Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bhutto assassination and Pakistan

The recent events in Pakistan with the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto is troubling and has potential huge ramifications for world peace. Whatever her faults, and she had many, she was probably the best hope for Pakistan given its tumultuous history and current instability. Her death has left a huge void in the country and it will be very difficult for a figure to emerge that can bring some kind of stability to the country.

Since 911, Pakistan has been at the front line of the fight against terrorism. Given its position within this region and with it also being a nuclear power, any instability in the country could have very long-term consequences. Indeed, whilst Musharraf recent actions are regrettable, at least he recognises the issues that the country faces in the war against Al-Qaeda and similar extremists. He's certainly better then many of the alternatives - even if many of his recent actions including the sacking of supreme court justice was disgraceful.

If Pakistan was to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists; the consequences could are unimaginable - a war with India, a haven for extremists and of course possession of nuclear weapons. Any problems the west may have with Iran would pale into insignificance if Pakistan descends into chaos.

2008 will be a pivotal year for Pakistan - what happens in that country has ramifications throughout the world. Benazir Bhutto death is a tragedy for Pakistan and dealing with its aftermath will be a challenge given the politics of the region.


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