Paranoia has set in, I guess. I read this article and the first thought I had was, “I wonder if Musharraf was being the attempts on his life. After all, it would give him leverage when negotiating with the MMA.” Maybe I’m wrong. I assume I am. But you never know.

Pakistan’s parliament has passed an historic constitutional amendment that gives U.S.-backed President Gen. Pervez Musharraf extraordinary powers in return for a promise that he will quit his army post by the end of next year.

Supporters hailed the legislation Monday as a return to democracy, while opponents staged a walkout and decried the deal as window-dressing on what they say is essentially military rule.

The vote came five days after a surprise deal between Musharraf and a hardline Islamic political bloc, the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, or MMA, which has been highly critical of the U.S. led war in neighboring Afghanistan, and voiced support for that country’s ousted Taliban regime.