Tough-talking US Envoy, John Negroponte flew to Pakistan with an equally tough message for "Bad-boy turned good-guy turned bad-boy", Pervez Musharraf: End Emergency rule or risk losing US support.
After dismissing the envoy's remarks as displaying an ignorance of the 'ground realities', and issuing his own knee-jerk, tough reply that - "Nobody can dictate to us", the General appears to have had a change of heart and made some concessions.
Political analysts in both countries assessed his remarks, concluding Musharraf had indeed found himself between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
Pushing ahead with his plans for 'fair and transparent parliamentary elections' in early January 2008, Musharraf, wearing mufti, appeared on (newly-restored) state tv and conducted a 5-minute ramble in which General Musharraf interviewed himself President Musharraf on who was the 'real problem':
Prez Mush: You Sir!
Gen Mush: I Sir?
Prez Mush: Yes Sir!
Gen Mush: No Sir
Prez Mush: Then who Sir?
Gen Mush: They Sir
Prez Mush: You mean you Sir?
Gen Mush: Yes Sir!!
and denying that he was "neither mad, nor Dr. Jekyll nor Mr. Hyde", he made this startling declaration:
"Being a man of democratic credentials, I am keeping my word on running fair and transparent elections without army-control. All previous political parties have been dissolved and will now run under one name: The PML (G) or Pervez Musharraf League (G for General).
We expect to poll 150% of the vote. This will allow me to be Army Chief, President and Prime Minister. I do this in the name of saving Pakistan. Long Live Me - Musharraf Zindabad!"
When asked if there was a role for Ms. Bhutto in this new govt, one of his multiple personalities took over saying " I have for a long time been thinking of taking a confrontational second wife. I need some excitement in my otherwise boring life".
"So, if she is prepared to 'play by my rules', BB can become my baby", he said with a naughty smirk".