US Seeks 'Plan B' in Pakistan

American officials cast around for a new leader should Musharraf totter
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2007 4:08 AM CST
Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto pays her respects at the Allama Iqbar shrine in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Nov. 12, 2007. As Pakistan's crisis deepens there are signs the US is losing faith in Gen Pervez...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf continues to crack down on opponents, the US is losing faith in his ability to survive, the New York Times reports. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will meet with Musharraf tomorrow in an effort to help calm the situation, but administration officials are already looking for a Plan B. That could mean another general or a fragile alliance between former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the military.   

The White House fears the political crisis is distracting Pakistan's army from fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the rugged mountains bordering Afghanistan. “They don’t want to encourage another military coup, but they are also beginning to understand that Musharraf has become part of the problem,” said one former US official.