Corridors of Power: Musharraf, the Queen and Blair

Editor's Note: Corridors of Power is written by WPR Editor-at-large Roland Flamini and appears every Monday in World Politics Review.

MUSHARRAF GOING? -- (See last week's Corridors for a related item.) While some knowledgeable expatriate Afghans believe President Hamid Karzai may be on the way out, there are now indications that the thinking in Kabul and New Delhi is that it should be Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf who goes. Some Washington sources are wondering whether the continued violent demonstrations against the recent dismissal of the Pakistani chief justice should be seen in this context.

Karzai's government has developed close ties with India -- in itself a growing concern for the Pakistanis. A usually well-informed Washington source said this week the Indian-Afghan argument is based on the assumption that should Musharraf be forced out, he will be replaced by another general who will tighten the army's grip on the country -- and block cross-border operations by Taliban fighters nesting in Pakistan's north-west frontier. The Afghans believe that Musharraf has permitted lax border controls because of his deep dislike for Karzai.

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