NEW DELHI, July 29 (NNN-PTI) — There has been no “major dent” in Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s influence as he has managed to “rectify” the situation by accepting “with grace” the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikar M Chaudhary, says National Security Adviser (NSA) M K Narayanan.
Narayanan also said in an interview to Karan Thapar’s India Tonight programme for CNBC that the “worst is over” for Musharraf as he has won international acclaim for his handling of the Lal Masjid crisis. The NSA did not expect any “major upheaval to happen” in Pakistan.
“Hardly any of the clerics have backed the Lal Masjid duo. Even the jehadis, except for a small fringe, have not come out (against Musharraf). To that extent President Musharraf can sit back and feel the worst is over … I think the terror is a threat to personalities but I don’t know whether it is a threat to the regime,” he said.
Describing Musharraf as a “credible interlocutor”, Narayanan said there were no doubts on this count that the Pakistani leader remains the man India can do business with.
“I personally don’t think that there has been a major dent in President Musharraf’s influence,” Narayanan said candidly when his assessment was sought on the Pakistani leader’s hold on power in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict, the Lal Masjid crisis, a spate of terrorist attacks and moves by opposition parties to come together.