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International | Government & Elections

Musharraf…From General To Mr
by IOL (reposted)
Thursday Nov 29th, 2007 8:12 AM
ISLAMABAD — Pervez Musharraf took the oath on Thursday, November 29, as a civilian president for a second five-year term a day after shedding his military uniform, with analysts expecting his woes to worsen.
"There had been only and solely Musharraf in the country during the last 8 years," Dr Jabbar Khattak, a Karachi-based political analyst, told IslamOnline.net.

"But now you will see there will be two partners, he and General Ashfaq Kayani. And after elections, if there is a political prime minister, then there will be three partners to share the powers."

Wearing a traditional sherwani tunic, Musharraf was sworn in by his hand-picked new chief justice at a ceremony in the presidency in Islamabad.

He immediately reached out to old political rivals former premiers Nawaz Sharif sand Benazir Bhutto.

"I personally feel this is good for the political reconciliation I have spoken of."

Sharif told reporters Musharraf's oath of office had no legitimacy or legal basis.

"The actions taken on Nov. 3 are unacceptable to us. We condemn them and want them to be rolled back," he said referring to the declaration of emergency, suspension of the constitution and sacking of supreme and high court judges.

An emotional Musharraf shed on Wednesday, November 28, his "second skin" reluctantly stepping down as army chief after nine years of holding the top military post in nuclear Pakistan.

In a moment many Pakistanis thought they would never see, he handed over the baton of command to his hand-picked heir General Kayani at a farewell parade.

Musharraf, 64, seized power in a 1999 coup after toppling the elected government of Sharif.

He has been under an immense domestic and international pressure to dodge his military uniform which he once described his uniform as his second skin.

Weakened

Many analysts believe Musharraf's power and influence in nuclear-armed Pakistan would diminish now that he has relinquished command of the army.

Dr Khattak contends that if the ongoing movement for the restoration of democracy gets stronger, Musharraf's woes will worsen.

"If the new army chief puts his weight in favor of the movement, Musharraf
will be in deep trouble."

Kamal Hyder, an Islamabad-based defense and political analyst, believes Musharraf faces hard times.

"This is a testing time for him how to deal with the politicians as a politician," he told IOL.

"He will soon come to know what is the power of army uniform."

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