Pakistan’s Slide into Misery

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2002

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Foreign Affairs

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Late this summer, General Pervez Musharraf-Pakistan's self-appointed president and chief executive-delivered yet another devastating blow to the country's democratic prospects. At an August 21 press conference, Musharraf announced 29 new amendments to the constitution that vastly strengthened the powers of the military and the executive. Among other prerogatives, these amendments gave the president (who will be Musharraf for at least the next five years, thanks to the fraud-ridden "referendum" held in April) the power to dismiss Pakistan's legislature-effectively making all of parliament's actions subject to his approval. Another innovation, the National Security Council, formally institutionalized the already pervasive role of the military in the country's politics.

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“Pakistan’s Slide into Misery” (review essay based on Dennis Kux, The United States and Pakistan, 1947-2000; Mary Anne Weaver, Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan; and Owen Bennett Jones, Pakistan: Eye of the Storm), Foreign Affairs, November/December 2002 (81:6, 153-59)

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