Tuesday, 19 February 2008

PAKISTAN ON THE BRINK

Ex-ISI chief foresees Iran-like revolution in Pak

Times of India

TORONTO: Former chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) has said "an Iran-like revolution" is
possible in the country if President Pervez Musharraf does
not step down immediately.

"If Musharraf does not step down. We may have to think
(about forcibly removing him) because, after all, the
country is more important," former ISI Chief Hamid Gul has
said in an interview to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We don't want the army and people to be clashing on the
streets. That would be a disaster - a civil war or if we
are lucky a revolution, something like the Iranian
revolution (against the Shah in 1979)," he said.

"Pakistan was ripe for such possibilities. As a trained
military man, one is obliged to think of these
possibilities. And one is obliged to act as well," Gul was
quoted as saying by Pakistan International Network.

Asked whether this meant his advocating a coup against
Musharraf, he evasively said: "No, we are the
ex-servicemen, not the serving men. I am saying to link
arms with civil society - with the lawyers, the students.
If we join them, it will have greater pressure on Pervez
Musharraf to get out of office."

"Musharraf is the only impediment. If he goes, the
judiciary can be restored to its original place. This will
bring instant relief to people - the relief is a
psychological phenomenon," the former ISI chief said.

"I hope Musharraf does pay heed to our advice and steps
down. This will be good for him, the army and the nation.
Everything else will fall in place."

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