Day By Day

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pakistan Update

Richard Fernandez, over at Pajamas Media, has a perceptive overview of recent developments in Pakistan and what they might portend.

President Musharraf’s political party (PML-Q) has been heavily defeated at the polls by a coalition led by two major opposition parties. The opposition has probably won enough seats to form a new government. The Telegraph reports Musharraf’s exit is now days, not months away. And the man with the power to determine the shape of the new government is a man with close ties to AQ Khan, presided over the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program and has just returned from exile in Saudi Arabia.

That in a nutshell is the perfect storm in which US policy in Pakistan is embroiled.

Read it here.

Basically there are two very dangerous developments going on here. First, the winners in the recent elections are bound to seek to establish civilian control over the military. So far the military has been the stabilizing influence in Pakistan and most importantly has maintained control over that nation's nuclear arsenal. If that control is compromised the possibility of nuclear proliferation or irresponsible use of the weapons is greatly increased. Secondly, both of the winning parties are giving strong indications that they will seek an accommodation with regions currently in revolt. That will provide the Taliban with a safe haven.

Scary stuff.

Stay tuned.