Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Musharraf steps down

Pakistani President Musharraf resigned on Monday. For many years, I had believed that he would be removed by assassination. I am pleased to find that I was wrong. The big concern that I have is how Pakistan will carry on. Pakistan is a Muslim country. Islam and democracy do not mix very well. The only working example is Turkey, and the military has a very unusual amount of control for a democracy. How Pakistan works out the balance between democracy, Islam and the military will be a crucial factor in determining how effective the Pakistani government will become. It will also determine the course of Pakistan’s future and it's interaction with the rest of the world.

Once again, I am watching Pakistan because of their nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Pakistani technicians were a critical part of the nuclear black market ring that was broken up some years ago. Pakistan was heavily involved with the Taliban in Afghanistan during the 1990’s. They have a history of covert activity. Democracies do not conduct covert activity well. The openness of the democratic system does not lend itself to secrets. Autocratic governments perform this function much for effectively. This article is another effort to keep an eye on these guys.

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