Analysis by Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON, 19 Aug (IPS) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation Monday brings to an end an extraordinarily close relationship between Musharraf and the George W. Bush administration, in which Musharraf was lavished with political and economic benefits from the United States despite policies that were in sharp conflict with U.S. security interests.
It is well known that Bush repeatedly praised Musharraf as the most loyal ally of the United States against terrorism, even though the Pakistani military was deeply compromised by its relationship with the Taliban and Pakistani Islamic militants.
What has not been reported is that the Bush administration covered up the Musharraf regime's involvement in the activities of the A. Q. Khan nuclear technology export programme and its deals with al Qaeda's Pakistani tribal allies.
The problem faced by the Bush administration when it came into office was that the Pakistani military, over which Musharraf presided, was the real terrorist nexus with the Taliban and al Qaeda. As Bruce Riedel, National Security Council (NSC) senior director for South Asia in the Bill Clinton administration, who stayed on the NSC staff under the Bush administration, observed in an interview with this writer last September, al Qaeda 'was a creation of the jihadist culture of the Pakistani army'.