Monday, November 5, 2007

Pakistan On the Brink

It seems Musharraf has shown his true colors.

Musharraf has suspended the constitution, declared a state of emergency, and arrested his political opposition. Now, with no functioning supreme court, his recent electoral victory is unable to be confirmed, and former Prime Minister Bhutto's party has had its legs cut out. The optimism Pakistan seemed to have for the Musharraf-Bhutto power-sharing plan may collapse.

What next, then? Will parliamentary elections be pushed back? Does Musharraf plan for them to happen at all? His allies in the military make him strong enough to possibly keep his hold over the country indefinitely. But without allies among the populace, he won't be able to defeat the growing Islamic Extremism in his country, as he is promising to do.

And should this crisis not be averted, should the United States look to finding a new ally in Pakistan? The United States supported many brutal, doomed dictators during the Cold War to try and push back Communism-- are we doomed to repeat that mistake in the war on Al Qaeda?

Most importantly for the US, Pakistan's stability is at grave risk. If Musharraf does not soon bring Pakistan back from the brink, his loyal military forces may be so busy keeping average citizens at bay that they will not be able to keep the growing Al Qaeda influence in check.