18 August 2008

Musharraf Gone

I am glad to see Musharraf removed from power. American support of sis continued reign in Pakistan represented a massive disjunct between the stated goals of American foreign policy and its practice. I fully support the concept of democracy promotion, and Musharraf was an obvious obstacle to that objective. He may have brought a sense of stability to India-Pakistan relations (though I would be extremely reticent to characterize the situation in Kashmir as "stable"), but he undermined the rule of law in his own country and did not do enough to prevent the Taliban and al Qaeda from using Pakistan as a base to plan and execute attacks against Canadians, Americans, and others in the multinational coalition working to rebuild Afghanistan.
Now we enter a period of uncertainty--who will succeed him? Will they seek to move the country back towards the rule of law, democratic governance, and civilian leadership? Will they go in the opposite direction, seeking closer ties with Islamist extremists, which has long been held by realists as an argument for keeping Musharraf in power (the old "he may be a bastard, but he's our bastard" argument)? Only time will tell, and all we can do is hope that the next government in Pakistan embodies the voice of its people and their aspirations.

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