Pakistan: Now or Never?

Perspectives on Pakistan

Is Musharraf looking less beleaguered?


President Pervez Musharraf - April file photoPakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi used an interesting choice of words when he talked to reporters in Paris about the new government’s relationship with President Pervez Musharraf.

Reuters Paris chief correspondent Crispian Balmer tells me that he said the ruling Pakistan People’s Party had established a working relationship with Musharraf after February elections in which the president’s political allies were defeated.

“The reason we have established that working relationship with him is to give stability,” he said. “We realise that this transition from dictatorship to democracy is a delicate transition and let’s not unnecessarily rock the boat.”

Those did not seem to be the words of a government that expects the embattled former army general to step down any time soon, despite a mass rally in Pakistan by lawyers fighting for the reinstatement of judges fired by Musharraf last year.