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Background on Unrest in Pakistan

The August 28 Economist article on whether Musharraf will retire from the military for the remainder of his rule as President, had some interesting comments on continuing instability in Pakistan. The article said, “Despite … protestations of friendship to Harmid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, who was visiting Islamabad this week, there are still suspicions that Pakistan is less than zealous in pursuing remnants of the Taliban on its Afghan borders. Curbing Al-Qaeda-linked terror at home, however, is a matter, quite literally, of life and death for Pakistan’s leaders. General Musharraf has narrowly escaped two assassination attempts. And nine people died in an attack last month on Mr Aziz,” the new prime minister.

Given that Pakistan seems to be our most important ally against terrorism in the region, and that it possesses nuclear weapons, its commitment to anti-terrorism and its allegiance to the West, particularly the US, is crucial to our continuing our current policies in the region.

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