For quite some time, I’ve been watching the big Nat Geo world map I have hanging on my wall each time I pass thru on my way to my bedroom or out of it. With no exception, I keep my eyes in a rather peculiar place better known as Pakistan. I guess we should all think a little bit about it.
Since Benazir Bhutto’s death not so long ago, I kept wondering about the size of challenges the country is facing, the possible outcomes, the consequences of government acts and last but not least, their nuclear weapons.
Engulfed in violence and all sorts of radicalism, Pakistan doesn’t see a very bright future ahead of itself considering the latest developments and one doesn’t need much effort to understand why.
The country is perhaps US most important ally on the so called war on terror and at the same time, is home of training camps for terrorists and possible hiding place for some key Al Qaeda figures. Their long dreamed nuclear weapons were developed to possibly protect them from the bigger brother (India) but it seems right now, what was remedy became the illness as not only officials in Pakistan but the entire world fears these weapons might fall into wrong hands and cause a really big problem.
For those reasons mentioned above and many more, I believe President Musharraf has the hardest job in the face of earth and I really wouldn’t like to be on his shoes. Having the Americans pushing on one side for a more free and democratic Pakistan and the fear of religious radicals trying to establish some kind of Islamic Republic on the other side, sounds more like a nightmare to me.
But that’s not all. History shows us that no people accept living under dictatorship for a very long time and Benazir, who would certainly hit the ground running in the elections, serve as proof to a well known fact: the Pakistani people just had enough!
So, in the end, President Musharraf who’s clearly running out of options in dealing with countless problems is going to run out of time. For the moment, he’s doing the classic dictator’s move by oppressing the people and running everything with iron fists to keep things going. But there is great danger in doing that as people might turn their eyes to the first to promise liberation, some kind of opportunity religious extremists are just waiting for as it happened in Iran not so long ago. Then, hell breaks loose!
The Americans want a free and democratic Pakistan or at least they say it. How so? Are they prepared to see a country with nuclear weapons electing madras leaders to be those who are to decide whether the military will fire some nukes? That would make Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections look like a relief, not a problem.
Soon, President Musharraf will go down. How soon nobody can really say but we all know how bumpy the way down is and to know that a vacuum can possibly be formed within Pakistani’s political system scares the living days out of me.