SHOULD PAKISTAN’S ELECTION GO AHEAD?

Elections in Pakistan are scheduled for January 8. Should the assassination of Benazir Bhutto provide the Musharref government with an excuse to postpone the elections?

Actually, if Musharraf postpones the elections (and even worse, restores martial law) the country could be plunged into more turmoil than exists at present. Without elections the unpopular Musharraf doesn’t have to share political power with anyone. His only prop would be the army which, ironically, he has resigned from.

If on the other hand a new government can be honestly elected, then the government and Musharraf himself will have more legitimacy. Such a government (likely a coalition involving opposition parties) could then turn to the many domestic problems that bedevil the country, as well as stepping up the fight against the terrorists.

Both Britain and the United States are pressing Musharraf to proceed with elections on January 8.

Do you agree?

3 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    When will we collectively shed our colonialist cloak (and dagger?). Haven’t we meddled enough in Middle East conflicts and politics. What good have we done out there?
    Let the Pakistani settle their problems in their own way. Just make sure we don’t get burned once more by pretending that we are smarter than everybody else and have all the solutions.
    Besides if the elections proceed while a boycott is on and the Islamists come out on top as was the case in Palestine will we be happier or just repeat what we did with the palestinian who did not exersize democreacy the way we wished?
    Happy New Year nonetheless!

  2. 2
    Cate McB Says:

    I wonder what would happen here in Canada if an election were scheduled for Jan. 8th and one of the opposition leaders had just been assassinated? I would assume that the election would be re-scheduled both out of respect for the person lost and to allow the affected party to re-group.

    I would assume that re-scheduling would be a good idea for the same reasons in Pakistan, however, as many have said, their kind of democracy will be uniquely their own, no matter what we think, and I would agree with Paul that we should let them solve their own problems in their own way.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    “I wonder what would happen here in Canada if an election were scheduled for Jan. 8th and one of the opposition leaders had just been assassinated?”

    I took this supposition a step or so further, and added to it: Suppose also that responsibility for the assassination was claimed by a terrorist group that supports our current government and wants to see them remain in power by whatever means necessary. Suppose next that we were then on the receiving end of “diplomatic” pressure — and for that, read “interference” — from other countries around the world to continue along as if nothing at all had happened. Add to that not knowing what really happened to Bhutto (bullet, bomb, or bump-on-the-head), and you’d have all the makings of a country-wide cauldron ‘way past the boiling point. And the fire is not about to run out of fuel.

    Leave ’em alone. Keep a close watch on their internal events and monitor their external communications around the world. Stand ready to help if our help is requested — and carefully consider any requests for help before jumping in.


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