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Well, good morning, everyone, and thank you for coming to this event today, which focuses on the Pakistani army, but especially in the context of PakistanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s domestic politics, in particular, the elections that are literally around the corner. I must congratulate all of you for having made it through what appears to be terribly inclement weather and I am certain the panel will repay your troubles quite abundantly because of the expertise that is really present at the table this morning. We have two very distinguished speakers. Shuja Nawaz, who started his career as a journalist and has focused quite extensively on both the developmental issues as well as military issues and is actually the author of a forthcoming book, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCross Sword,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ that looks particularly at the Pakistani army and the challenges facing the Pakistani state. I am going to ask Shuja to start off the morningÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s events with the presentation and he will be followed by Ayesha Siddiqa, an old friend of mine whom I have known now for many, many years who, as you all know, is a very distinguished student of the Pakistani military. She did her first book, actually, on Pakistani arms procurement in the context of its national strategy and has very recently published a second book which has turned out to be, in the best sense of the word, controversial because she looks at the Pakistan militaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s economic interests in Pakistani society. So there is, without any doubt, you have two individuals here with us who can speak with authority on the challenges facing Pakistan today. And the subject that we are going to explore this morning is the changes that are taking place within Pakistan, particularly in its political fortunes, and the role that we expect the Pakistani military to play. For those of you who follow Pakistan, you know clearly that the military is probably the most important institution in Pakistani society because it has been the most organized institution, the most stable institution for many years. And that is both a source of strength and weakness. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a source of strength because it holds the country together in uncertain times and makes the military a particularly attractive partner for foreign nations, especially the United States. But itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also a source of weakness because an overly strong military can, in a sense, choke out civilian institutions that require space to flourish. And we are at a moment in PakistanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s history where the Pakistan military really has to make some fundamental choices about its own role in the state and its willingness to allow the state to, in a sense, function as we expect modern states to. The jury is still out on whether the Pakistan military will, in a sense, choose what the international community expects of it. But those are the issues that we will explore in some detail this morning. So let me first welcome both the panelists here to the Carnegie Endowment. Welcome, all of you, again. And without further ado, I will turn the podium onto Shuja. Thank you. Thank you, Ashley. I know itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a very hazardous occupation to make any predictions about elections, particularly in Pakistan, but we are five days short of the elections in an electoral season thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been marked by turmoil and violence. And thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been a rising trajectory of terrorist violence against both civilian targets and, more recently, against the Pakistan army. And, as a result, uncertainty prevails. There are fears that the elections will be marred by violence and rigging and that the electorate will stay away and that the turnout could be even lower than in previous elections and that the pre-rigging may produce one of two broad outcomes. This is the pre-rigging: One, win for the Pakistan Muslim League (Q), the so-called KingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s party that was favoring President Pervez Musharraf and was his partner all of these years and, two, a hung parliament in which no single party has a large enough block of seats to be able to form a viable government. This would give the president free reign for political engineering. The charges of pre-rigging are based on the presence of nazims or district administrators who are already in place and who were elected earlier and who largely support the government and its favorite party. Further, it is alleged that the election returning officers, who are appointed by the judiciary, which has been tamed following the replacement of judges who were seen to be against Musharraf. And this occurred after the so-called second coupe of President Musharraf in November 2007. A recent report from PILDAT, which is the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, based on visits to two key districts in the Punjab, seems to bolster these fears. While the mechanism for rigging are many, a major one that involves changes in the counts from the time an election is concluded at a polling station and the results are announced centrally by the election commission, appears to have been removed. Under new rules, the results will now be announced when they are counted locally and not after a delay. But other means are still available to stuff the ballots or, for female voters, to vote at different stations using borrowed ID cards that do not carry the photographs of the person to whom they have been issued. Now, where does the army fit into this scenario? First, despite some confusion emanating from comments by different government officials, the Pakistan army is not helping conduct these elections. The new army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has announced unequivocally that the army will not be undertaking any of the election-day functions that are properly the role of the civil administration and the judiciary. The key element here ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ but the key point is that, if asked, and the army has been requisitioned for this purpose by provincial authorities, the army will help in maintaining law and order during the election process. So the country has been divided into critical areas and non-critical areas. And, in the critical areas, as of today, large numbers of the military, the rangers and police force, have been deployed to ensure that there is no violence or no untoward incidents. A key issue here is whether the armyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s presence in these areas is seen or is presented by some as affecting the voters to go one way or the other. Again, the army chief has clarified that the army will not involve itself in politics and has even imposed a ban on military officers meeting politicians including the president who, having now retired from the army, is seen as a civilian. But there are always underlying fears that the armyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s influence will be felt at the ballot box. And various parties and candidates have attempted to show their alliance with the army and the men in khaki by one way or the other. And what means that their disposal is to bring on board into their parties retired, senior military officers so that they can be seen as having some kind of a link to the army and to GHQ. Even the opposition, Pakistan Peoples Party, very proudly announced the fact that General Tokir Ziar was one of the inner circle of President Musharraf when he took over in 1999, has joined the Pakistan Peoples Party. And, if you read Prime Minister Benazir BhuttoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s posthumously released book ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œReconciliation,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ she mentions that the former vice chief of army staff, General Ahsan Saleem Hayat, who was the predecessor of General Kayani in that post, was apparently in charge of security for her procession when it left the airport on her arrival in Karachi. And she was taken away in his car to Bilabel House. And she mentions that he was wounded. So there are these subtle alliances that are used for optics. And then, of course, there are the memories of history of the militaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s involvement. And itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s probably worth recounting briefly some of these because, frequently, in the past governments, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve used the military or the inter-services intelligence to help monitor or to affect the results of elections and even to set up opposition parties to the governments or impending governments of persons whom they considered less than desirable. And this was done either directly or through surrogates. So in the 1970 polls conducted under the martial law regime of General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, which is considered by many among the freest in the history of Pakistan. According to the head of the inter-services public relations director at Brigadier Sadiki, a member of President YahyaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s inner circle, General Omar, was doling out funds to the Pium Muslim League. The idea was that they were hoping for a hung parliament so that neither the Peoples Party of Bhutto or the Awami League of Sheikh Mujib would gain a huge majority. The subsequent Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report on the 1971 war confirmed this. In 1988, after the death of General Zia ul Haq, the opposition alliance, the Islami Jamhouri Ittehad or the IJI, was formed by the intelligence chief, General Hamid Gul with assistance from various individuals including senior journalists who favored Nawaz Sharif. And they were under the instructions of the army chief, General Mirza Aslam Beg, at that time to do this work. The aim was to block the Peoples Party victory, but they failed to do so, but, in the process, created an alliance that managed to hold the Punjab and, as a result, prevented Bhutto from ruling effectively at the center. In the 1993 polls, the results were reportedly filtered through headquarters under the election commission, the army headquarters, that is, under an election cell that was said to be headed by ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ General Faruq, the chief of general staff. This time, the army wanted the People's Party to win, but it also wished to have certain powerful individuals in the opposition to keep a check on the People's Party. And then, in the 2002 polls, according to a member of the inner circle of the current ruling establishment, there was a hands-on involvement via the armyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nine core commanders first in the preceding 2001 local-bodies elections, which was really selections, where they helped identify the individuals who would become the district nazims or administrators and then, later, through the intelligence services in the actual election of 2002. It is alleged that the army intelligence played a role in the selection of candidates and then, post-poll, in changing some of the results overnight between the ending of the polling and the announcement of the results. And so you had a number of key individuals who went to bed thinking they had lost the election woke up and were congratulated because, suddenly, they had won. In addition, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been a kind of tradition or what in Pakistani politics could be called a normal role of the army in politics. This is what people have sort of come to expect. And in 1977, for example, then prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, used the intelligence agencies, including the ISI, to liaise with his election cell directly and to provide assessments and reports on the election prospects. In 1990, also there was an election cell set up under the president, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, and headed by a retired general, Sayid Refakit, his chief of staff whose aim was to monitor and to try and affect the results of the election. In 1997, there was again indirect involvement with a view to helping Nawaz Sharif win. But from all of the counts, based on the statements made by the army chief, the army is not going to be involved in any of these activities this time. If the president wishes to use his direct access to the ISI to obtain its assessment, especially since the ISI head is his own appointee, a person whom he appointed just before he took off his uniform as army chief, then thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not much that General Kayani will be able to do to stop that. But it appears highly unlikely that the army chief will countenance the involvement of the ISI and especially of the military intelligence which comes directly under him. Even the person who heads military intelligence at army headquarters is an appointee of General Musharraf, again, just before he left office as chief of army staff and was reportedly a relative of General Musharraf. So then what should we expect after the elections? Pakistan, I would say, still remains in a deep crisis with a huge cloud of terror hanging over it. Its politics are bitterly divided and filled with threats of retribution. The unsolved assassination of Prime Minister Bhutto looms large over this political landscape. The distrust of the government pervades public discourse and political statements. And whatever the results, there will be suspicions that the presidency and the so-called establishment will try to affect the outcomes. Therefore, the possibility of greater tumult remains. Politically, I offer some brief scenarios. First, the KingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Party, the PML(Q) uses its local ties and links to the caretaker government to win big in the Punjab and garners enough support in other provinces or makes alliances with groups such as the Muttahida Qaumi, known as the MQM, and even the of Malana Fuzlidramad at the center and perhaps in the provinces. Given no other options, the only course of action then for the Pakistan Muslim League (N) of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the People's Party would then be to come out into the streets. A compliant judiciary under MusharrafÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s chosen justices and extraordinary controls over the mass media through the electronic media in particular through PEMRA would offer little choice of non-disruptive challenges or public protests to the aggrieved parties. The second option or possibility ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the People's Party wins big in Sindh, carries a sizeable number of seats in the Punjab that allows it to form a government at the center and in Sindh and possibly in Punjab with a coalition involving, among others, the PML Nawaz Sharif. And if yesterdayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s meeting of Asif Zadari and Nawaz Sharif is any indication, they are already talking in terms of some kind of a loose alliance. It must be understood that whatever alliance takes place will probably be short lived because there are very different goals and aspirations of these two parties. In this scenario, it is highly unlikely that the KingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Party, the PML(Q) will take to the streets. It may not have the wherewithal to do it, but then ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and this is key ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it would use its current hold over the senate, which doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t come up for elections until next year, 2009, when half of the senate will be reelected. It will use that in order to prevent the central government of either the People's Party or the coalition involving the People's Party from being effective at the center because it wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be able to pass legislation. This has happened once before when Prime Minister Bhutto was the prime minister and the opposition, IJI, controlled the senate and she was totally stymied. Another possibility is that the PML(N) carries a large enough segment of the Punjab and, through its own base and through last-minute massive defections, which is something that is not unheard of in Pakistani politics, and it forms a government in the Punjab. It could then play a very key role in blocking any legislative actions or operations of the central government, the Punjab being the largest and the most powerful province. Another option is that no party wins a big enough share in the center and so, in effect, you have a hung parliament. And as I said earlier, this would allow President Musharraf a grand opportunity to engineer a government to his likings and that the parties that failed to benefit from his largesse would then have no option either of going along or cutting out onto the streets. And then, finally, there is the option under which the PML(N) and the People's Party win large enough votes in the provinces and the center and form a coalition of convenience in Islamabad and then cobble together a coalition with others to get a two-thirds majority which would then allow them to go into direct confrontation with President Musharraf and up-end many of his so-called extra-constitutional measures that he has put in place. And in that is a major demand of the PML(N) in which Nawaz Sharif has been very consistent in saying that, no matter what, he will seek to restore the judiciary. The People's Party has been hedging on that issue, but I am sure that if they got an opportunity, that that is one possibility, that they would immediately win back the judiciary and allow the judiciary to rule on all the debatable issues including the imposition of the state of emergency by General Musharraf ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ then-general Musharraf ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in his role as the chief of army staff because the constitution of Pakistan does not have any such provision allowing the chief of army staff to impose a state of emergency. Now, where would the army come out into these scenarios? None of the current parties, in my view, can be seen by the army as being extremist enough to warrant any direct or indirect intervention. Despite their rhetoric, all of the parties will want to settle their differences with the army in order to craft a stable base for themselves. After all, if itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not the Q, all of the other parties have been out of power for some time and they need to reestablish their links and reestablish their ability to buy support in the provinces and at the local-administrator level. Even the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz may want to take a breather before it contemplates making any attempts to bring the army under heady civilian control or to bring the president back into the orbit of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢73 constitution where parliament has the upper hand. However, the use of large in-street demonstrations to protest blatant rigging may force the government to bring the army out in aid of civil power. And when that happens, especially if it involves the use of the military in the streets of the Punjab, the outcomes are highly unpredictable. Recall that in 1977, three brigadiers posted in Lahore refused to send out their troops to quell the disturbances that were led by the Islamic groups in the streets and that were ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that comprised of women and children, in particular. And, as a result, those three brigadiers were fired and the army became very deeply involved. And within a matter of months, there was a coup against President Bhutto. If things get out of hand again, the army may well be forced to push for a change. But the new army chief is constrained because, as I said earlier, General Musharraf has the chief of army staff and before he took his uniform had made all of his senior appointments including the key intelligence heads. And the new army chief has yet to make changes at the highest level of the corps commanders of the new regional commanders. Even the core in Lahore is headed by a former military secretary of General Musharraf. And so until that point when General Kayani can make his own appointments, he is not going to be able to be in a position where he can feel confident about any move against President Musharraf. Another possibility does exist. During and after the elections, if the terrorist network continue and intensity their attacks on the army directly and use it as a surrogate target for hitting President Musharraf then thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a possibility that the army rank and file will feel that it is being targeted because of the lightning rod that President Musharraf offers. And their unhappiness with the current president will bubble up through the ranks. And the army does have weekly durbars where, at the regiment level, the soldiers and the JCOs and the NCOs talk about what concerns then, feeds up through the brigade and div and corps headquarters to the army headquarters. And if this disaffection with the president continues, there is a possibility that the army may want to distance itself from him. Today ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m sure Ayesha will dwell at this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the army sees itself as a corporate entity. It protects its own interests and if it sees any individual or any group threatening that entity, it will cut its losses and distance itself. President Musharraf knows this and he will do his best to forestall such a situation. He also knows that he does not have direct command of the army. And it is conceivable that he would depart quietly if the corps commanders through the army chief said that it was time for him to go. And what after that? In my view, and now IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m getting into the dangerous ground of predicting, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think that the mood within the Pakistan army today, especially among the rank and file is for direct rule. There is tremendous unhappiness with the fact that the army is the target of public outrage and terrorist attacks. It reminds me of the situation in the waning days of General Zial ul Haq when army officers voluntarily refused to go out into the public in uniform because they did not feel that they were getting the respect that they deserved. In fact, they were getting abuse. Today, of course, army officers are under orders not to go out in uniform in civilian areas to avoid that kind of a situation. And so, in my view, at best, the army, if it does intervene in forcing a change in the presidency, would want to revert to a reelection or a caretaker government to give a respite to the political system so that it can recover its stability. But history tells us that circumstances change and they change the man thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s at the center. And if the threats are seen to be big and entrenched, even General Kayani may feel that he has to take direct control. Given the stunting of democratic institutions that Ashley referred to in his opening comments, as a result of prolonged military and quasi-military rule in Pakistan, the army may then feel itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the only institution that has the wherewithal to stop the RAW. For now, it appears that the elections presage more turmoil and internal conflict. And only after another possible election, maybe in 2009, will Pakistan be able to regain its footing. For its own sake and for the sake of peace in the region, I hope it succeeds in that endeavor. But the battle against the internal foes will sap the energies and weaken the ability of the army to resolve issues that are, at heart, political and social and economic. Only the noise of democracy and the consent of the people to be governed in a particular fashion can help Pakistan retain its unity and solidarity as a federation. In brief, Pakistan in 2008 will likely remain in turmoil and upheaval. Amidst all of this, the army is trying to restore its professional balance. The recent statements from army headquarters all go well for a return to professional pursuits, but much remains for the army to reform itself and its relationship with the polity and economic of Pakistan. If General Kayani can keep the army out of politics, he may well be able to effect or to facilitate other changes that would restore balance to the civil-military relationship. Otherwise, it will be dÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©jÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â vu all over again. Thank you. Thank you, Shuja, for that truly comprehensive and yet sobering assessment of where Pakistan stands. Why donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t I invite Ayesha to take the floor and continue? Right. Shuja, I really thank you for this excellent presentation. It made at least my job very easy. Now I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to kind of spend time on the details. Shuja was talking about, he mentioned the possibility of election rigging. One of the very interesting things which has happened two days ago or maybe yesterday is that government has disallowed the media to announce election results on a piecemeal basis and that is where the threat of the ghost of polling stations comes in. If the media ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ because if you remember what Shuja was talking about, he mentioned that, you know, some of the candidates, they thought they had lost elections, but, next morning, they were woken up and congratulated. And how does that happen? That happens through ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ by the presence of ghost schools. You know, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a very sophisticated operation. The operation, not that, you know, and necessarily stuff votes in the ballot box. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a much more sophisticated operation. And there is evidence that the government has begun to move towards that. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very interesting to comment on Pakistan elections and what the military will do. And before I make those comments, let me say that itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very interesting to see the two dominant perceptions of the moment. And the dominant perceptions, especially after Benazir BhuttoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death, is that yes, PPP will win and that the government will try to stall it. And I think these two perceptions need to be analyzed much more critically as well, especially from the perspective of pre-poll rigging because what had happened immediately after Benazir BhuttoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death, a lot of excitement, people getting very nervous, people getting very unhappy in parts of Punjab. People are still unhappy. You have, I mean, south Punjab, which is considered critical in kind of deciding where will elections go in Punjab in particular. South Punjab is critical, PPP or PML(Q) There, you have constituencies where people are very unhappy with Benazir BhuttoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death, extremely unhappy with Musharraf, but will vote for the Q candidate because that is the patron that they have seen. And that is the patron they believe are going to deliver them the goods at the end of the day. So one needs to bring in a much more sophisticated debate of what the election ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I mean, if you were to assume that the elections were free and fair, what would happen? Let me now start with what the army will do, what will General Kayani do? In the past one month, I have seen ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sat through articles after articles, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Washington Post ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ everybody seems to be writing to somebody to do a story on General Kayani. I find it very interesting; I call this the Cinderella syndrome of the West. There has to be that face, that particular face, to change things in Pakistan, you know, the knight in shining armor. Once upon a time, that knight in shining armor used to be General Pervez Musharraf; now it is General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. But I think the question that needs to be asked is that what changes would the world want to see? Short term that there is stability or long term that the political process actually takes off? And if the objective is that Pakistan becomes much more normal not just in the short term, but short to long term as well, then the question that one needs to ask is does General Kayani, does our knight in shining armor have all the answers to that problem, because donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t forget he is here for three yearsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ tenure. As a good general, he will retire, and there is no tradition which says that the military after having ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ after even having a series of very professional officers, would not throw up a praetorian ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a predatory general. Look at the history: we had a series, General Asif Nawaz Janjua, Wahid Kakar, Jehangir Karamat, and then finally you have General Musharraf. So the question ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and what is very important as well is that militaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s character has also changed at certain levels very dramatically during MusharrafÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s regime. Yes, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a professional military, but then the expectation of the office again at different levels has also changed. What we do not hear in Washington, for example, is that the anecdotal evidence which kind of trickles in about how even junior officers have begun to behave with the civilians. And you get incidents on a daily basis. Just a couple of days ago, there was this young woman who had an altercation with a naval officer in Islamabad, the capital city. And the naval complex is, well, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s technically a restricted area, but you have what the navy has done, put one of the most lucrative and attractive markets inside the restricted area, opened a private university in the restricted area. So constantly there is a flow of civilians outside the naval complex. So she had an altercation, this young woman, and altercation with a naval officer. And he actually pulled out a gun and pointed a gun at her and her 10-year-old daughter. At one level, you have military officers, younger officers, who have had this sense of empowerment of what they can achieve as a military and as military officers. There is this greater resentment and looking down upon the civilians. So that has become stronger under Musharraf. And the question is, how much of that will Kayani be able to change, considering that heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s here for three years? Two issues here: tactically, firstly what he needs to do is strengthen himself, you know, probably have his own confidantes planted in the GHQ, replace people who were favored by Musharraf so that a confrontation does not start within the army itself. So that takes time. The assessment is that will probably take him six months to a year to kind of be more confident of himself and take on political issues. The other thing, which is more strategic, is that would General Kayani, assuming that there is rigging and something happens, would General Kayani want to do it now, because on the one hand, I mean, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like God between the devil and the deep blue sea. I mean, I do not envy the man at all because on the one hand, there is this expectation from everyone, the West, foreign or domestic, people have begun to again look up at General Kayani, a military general, and say, please, can you make these changes? Can you please intervene on our behalf and drive some sense into General Musharraf? That has happened. But on the other hand, he has a larger problem of improving the militaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s image. The militaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s political involvement has brought it a very bad image, a very bad reputation. And if it intervenes in politics prematurely, any side would start playing around at the image issue. It could be the Q as well. If Q sees that itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s slighted, right, and donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t forget that Q is partnering with General Musharraf. So would he want to intervene in the elections? Of course, the possibility is there, but that possibility depends on the boiling point in the society and in politics. If it becomes too hot, too unbearably hot and everybody is screaming murder and save us, then yes, there would be that logic. But the interesting question is that, is it likely to happen soon after elections or within the six months? Perhaps not. Now, what are the options for General Kayani? I think what one of the best options, the better options, for him right now is to distance himself and the organization from politics and from General Musharraf. Now, when we say distancing ourselves, what does that mean? That basically means that General Musharraf is on his own, which may not necessarily discourage him from planning something hysterical with his new partners, the KingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s party. It may not stop him, but what it means is that he has to probably deal with the consequences; the battle is on. Shuja was talking about scenarios. Very quickly, there could be three possible scenarios: one is clear-cut majority. Definitely what is going to happen, there should be, which is beyond doubt, is there is, you know, we are looking at rigged elections. And if I were to believe the former director general of ISI, General Asad Durrani, there will be massive rigging. Would that, the question is, would that change effectively after Benazir BhuttoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death? TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll have to be a little more careful, but I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s likely to happen. There will still be massive rigging and all the systems have been put in place, I mean, the new set of rules for election observers. For example, election observers have been told that they cannot go and do a random check. They have to inform ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ there are certain polling stations, certain constituencies which are cleared for election observers. A new set of rules have been defined for them. Of course, when you have PML(Q) in the center, two possibilities, either that we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have rigging and we have rigging and there is PLM(Q), which throws Pakistan into another cycle of instability. One is not certain that that government would last a long time. The other possibility is PPP. I would not be comfortable saying that PPP could have that majority. As I said, one needs to be very careful in assessing how does PPP perform in elections. Yes, it has got an advantage, you know, the sympathy vote, but there is also the factor of pre-poll rigging with the government putting pressure on people. You might even have lesser turnout. And in certain constituencies where people understand, where the people are very sensitive and feel that results will probably be pre-decided in many ways, you will have a low turnout. Sindhs, definitely PPP has completed ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and when we way Sindh, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m talking about Sindh rule, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s see how they do in Sindharban because Sindharban, again, has MQM, which are partners of Pervez Musharraf. There are two possibilities here: one is a hung parliament seems to be, still seems to be a more likely option. And the other is post-election violence. And IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like to finish with a thought that there might be ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s definitely a discomfort in the manner in which General Musharraf has played out his politics, but what might further drive friction within the army? Is the manner in which Musharraf would probably choose to use his MQM? There is that; one hears of that discomfort between the MQM and the army. And IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m not trying to say that, you know, make an argument for a Punjab-dominated army kind of a thing, but definitely there is that discomfort and how he has aligned himself with the MQM, with the Muhajirs, the migrant community, and the manner in which he has pushed it around. Although a lot of senior generals at the moment barring General Kayani, who is the army chief, are from the migrant community, but that underlying tension is there. And some people who are keen observers of Pakistani politics and Pakistani military argue that that division might emerge within the army on those ethnic lines. And also, so, you know, there is food for thought there. And that is perhaps one of the core, one of the main, one of the important issues that Kayani might consider when he takes, when he does decide at some point to take any action against Musharraf. But the six months, the coming six months would probably be greater instability and the status quo. And that instability is what makes everybody inside and outside Pakistan very nervous. Thank you.