Musharraf to Step Down
Normally I would dismiss a piece like this out of hand, but the reporter on it is Massoud Ansari, and I know how he rolls. More on that in a second. For now, read:
Pervez Musharraf is considering stepping down as president of Pakistan rather than waiting to be forced out by his victorious opponents, aides have told The Sunday Telegraph.
One close confidante said that the president believed he had run out of options after three of the main parties who triumphed in last week’s poll announced they would form a coalition government together, and also pledged to reinstate the country’s chief justice and 60 other judges sacked by Mr Musharraf in November.
"He has already started discussing the exit strategy for himself," a close friend said. "I think it is now just a matter of days and not months because he would like to make a graceful exit on a high."
OK, now the fun stuff. Back in the spring of 2004, John Judis and myself collaborated with Massoud on a piece reporting that the Bush administration had made a deal with the Pakistanis to have Musharraf time his counterterrorism strategy to undercut the Democrats in the presidential election. We were able to report a pretty incendiary development: the White House asked the Pakistani intelligence apparatus to produce a high-value capture during the Democratic national convention.
You should have heard the right moan and whine about us. Hysterics! Moonbats! Leftards! All that good stuff. Then, a couple hours before John Kerry gave his conventions speech, Pakistan turned in Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who helped blow up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
I’m still pretty skeptical that Musharraf will step down, but I’ve learned to listen to Massoud Ansari.