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Thursday, March 22, 2007

# Posted 1:54 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

HOPE FOR PAKISTAN? OR JUST ANOTHER CRISIS? Ahmed Rashid suggests that Musharraf's time has come.

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Comments:
The $64,000 question, which the author does not really address, is what kind of government would come out of "free" elections in Pakistan?
 
The Economist has been busy with several interesting articles on Pakistan's military leader:

http://economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RRSJJJP
http://economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RRGTQSD
 
Rashid argues that the best counter to religious extremism is not, as we hear so often now, 'strong' or authoritarian government, but rather democracy and civil society. It's an interesting argument, but given what appears to be the growing strength of religious groups in Pakistan, I wonder if parliamentary politics would give such groups heightened power. Mullahs with nukes?
 
What sort of madness is it to extend military aid to people like Musharraf and Mubarak? Has that aid ever helped Americans, Pakistanis, or Egyptians? If all it does is help keep unpopular, nominally pro-American autocrats in power, it's not worth it.
 
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