The General's Power Play

One of the cardinal rules of battle is to capture the high ground and blast away at the enemy below. Perhaps remembering his days as an army commando, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan is employing the same tactic on his country's politicians. On Aug. 21, he clamped 29 new amendments onto Pakistan's Constitution— legal alterations that his critics say are designed to make his lofty position unassailable.

Among the new laws of the land is one ensuring that Musharraf, who toppled the civilian government in a 1999 military coup, will rule for another five years. Another amendment sets up a National Security...

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