Monday, November 05, 2007


Alex Tolley

"And the stakes are just as high this time around."

Unfortunately the desirability of the outcome depends on who you are. For Pakistanis, overthrowing the coup and getting their democracy back, such as it is, should be important. Musharref has been very canny with his deals to stay in power, but he quickly reverted to authoritarianism when his hold on power was threatened by the judges.

The US has been a strong supporter of Musharref, believing he was an ally in the "war on terror". The US has essentially given Pakistan a free pass on the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology, while we are prepared to fight a war in Iran to stop them from even acquiring the rudiments of this technology. In effect we are yet again supporting a dictator who we think, probably wrongly, is a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism. A pattern that we have tried and failed before during the cold war and our misplaced zeal to contain communism.

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