A False Choice for Pakistan

[Washington Post] Benazir Bhutto - The arrest of Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, a top Taliban strategist, by Pakistani authorities last month, right on the heels of American and British pleas for renewed toughness, is too convenient. Akhund was arrested solely to keep Western governments at bay. For too long, the international perception has been that Musharraf's regime is the only thing standing between the West and nuclear-armed fundamentalists. Nothing could be further from the truth. Islamic parties have never garnered more than 13% in any free parliamentary elections in Pakistan. Why is it that all terrorist plots - from the Sept. 11 attacks, to Madrid, to London, to Mumbai - seem to have roots in Islamabad? Restoring democracy through free, fair, transparent and internationally supervised elections is the only way to return Pakistan to civilization and marginalize the extremists. A democratic Pakistan, free from the yoke of military dictatorship, would cease to be a breeding ground for international terrorism. The writer served as prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996. She lives in exile in Dubai.

2007-03-13 01:00:00

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