Friday, October 19, 2007

Pakistan questions

It will be a surprise if today's bloody attack on the convoy bringing Benazir Bhutto back to power in Pakistan was not done with government knowledge or involvement. While Bhutto herself blamed the attack on al-Qaida and other extremists in statements after the Karachi bombings, it would be a stroke of incredible fortune if the government of Gen. Pervez Musharraf was not involved. The Pakistani government has denied involvement in the attack that killed dozens, which has been called an assassination attempt. But many of the circumstances invite further questioning, particularly the timing. Remember, the prime minister that Musharraf deposed in 1999, Nawaz Sharif, tried to return earlier this year but was not allowed to leave the airport. True, Musharraf reportedly had a power-sharing arrangement with Bhutto, but such deals are no guarantee. The deal just means he won't kick her out peacefully. Look, we're talking about a tyrant here, a military dictator. It would be too perfect for Musharraf if Bhutto were killed in an "accident" that was not his responsiblity, thus removing Pakistan's most powerful pro-democracy leader at no political cost to his failing government. Government involvement does not necessarily mean Musharraf took a personal role, but officials could have permitted the attack by inaction. Maybe it isn't true, and maybe we will eventually find out the truth. The thing is, he's our guy. If he's responsible for this atrocity, then all of us are.

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