Sunday 23 April 2017

How West lost chance to win over Pakistan

Pakistan's chief justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is pursuing the civilian government over allegations of corruption. Photo Getty Images
Pakistan's chief justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry is pursuing the civilian government over allegations of corruption. Photo Getty Images

Robert Fisk

THREE years ago, Pakistan's dethroned chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was portrayed in the American press as a nationalist firebrand, intent on destroying the Washington-friendly Dictator-General-President Pervez Musharraf.

And today -- a year after he was restored to his Supreme Court post -- Mr Chaudhry is being condemned by some as a closet fundamentalist, a pseudo-Taliban member anxious to overthrow his country's dodgy democracy.

Mr Chaudhry once again became the most prominent man in Pakistan this week when he pursued the civilian government of Asif Ali Zardari over allegations of corruption. As a result of his threats, officials in Islamabad took the surprising step yesterday of asking the Swiss authorities to reopen a series of old money-laundering allegations against Mr Zardari, a move which opens the prospect of the sitting president facing a criminal investigation.

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