28 February, 2021

Bush And His Buddy

Musharraf uses his US visit to full advantage, playing to the media and to the gallery

Bush And His Buddy
Did General Pervez Musharraf pull off another coup? Trying to be "with it", and basking in the sunshine of both Camp David and the new relationship, he walked in step with US President George Bush, open collar and all. He thanked Bush not once but twice for the "special gesture", flagging it in bold letters in case anyone missed the fact that he was the first South Asian leader to be invited on a weekday to the weekend retreat.

But it wasn't the symbolism that mattered. It was the substance. In the end, he walked away with a $3 billion economic and military package, a trade and investment agreement and a science and technology exchange after weaving a web of enticement around the Americans. There were no F-16s but there was plenty of other compensation—an additional $75 million in private sector lending to Pakistan will now be guaranteed by opic or the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Then a five-year "trade capacity-building programme" will be launched by the US department of commerce to help Pakistan grow.

The general's larger aim was to "broaden and...

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