule returning only last year.
Now the military is responding by pressing a confrontation with Zardari over the expiration of a legal amnesty for politicians that benefited many members of Zardari's government, including the president himself and his ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani.
The amnesty, known as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), wiped away long-standing charges against politicians and bureaucrats who served between 1986 and 1999. But the Supreme Court ruled that the measure, which had been decreed in October 2007 by then President Pervez Musharraf, was unconstitutional, and it will come to an end on Saturday.
(Excerpt) Read more at mcclatchydc.com ...
That could be construed as a high DEFCON alert, but, probably not, in an Obama friendly country.