Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pakistan Out of Balance

Pervez Musharraf recently defied requestsfrom the Bush administration to promote more democracy in the country. Musharraf declared a state of emergency in his Pakistan, arrested about 500 protesting activist and fired the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Musharrafrecently won reelection in his country but the Supreme Court will review it. He has also jailed opposition party leader and the opposition candidate, Benazir Bhutto, could stand to be arrested Pervez Musharraf, leader of Pakistan and a close ally of the US in the “war on terror” herself if she leads protests to resist. Bhutto is the former Pakistani prime minister whom the Bush administration hoped would restore order. (Musharraf pictured right)
I searched out blogs to see what others were saying about Musharraf and the situation. Basically I believe Musharraf represents continual mistakes in how the US conducts foreign policy, that is giving support ( Pakistan gets about $10 billion, just third behind Iraq and Israel) to dictatorships that serve short term interests. The same is true of the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein. Setting up a democracy should not mean propping up a puppet government. The US always seems to pay for it in the end.
I posted on two blogs, a “moderate” political blog called Obsidian Wingsand Sepia Mutiny, a blog that focuses on South Asia.

Comment 1
While I agree that the a democratically weak state benefits no one, I believe that is what the US already has in Pakistan. The overall problem is US credibility. The US cannot claim to support democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq while denying it in Pakistan. In fact Musharraf seems to be fueling more violence and radicalizing Islamists more than he is stopping it. News reports show the insurgency is gaining strength along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Unfortunately this situation is bad no matter what happens, but I believe if Musharraf remains in power the politics will grow more extreme and anti-Western. That is the last thing the US needs, a radicalized nation in possession of a nuclear weapon. (protesters burn effigy of Musharraf pictured left)

Comment 2
Great post with a lot of information. You are right Musharraf is an American puppet and from the looks of it so is Benazir Bhutto. The former prime minister returned to Pakistan at the behest of the Americans and British more so than the Pakistanis. And as noted by Imran Kahnof the Telegraph, Bhutto already supports Musharraf and his policies. Bhutto is alienating the government from the people the way Musharraf is. An article from the Pakistani newspaper states “ To implement its agenda America needs someone who would allow it to attack our tribal areas and control our nuclear assets. It marketed the idea that Benazir was the icon of moderation best equipped to take on the extremists.” The US needs to stop continually propping up corrupt or inefficient dictators who serve short-term interests. Otherwise we will continually have to deal with the aftermath such as Saddam or the Islamic Revolution in Iran following the removal of the Shah.
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