Saturday, December 29, 2007

Could Pakistan Face Civil War After Bhutto's Murder?

The idea that a large and great nation like Pakistan could fall into civil war was probably thought unlikely before Benazir Bhutto was assassinated earlier this week. While I believe a civil war is unlikely in Pakistan, the deciding factor of whether or not this nation of over 150 million people falls into chaos is in the hands of President Pervez Musharraf and the leadership decisions he makes over the next few days. In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was a beloved figure that was likely to win election in Pakistan next month when elections were to be held there. However, those free elections are now in turmoil because of Bhutto's murder and regional experts fear that if President Musharraf decides to postpone next months elections, tremendous violence and yes even civil war could follow.

Already, dozens of conspiracy theories are being spread throughout Pakistan from the manner in which Benazir Bhutto was killed to conflicting stories about whether or not she was shot before a suicide bomber blew himself up. Right now Pakistan is fueled for an explosion of violence and revenge killings and only President Musharraf has the power to start putting the pieces of his broken country back together again. The first step President Musharraf should take is to not cancel next months presidential elections in Pakistan, instead he should push forward with those elections. Second, Musharraf must place the highest priority on finding out who was responsible for planning Benazir Bhutto's death and making sure those responsible at the highest level are brought to justice. As President Bush said in the days after September 11th, 2001. 'We will bring those responsible to justice or we will bring justice to them'. President Musharraf needs to be just as firm in statements to his own people as President Bush was after September 11, 2001.

Right now I am not sure which way President Musharraf will be inclined to move in the next few days, but my hopes and prayers are that he will not crack down once again on the people of Pakistan and further delay free elections in that country. One thing the United States could do to help President Musharraf in Pakistan is to once and for all find Osama bin Laden and either capture or kill him. Most likely bin Laden has been hiding out in northern Pakistan now for several years and during that time he has been able to release a steady number of video messages to the world via the Internet. President Bush should make his number one priority the next few weeks and months the capture or death of Osama bin Laden. That one act would be the best gift the United States could give to a grieving and angry Pakistan.

Read more about Pakistan:

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated After Pakistan Rally
Musharraf Holds On As Pakistan Slides Toward The Abyss
Father Kills Three (3) Daughters In Pakistan Honor Killing
Earthquake Death Toll Rises To 40,000 - Pakistan/India
Help Is On The Way After India/Pakistan Earthquake

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