Rashid has a column in today's WaPo explaining that Musharraf's targets are not jihadist destabilizing Pakistan, but rather the civil democratic institutions that he believes threaten his hold on power.
Musharraf's chief aim was to "cleanse" the Supreme Court. Its judges have been forced to resign, and several, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, have been arrested. The court, which had become a major irritant for the regime, had been due to rule on whether Musharraf could remain president for another five-year term.
The other prime targets were not the extremists terrorizing major swaths of northern Pakistan but the country's democratic, secular elite. Dozens of judges, lawyers and human rights workers have been arrested. Others have gone into hiding. Asma Jahangir, Pakistan's leading human rights activist, is under house arrest. She appealed yesterday for the Bush administration "to stop all support of the unstable dictator as his lust for power is bringing the country close to a worse form of civil strife."