Musharraf Changes Clothes
Islamabad, Pakistan - General Musharraf, also known as President Musharraf, is changing his clothes this week. The uniform and snappy hat, the manifold dazzling medals, the boots and colorful sash will be discarded in favor of a well-tailored suit, sober shoes and a tasteful but dull tie. This fashion switch is due to a change in Musharraf's title later this week as he relinquishes command of the armed forces to take command of the government.
It is rumored that immediately upon assuming his role as president, Musharraf will implement a presidential order awarding civilian medals to all government employees. These civilian medals will be worn on business suit lapels. Government officials with higher positions will be authorized cummerbunds, with certain extremely high officials also qualifying for boutonnieres. The office of the president will be entitled to wear full lapel medals, a cummerbund in the Pakistani national colors, a matching boutonniere, a coordinating silk pocket handkerchief, leather gloves, felt hat with feather and patent leather shoes with spats. The ivory-handled walking stick is optional and used at the president's discretion.
It is still unclear in exactly what way Musharraf's role will change once he assumes his presidential duties. As head of the military he imposed martial law, arrested political opponents, banned media coverage, jailed judges and controlled the military. As head of the government he will appoint the heads of the military, be able to fire the civilian government at will, appoint judges and decide when, or if, elections are to be held.
While it might be difficult for outsiders to understand how Musharraf's influence in Pakistan will vary with his new office, Pakistanis seem very clear on the situation. As Ali Ali Ahksenfree, exiled opposition leader, said yesterday, "Musharraf is changing his title and Musharraf is changing his clothes; that doesn't mean he's changing his spots."
Written for Assimilated Press by roving reporter pinko