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Pakistan is the 'world's most dangerous place'
January 05, 2008 22:47 IST
Describing Pakistan as 'the world's most dangerous place', a leading British journal has claimed that two things could still help arrest its slide into anarchy - a credible investigation into Benazir Bhutto's murder and a fair election; but both seem improbable.
The Economist noted that Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf's [Images] willingness to let a couple of British policemen help the inquiry 'is unlikely to produce this' (help arrest its slide into anarchy).
It said for too long, Musharraf has been allowed to pay lip-service to democratic forms, while the United States has winked at his blatant disdain for the substance. The justification has been the pre-eminent importance of 'stability' in 'the world's most dangerous place'.
'It is time to impress upon him (Musharraf) and the generals still propping him up that democracy is not the alternative to stability, it is Pakistan's only hope,' The Economist stressed.
The journal said that every time a bomb goes off in Pakistan, people believe that one of the country's own spooks lit the fuse. Until there has been a convincing purge of the military-intelligence apparatus, Pakistan will never know true stability.
'Sadly, there seemed little hope that the security forces will abandon the habit of a lifetime and allow truly fair elections,' it said, adding 'The delay in the voting, opposed by both main opposition parties, has been seen as part of its plan to rig the results. The violence that has scarred the country since Bhutto's assassination may intensify'.
The journal observed that the 'army may be tempted to impose another state of emergency, or it may cling on to ensure that the election produces the result it wants - a weak and pliable coalition of the Pakistan People's Party and Musharraf's loyalists'.